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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10714/
What Is the “Farm Bill”?
This report describes the Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which was enacted into law on June 18, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94207/
Food and Agricultural Imports from China
This report first provides information on the most recent Chinese-related food safety concern, the use of melamine in dairy ingredients. Following this section, the report provides data on U.S.-China trends in agricultural trade, examines U.S. programs to monitor the safety of imports, and reports on other recent Chinese food safety developments. It concludes with a brief discussion of the congressional role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462423/
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of PIADC, and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463128/
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of PIADC, and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94114/
Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges
Haiti faces several interrelated challenges, the most immediate being a lingering food crisis that in April 2008 led to deadly protests and the ouster of Haiti's prime minister. Haiti also suffers from a legacy of poverty, unemployment, and under-development that is compounding security problems for its new and fragile democracy. This report describes in detail the amount and types of emergency food aid and other relief aid that the United States has sent and will continue to send to Haiti. This report also outlines relevant pieces of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10742/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10713/
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 affirmed the constitutionality of the so-called beef check-off program, one of the 18 generic promotion programs for agricultural products that are now active nationally. Supporters view check-offs as economically beneficial self-help activities that need minimal government involvement or taxpayer funding. Producers, handlers, and/or importers are required to pay an assessment, usually deducted from revenue at time of sale - thus the name check-off. However, some farmers contend they are being "taxed" for advertising and related activities they would not underwrite voluntarily. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the beef check-off is considered significant for the future of the other programs, although the Court left open the possibility of additional challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26082/
Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies
This report examines issues regarding the recent acquisitions of U.S. meat companies. In July 2007, JBS — a Brazilian company regarded as the world’s largest meat processor — purchased the U.S. beef processor Swift & Co., then the third-largest U.S. beef processing company. In February and March 2008, JBS signed agreements to acquire the fourth- and fifth-largest U.S. beef packers, National Beef Packing Company and the Smithfield Beef Group, respectively. These planned acquisitions have undergone customary regulatory review by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Antitrust Division. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822683/
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463516/
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals
This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819825/
The Impact of Food Insecurity and Hunger on Global Health: Issues for Congress
This report offers background on the issue of global hunger and food insecurity, and discusses its direct and indirect consequences. The report also considers the U.S. and International responses to the global food crisis and discusses issues the 111th Congress might consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462937/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
This report briefly discusses the USDA's FY2006 appropriation, which postpones rules requiring many retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, and peanuts until September 30, 2008. The report also discusses related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821536/
Postage Subsidies for Periodicals: History and Recent Developments
This report describes and assesses the major federal policies that have subsidized postage for periodicals. These policies have been contentious because they involve disputed principles and vexing implementation issues. Some persons believe that periodicals provide important information about politics and government to U.S. citizens, which helps members of the public to discharge their civic duties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743589/
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues
The issue was explored at numerous congressional hearings in 2007 and 2008, and Members of Congress introduced a variety of bills to modify or overhaul the current system. Some sought broad reforms in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) oversight of both food and drug safety, including of imports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87330/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
The 110th Congress in June 2008 passed a new omnibus farm bill (P.L. 110-246). Provisions in this new law now spell out more explicitly how the Secretary is to use the annual Section 32 appropriation. Section 32 of the act of August 24, 1935 (P.L. 74-320 as amended; 7 U.S.C. 612c) authorizes a permanent appropriation equal to 30% of annual U.S. customs receipts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87328/
The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession
This report discusses the potential role that the block grant to states of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may play in mitigating the effects of the recession for poor families with children. It discusses the recession and the economic insecurity of disadvantaged families, the TANF block grand and potential role in the recession, as well as legislative issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743489/
The FHA Modernization Act of 2008
This report discusses the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Manufactured Housing Loan Modernization Act of 2008, which makes several amendments to the FHA program that insures loans on manufactured housing loan program under Title I of the National Housing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743534/
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals
This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820990/
The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession
This report discusses the potential role that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to states may play in mitigating the effects of the recession for poor families with children. The TANF block grant is best known as a funding source for cash welfare. However, it also funds a wide range of benefits, services, and activities for disadvantaged families with children, as well as programs to achieve the goals of reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies and promoting two-parent families. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700744/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505399/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505410/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26156/
