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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal Grazing Regulations: Public Lands Council v. Babbitt
This report discusses new regulations on livestock grazing on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management became effective August 21, 1995. Many aspects of the new regulations were challenged in Public Lands Council v. Babbitt. A federal district court upheld many of the regulations, but struck down four of them and enjoined their implementation. At the appellate level, only the new regulation allowing conservation use to the exclusion of livestock grazing for the full term of a permit was held invalid. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and argument has been set for March 1, 2000. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1065/
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Issues
Animal protection activists in the United States have long sought legislation to modify or curtail some practices considered by U.S. agriculture to be both acceptable and necessary to animal health. Some Members of Congress over the years have offered various bills that would affect animal care on the farm, during transport, or at slaughter. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees from time to time have held hearings on farm animal welfare issues, but their members generally express a preference for voluntary rather than regulatory approaches to humane methods of care. This report briefly provides an overview of the subject. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10112/
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Issues
Animal protection activists in the United States have long sought legislation to modify or curtail some practices considered by U.S. agriculture to be both acceptable and necessary to animal health. Some Members of Congress over the years have offered various bills that would affect animal care on the farm, during transport, or at slaughter. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees from time to time have held hearings on farm animal welfare issues, but their members generally express a preference for voluntary rather than regulatory approaches to humane methods of care. This report briefly provides an overview of the subject. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8011/
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Issues
Animal protection activists in the United States have long sought legislation to modify or curtail some practices considered by U.S. agriculture to be both acceptable and necessary to animal health. Some Members of Congress over the years have offered various bills that would affect animal care on the farm, during transport, or at slaughter. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees from time to time have held hearings on farm animal welfare issues, but their members generally express a preference for voluntary rather than regulatory approaches to humane methods of care. This report briefly provides an overview of the subject. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8061/
Agriculture: Prospective Issues for Congress
A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture could receive attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure as early as 2005. The farm bill spells out the types and levels of benefits provided to producers and landowners under commodity price support and conservation programs, both of which could receive close scrutiny in the coming year as lawmakers seek ways to control federal spending. Other concerns include agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease); interest in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; the rising cost of energy on farms; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6726/
Agriculture Support Mechanisms in the European Union: A Comparison with the United States
The European Union (EU), comprised of 15 member states (countries), is one of the United States’ chief agricultural trading partners and also a major competitor in world markets. Both heavily support their agricultural sectors, with a large share of such support concentrated on wheat, feed grains, cotton, oilseeds, sugar, dairy, and tobacco. However, the EU provides more extensive support to a broader range of farm and food products. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the EU and United States in 2001 together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all government support to agriculture among the major developed economies. However, EU agricultural spending generally is much higher than in the United States. Information comparing how the U.S. and EU governments support their producers is expected to be of interest to policymakers while negotiations are underway among world trading partners to further reform agricultural trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8623/
Animal Identification and Meat Traceability
U.S. animal agriculture is seeking to improve its ability to trace the movement of livestock from their birthplace to slaughter. The livestock and meat industries are working with the U.S. government to develop a national animal identification (ID) plan for livestock disease tracking purposes. This report focuses on animal ID and, to a lesser extent, on meat traceability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8939/
Animal Identification and Meat Traceability
U.S. animal agriculture is seeking to improve its ability to trace the movement of livestock from their birthplace to slaughter. The livestock and meat industries are working with the U.S. government to develop a national animal identification (ID) plan for livestock disease tracking purposes. This report focuses on animal ID and, to a lesser extent, on meat traceability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8899/
Animal Rendering: Economics and Policy
Renderers convert dead animals and animal byproducts into ingredients for a wide range of industrial and consumer goods, such as animal feed, soaps, candles, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. This report describes the rendering industry and discusses several industry-related issues that arose in the 108th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9085/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10150/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (totaling approximately $6 billion each year) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) child nutrition account. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8736/
Farm Bill Trade and Food Aid Provisions
This report discusses the trade provisions of omnibus farm legislation, passed and signed into law in May 2002. The measure includes a trade title reauthorizing, through 2007, the major foreign food aid and agricultural export programs. It also contains other provisions affecting agricultural trade, including new country-of-origin labeling requirements for meat, seafood, and produce; and increased domestic farm subsidies with possible implications for U.S. trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8721/
Farm Bill Trade and Food Aid Provisions
This report discusses the trade provisions of omnibus farm legislation, passed in May 2002. The measure includes a trade title reauthorizing, through 2007, the major foreign food aid and agricultural export programs. It also contains other provisions affecting agricultural trade, including new country-of-origin labeling requirements for meat, seafood, and produce; and increased domestic farm subsidies with possible implications for U.S. trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2125/
Farm Commodity Legislation: Chronology, 1933-2002
This report discusses legislation regarding commodities and price supports. Since 1933, Congress has required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer various price and income support programs for U.S. farmers. Some standing authority for these programs is provided by three permanent laws, from 1938, 1948, and 1949. However, Congress frequently alters the basic provisions of these laws. The omnibus law now guiding farm support (through 2007) is the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8523/
Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
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Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
This report briefly discusses programs designed to provide income support, price support, and/or supply management for approximately 20 specified agricultural commodities. USDA farm support programs represent the heart of U.S. farm policy, by virtue of their longevity – they have existed since the early 1930s – and their cost. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1390/
Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
