Down on the Farm

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Here I am on the farm in Illinois.  I will update you on what I see, but first I still have our Independence Day Celebration on my mind.  All the national attention and the President’s speech can make us p… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Issues of the Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Hot issues of the day – Are we going to war with Iran?  They did shoot down one of our drones worth more than $130 million.  News reports tell us that in response, President Trump agreed to a retaliatory s… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Oh, SNAP! The Supreme Court Holds Store Level SNAP Redemption Data is Confidential Under FOIA Exemption 4

In a major victory for grocers, the United States Supreme Court (in a 6-3 decision) held that store level SNAP retailer data is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Exemption 4 precludes the disclos… Read More
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Categories: USDA

FDA Publishes Draft Guidance For Sprout Seed Producers

Sprouts are associated with numerous foodborne illness outbreaks. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 2,600 documented illnesses have been associated with consuming contaminated sprouts since 1996. Much of the challeng… Read More
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EPA and DHA – Qualified Health Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements

FDA has issued an enforcement discretion letter that authorizes qualified health claims (QHC) that relate consuming eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids in food and dietary supplements to reducing the risk of hype… Read More
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Added Sugars in Pure Honey and Maple Syrup, and Other Single-Ingredient Sugars and Syrups, and in Dried Cranberry and Cranberry Beverage Products

Today, FDA published notice of the availability of a final guidance for industry, entitled: The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, Other Single-Ingredient Sugars and Syrups, and Certain Cranberry Products (June 2019).  The final guid… Read More
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Uncertainty in Agriculture

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Agri-Pulse Daybreak reported “when asked if he could say when the U.S. and China would reach an agreement to end this trade war, the U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Gregg Doud said ‘No is the answer.… Read More
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Did You Know

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Finally – my corn and soybeans are in the ground.  However, as of last Sunday there were 15.8 million U.S. corn acres still unplanted.  The wet spring and ticking time clock have pushed farmers to plant fi… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Tariffs

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. We all have priorities.  I was delighted when USMCA — our new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada — was completed and agreed to.  The next step is to get all three countries to vote acceptance… Read More
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Categories: USDA

Another Memorial Day Passed

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Over the last week with Memorial Day we have honored our service men and women that have fought for our country.  Some of them paid the ultimate price.  Think of the thousands and thousands that didn’t sur… Read More
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Categories: USDA

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