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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
What Is the “Farm Bill”?

What Is the “Farm Bill”?

Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues

U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues

Date: April 16, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: The report provides background information in the increase of food and agricultural imports and federal oversight responsibilities. It discusses international trade considerations, import refusals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), administration, and legislative proposals.
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Meat and Poultry Inspection: Background and Selected Issues

Meat and Poultry Inspection: Background and Selected Issues

Date: April 21, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report provides background information on the safety food programs, statutory authorities, systems basics (i.e. coverage, plant sanitation, slaughter inscpection, processing inspection, pathogen testing etc). The report discusses microbiological contamination and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).
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Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs

Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs

Date: January 23, 2006
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2006, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
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The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008

The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008

Date: January 4, 2008
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Description: This report discusses the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) FY2009 budget request of $2.676 billion that would provide a 17.9% increase ($406 million) over FY2008. It includes an overview and breakdowns for specific programs: Foods Program, Human Drugs Program, Biologics program, Animal Drugs and Feed Program, and the Devices and Radiological Health Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues

Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues

Date: March 3, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: More than 90,000 U.S. horses were slaughtered for human food in 2005, mainly for European and Asian consumers. Congress voted to limit the use of FY2006 appropriated funds for such slaughter, but USDA anticipates that the practice will continue, funded by industry user fees. This report examines the debate, which has focused on the acceptability of horse slaughter, and how to care for and eventually dispose of such horses if they no longer went for human food.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Food and Drug Administration: Selected Funding and Policy Issues

Food and Drug Administration: Selected Funding and Policy Issues

Date: February 27, 2001
Creator: unknown
Description: This report discusses funding and policy issues regarding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for ensuring the safety of foods, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and other products.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies

Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies

Date: October 30, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: 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.
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The Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust: Background and Current Issues

The Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust: Background and Current Issues

Date: April 17, 2003
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E
Description: The Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust is becoming a critical component of the U.S. response to humanitarian food emergencies in Africa, Iraq, and elsewhere. The Trust, as presently constituted, was enacted in the 1998 Africa Seeds of Hope Act (P.L. 105- 385). It replaced the Food Security Commodity Reserve established in 1996 and its predecessor the Food Security Wheat Reserve of 1980. This report discusses the administration’s proposals to reduce food aid’s reliance on surplus commodities and anticipated demand for emergency food aid have focused renewed attention on the Emerson Trust, which has been used four times in FY2002 and FY2003 to meet unanticipated food needs in Africa and Iraq.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Charitable Contributions of Food Inventory: Proposals for Change

Charitable Contributions of Food Inventory: Proposals for Change

Date: January 31, 2005
Creator: Talley, Louis Alan & Jackson, Pamela J
Description: Early in the 109th Congress, both S. 6, the Family and Community Protection Act of 2005, and S. 94, the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act, have been introduced to encourage gifts of food by businesses for charitable purposes. While current law provides a deduction only to C corporations, these bills would expand the tax break to all business entities. The value of the existing deduction is the corporation’s basis in the donated product plus one half of the amount of appreciation, as long as that amount is less than twice the corporation’s basis in the product.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Food Safety Agencies and Authorities: A Primer

Food Safety Agencies and Authorities: A Primer

Date: February 5, 1998
Creator: Rawson, Jean M & Vogt, Donna U
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: September 5, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
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African Famine: U.S. Response

African Famine: U.S. Response

Date: June 27, 1985
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.; Copson, Raymond W.; Epstein, Susan B.; Kenworthy, Holly & Nowels, Larry
Description: This report discusses the 1985 African famine situation, especially regarding U.S. emergency assistance at a time of U.S. domestic budgetary restraints, the adequacy of U.S. measures for monitoring and anticipating food emergencies, and the scale and nature of U.S. agricultural development programs intended to prevent future famines.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Upton, Harold F.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Food Assistance in Disasters: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Federal Food Assistance in Disasters: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Date: September 23, 2005
Creator: Richardson, Joe
Description: This report discusses federal food assistance in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Food Stamp program, child nutrition programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (the WIC program), and federally donated food commodities delivered through relief organizations provide major support in disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Existing laws authorize the Agriculture Department to change eligibility and benefit rules to facilitate emergency aid, and, in the short term, funding and federally provided food commodities are available without the need for additional appropriations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pesticide Legislation: Food Quality Protection Act of 1996

Pesticide Legislation: Food Quality Protection Act of 1996

Date: September 11, 1996
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Primer on P.L. 480 -- Program History, Description, and Operations: A Brief Compilation of Explanatory Documents

Primer on P.L. 480 -- Program History, Description, and Operations: A Brief Compilation of Explanatory Documents

Date: November 13, 1984
Creator: Epstein, Susan B
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Date: April 29, 2004
Creator: O'Shaughnessy, Carol
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

Date: September 11, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Russia announced on August 29, 2008, that it was banning poultry imports from 19 U.S. establishments due to safety concerns, and that 29 others could lose approval if they do not improve their standards. Russian officials also signaled that they might reduce U.S. permits to import poultry and pork under that country's quota system. The economic stakes of Russian import actions are high for U.S. poultry producers - 29% of their exports went to that market in 2007 - and red meat producers, who also are experiencing strong growth in the Russian market. In Congress, any potential options likely would be reviewed within the context of the broader geopolitical situation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FDA FY2009 Budget

The FDA FY2009 Budget

Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Judith A.; Lister, Sarah A. & Porter, Donna V.
Description: This report discusses the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) FY2009 budget request of $2.676 billion that would provide a 17.9% increase ($406 million) over FY2008. It includes an overview and breakdowns for specific programs: Foods Program, Human Drugs Program, Biologics program, Animal Drugs and Feed Program, and the Devices and Radiological Health Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: September 16, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status

Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status

Date: January 24, 2013
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Description: This report describes the origin, authority, and policy in the procurement of food for the military. Military food items, also known as subsistence items, are generally procured under the auspices of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense (DOD) which provides worldwide logistics support for the U.S. military services. Under DLA, DLA Troop Services (formerly the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia) is the inventory control point for food, clothing, textiles, medicines, medical equipment, general and industrial supplies, and services for the military, their eligible dependents, and other non-DOD customers worldwide. DLA Troop Services buys and manages about $13.4 billion worth of food, clothing, textiles, and other products.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

Date: May 19, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department