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) budget and operations. The ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with administering and enforcing federal laws related to the manufacture, importation, and distribution of firearms and explosives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689494/
Local and Regional Procurement for U.S. International Emergency Food Aid
This report discusses local and regional procurement (LRP) of food aid, which refers to the purchase of commodities for emergency food aid by donors in countries with food needs or in another country within the region. LRP is used extensively by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and has been proposed as a cost-effective, time-saving tool that the United States could use to meet emergency food needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689233/
Consumers and Food Price Inflation
The heightened commodity price volatility of 2008 and the subsequent acceleration in U.S. food price inflation raised concerns and generated many questions about farm and food price movements by Members of Congress and their constituents. This report responds to those concerns by addressing the nature and measurement of retail food price inflation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627118/
The U.S. Global Food Security Initiative: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the United States’ foreign food aid program. Agricultural development has been a component of the United States’ foreign aid program, but U.S. funding for such assistance has declined from about 20% of U.S. official development assistance (ODA) in 1980 to around 5% in 2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821684/
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627028/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505524/
U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues
In December 2008, the United States and Russia signed a protocol aimed at resolving various emerging trade issues between the two countries in order to continue U.S. livestock and poultry exports to Russia through the end of 2009. This report examines the current trade relationship between the U.S. and Russia in regards to meat and poultry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821657/
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals
This report discusses comprehensive food safety bills that are progressing in the 111th Congress and could affect farmers and ranchers. Interest in on-farm practices was renewed after more than 1,300 persons in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada were found to be infected with the same unusual strain of bacteria (Salmonella Saintpaul) in April-July 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822228/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. This report discusses various food safety proposals in Congress, as well as agencies with food safety related responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491097/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491372/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29748/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31334/
U.S.-South Korea Beef Dispute: Issues and Status
This report describes the beef provisions in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the separate bilateral protocols that the United States has negotiated in order to secure the lifting of South Korea's ban on U.S. beef imports, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in late 2003. It also summarizes U.S. beef export developments to this key market before and after the ban and since these protocols took effect; and lays out the outstanding issues on U.S. beef access that will likely need to be resolved to facilitate congressional consideration of the KORUS FTA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29712/
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Legislative Action
In recent years, major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, product recalls, and reports about unsafe food imports have caused some to question the adequacy of the U.S. food safety system. Stakeholders appear to agree that an optimal system should encompass a comprehensive, preventive approach to food safety, focusing on those foods and points in the food system that pose the greatest public health risks, starting at the point of production - that is, on farms and ranches. This report discusses differing opinions on this topic, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29714/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31333/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29563/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29562/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31332/
Seafood Safety: Background and Issues
Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490976/
Seafood Safety: Background and Issues
Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31458/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31457/
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Legislative Action
In recent years, major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, product recalls, and reports about unsafe food imports have caused some to question the adequacy of the U.S. food safety system. Stakeholders appear to agree that an optimal system should encompass a comprehensive, preventive approach to food safety, focusing on those foods and points in the food system that pose the greatest public health risks, starting at the point of production - that is, on farms and ranches. This report discusses differing opinions on this topic, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490944/
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31468/
The Obama Administration's Feed the Future Initiative
The primary objectives of this report are to (1) provide a context for the state of food insecurity in the world; (2) provide an overview of the Obama Administration's global hunger and food security initiative, called Feed the Future; and (3) provide an overview of issues that the 112th Congress may consider in relation to agricultural development and global food security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31478/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Report concerning food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228151/
Food Safety on the Farm
This report examines legislation enacted by the 111th Congress and oversight on this legislation by the 112th Congress in regards to food safety. Potential risks to the food supply, including bacteria, pesticide residues, animal drugs, and certain naturally-occurring contaminants are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103225/
Food Safety Issues for the 112th Congress
This report looks at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It particularly looks at ways in which the 112th Congress may want to provide oversight for the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103120/