Whistling Past the Graveyard: USDA’s Analysis of the COVID-19 Shock & Global Food Security Trends

Alexander Langer is a law student at NYU School of Law and guest contributor on this blog. After years of steadily rising global food security, more people will go hungry this year because of COVID-19 and the related global economic crisis. However, the global food system that is so vulnerable to these shocks continues to chug along, and U.S. global…

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USDA Extends Critical School Lunch Waivers, but More is Needed

Hannah Yang is a law student at NYU School of Law and guest contributor on this blog.  The USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s mission is “to increase food security and reduce hunger.” As part of its mission, it oversees the National School Lunch Program, which provides free or reduced lunch for eligible students while school is in session. The Summer…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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),…

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