WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday reforms to decades-old processes for inspecting poultry facilities in a bid to cut down on the number of foodborne illnesses, but dropped an industry-backed plan to speed up production.
Under the new rule, poultry producers would be required, among other things, to perform microbiological testing at two points in their production process to prevent salmonella and campylobacter contamination.
WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Thursday extended the deadline for the
third time for refiners to show compliance with 2013 federal
biofuel use targets, a move quickly criticized by the oil
Annual compliance reports would be due 30 days after the
pending publication of the final rule establishing the 2014
renewable fuel percentage standards, the agency said on its
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a change in regulations that would relax restrictions on pork imports from certain areas of Mexico, potentially allowing for larger U.S. imports.
The proposal would permit pork to be imported from certain areas of Mexico defined as having a low risk of classical swine fever (CSF), the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said in a posting on Tuesday in the Federal Register.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Overall U.S. food inflation will remain near the historic norm in 2014, even as prices for meat and seafood are pushed higher by disease and widespread drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.
USDA said wholesale pork prices will jump by 10 percent to 11 percent in 2014, hurt by declining supplies after a virus has killed millions of piglets in the past year.
WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of
Agriculture on Wednesday maintained its forecast for U.S. food
prices to rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014, in line
with historic norms, but raised its estimates of price increases
for dairy and fresh fruit.
The agency evaluated expected increases in overall food,
food-at-home and food-away-from-home prices.
WASHINGTON, June 20 (Reuters) – The White House on Friday
announced a federal strategy to reverse a rapid decline in the
number of honey bees and other pollinators in the United States
that poses a threat to billions of dollars in crops.
In recent years, bees have died at a rate the U.S.
government says is economically unsustainable. Honey bees
pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of the food
consumed by Americans, including apples, lemons, broccoli,
avocados and carrots.
WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of
Energy’s number two official, Daniel Poneman, will leave the
agency after more than five years, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
said on Thursday, the second senior U.S. energy official in a
week to announce his departure.
“Dan let me know he intends to step down this fall so that
he and his family can move on to their next adventure,” Moniz
said in an email to agency staff.
WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Energy
Committee voted on Wednesday to advance the nominations of
Norman Bay to be a commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission and Cheryl LaFleur for a second term as commissioner
at the utility agency.
After a contentious hearing, Bay’s nomination was approved
by a 13-9 vote. The nomination of LaFleur, currently the acting
chair, advanced by a 21-1 vote.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Energy Committee advanced a bill on Wednesday that would force congressional approval of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project, but the measure seems unlikely to be taken up by the full Senate.
The bill, the latest effort by lawmakers to breathe life into the long-delayed pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, will languish without a commitment from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring it to a vote.
WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – Incidents ranging from
Chinese dog treats pulled from U.S. pet stores to the virus that
has killed millions of American piglets has raised concerns
about the safety of food and feed imports from China, lawmakers
said on Friday.
The problems “have highlighted concerns over the
effectiveness of China’s food safety regulation, the
effectiveness of U.S. government regulation of imported foods
from China, and the overall safety of such foods,” said
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican
Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey.