New Horizons for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Disasters and Pandemics (D-SNAP & P-SNAP)

While it’s currently a challenge not to keep up with the latest developments on COVID-19, you might not know that states have been tirelessly submitting requests to the federal government for major disaster declarations. At the time of this writing, New York, California, Washington, Louisiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Georgia, Oregon, Connecticut, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Texas, Colorado,…

Continue Reading

Actions for Congress and USDA to Support Local and Regional Food Systems During COVID-19

Originally published at the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law & Policy, Food Law & Policy Blog. As social distancing measures close schools and public gatherings nationwide, farmers markets closures reveal a difficult reality for a particularly vulnerable segment of the food system: local and regional farmers and ranchers. Estimates indicate that direct-to-consumer markets and institutional purchases, such as…

Continue Reading

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act Proposal

Amy Allen is a law student at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and a guest contributor to this blog.  On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the House passed a bipartisan amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The proposed legislation creates an opportunity for currently undocumented agricultural workers to obtain authorized work status…

Continue Reading

Student Series: Investigation into USDA’s Handling of Climate Research

The USDA has come under scrutiny recently over whether the agency withheld various climate change reports from the public. On September 19, 2019, Senate Democrats released a report (the DPCC report) citing more than 1,400 climate studies from USDA that the agency failed to publicize. According to the report, the USDA did not issue announcements or press releases on more…

Continue Reading

Student Series: The USDA’s Interim Rule for Hemp Regulation

The USDA recently released its interim final rule regulating the production of hemp. Hemp, a resurging commodity, has recently found its way back into the hearts of Americans and has a wide variety of uses. Hemp is a cannabis plant that can be found in fabric, paper, construction materials, food products, cosmetics, the production of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), and…

Continue Reading

Student Series: FDA Approves Genetically Modified Cotton for Human Consumption

If asked to imagine “cotton,” most people would envision the fluffy, white bulbs that are turned into fibers to create clothing. Cotton is seen as a material used to create physical items for human use, not consumption. In the United States alone, 9.6 billion pounds of cotton, valued at $7 billion, are produced a year. Cotton is grown in nearly eighty…

Continue Reading

Student Series: A Blow to Farmers? Trump Administration’s Proposed Biofuel Policy

On October 15, 2019, the Trump Administration EPA proposed a new method of estimating the amount of gasoline and diesel that would be exempt from biofuel blending requirements due to exemptions for certain refineries. Offered through a Supplemental Notice, the calculation would be used to increase the amount of biofuel that is blended into transportation fuel by accounting for and…

Continue Reading

Student Series: USDA Poised to Reduce SNAP Benefits for Thousands in Third Proposed Rulemaking

Today is the last day to submit comments to USDA for its proposed changes to utilities calculations for SNAP benefits. The below student post describes the changes contemplated by USDA. Following the Senate’s rejection of the House’s proposed restrictions on enrollment to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS),…

Continue Reading

Encouraging Risky CAFOs in the Age of Climate Change

Cover Photo: Hogs swimming through floods in Duplin County, NC. NPR | Kelly Guerin   Earlier this month Hurricane Dorian tore through the Southeast United States and the Bahamas. It devastated the Carolinas, spawning nearly two dozen tornadoes and leaving 418,000 people without power in the region. Of particular concern is the massive flooding in North Carolina, a state which…

Continue Reading

USDA gave almost 100 percent of Trump’s trade war bailout to white farmers

Nathan Rosenberg is a visiting scholar at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and Bryce Wilson Stucki is an independent researcher and journalist focusing on food and agriculture. Last July, the Trump administration announced a major new subsidy program designed to help farmers weather America’s ongoing trade war with China. That initiative—dubbed the Market Facilitation Program (MFP)—has become the…

Continue Reading