This report briefly discusses programs designed to provide income support, price support, and/or supply management for approximately 20 specified agricultural commodities. USDA farm support programs represent the heart of U.S. farm policy, by virtue of their longevity – they have existed since the early 1930s – and their cost. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2122/
Farm Program Spending: What's Permitted Under the Uruguay Round Agreements
This report discusses farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2002. A key question being asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), which commitsthe United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm supports most likely to distort trade. The URAA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1389/
Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments
Congress is now debating reauthorization of omnibus farm legislation, as most commodityprice support provisions expire in 2002. This report discusses this debate, specifically aspects relating to commitments that the U.S. has as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member. Because of the interrelationships between trade and domestic support policies, lawmakers are interested in what the Agreement on Agriculture stipulates with regard to domestic supports, and how not only the United States but also other countries are meeting their Agreement commitments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1379/
Farmers' Markets: The USDA Role
This report discusses federal programs aimed at promoting farmers’ markets. Policy issues include the extent to which the programs contribute to the markets’ success, and the need if any for additional governmental support. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9152/
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-Off") Programs
This report discusses the so-called beef check-off program, one of a number of generic promotion programs for beef and other agricultural products that Congress has authorized in recent decades. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8533/
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues
This report discusses the debate in Congress on whether to ban horse slaughter and the acceptability of this practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9127/
Livestock Price Reporting: Background
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8740/
Livestock Price Reporting: Background
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Agriculture: U.S.-China Trade Issues
With China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, U.S. agricultural interests were hopeful that longstanding barriers to trade with that vast and growing market would begin to fall. However, critics charge that China is failing to honor commitments to open its markets, affecting U.S. exports of grains, oilseeds, meat and poultry, and other products. U.S. agriculture and trade officials have been working to resolve these differences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8848/
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
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U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9643/
Regulation of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9207/
Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"
This report discusses recently approved legislation reauthorizing major farm income and commodity price support programs through crop year 2007. This legislation includes new “counter-cyclical assistance” programs for grains, cotton, oilseeds, peanuts, and milk. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve. In fact, farmers have, for many years, been eligible for various forms of counter-cyclical assistance. At issue has been the need for, and potential impacts of, another counter-cyclical program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2124/
Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"
This report discusses the reauthorization of major farm income and commodity price support programs that expire after crop year 2002. Many agricultural interests expect that a new “counter-cyclical assistance” program will be an integral component of future farm policy. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2123/
The 2002 Farm Law at a Glance
On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 into law (P.L. 107-171). FSRIA is the latest in a long line of omnibus, multi-year farm bills. The 2002 law is the successor to the last omnibus measure, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127). This report, to be updated if events warrant, provides selected highlights. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2127/
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9096/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10061/
The “Farm Bill” in Brief
Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815373/
The “Farm Bill” in Brief
Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Although many of these policies can be and sometimes are modified through freestanding authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws, the omnibus, multi-year farm bill provides an opportunity for policymakers to address agricultural and food issues more comprehensively. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc807595/
The “Farm Bill” in Brief
Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820092/
The "Farm Bill" in Brief
Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8742/
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/
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/
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/
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 require enforceable on-farm safety standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810226/
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/
Food Safety Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
Food safety has re-emerged as an issue in the 110th Congress following a series of widely publicized incidents -- including adulterated Chinese seafood and pet food ingredient imports, findings of bacteria-tainted spinach, meat, and poultry produced domestically, and several large food recalls. In May 2008, Congress approved a new omnibus farm law (P.L. 110-234; H.R. 2419) that includes, among other provisions, several changes affecting U.S. food safety programs. Changes in the livestock title (Title XI) include subjecting catfish to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandatory inspections similar to those for red meat and poultry; creating an option for state-inspected meat and poultry plants to ship their products across state lines; and requiring meat and poultry establishments to notify USDA about potentially adulterated or misbranded products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10748/
Food Safety Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
Food safety re-emerged as an issue in the 110th Congress following a series of widely publicized incidents -- including adulterated Chinese seafood and pet food ingredient imports, findings of bacteria-tainted spinach, meat, and poultry produced domestically, and several large food recalls. In 2008, Congress approved a new omnibus farm law that includes, among other provisions, several changes affecting U.S. food safety programs. This report outlines said provisions and explores the issue of food safety and related legislation in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10747/
Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options
Sharply higher feed costs, fueled by competing use demands for corn and soybeans and by rising energy prices, are affecting the beef, pork, dairy, and poultry industries. In contrast, wholesales prices for most animal products have held steady. Some analysts argue that current public policies, including financial incentives that divert corn from feed uses into ethanol production, have exacerbated if not caused these higher costs. Other factors include crop production declines due to weather, and higher global demand for consumption. Proposed options aimed at easing the impacts of higher feed costs include changes in ethanol incentives, use of conservation land for forage use, and direct aid to producers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10763/
Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options
This report discusses higher livestock feed costs. The authors argue the current public policies, including financial incentives that divert corn from feed uses into ethanol production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94242/
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462366/
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103216/
U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10790/
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9392/
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