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The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Description: 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.
Date: September 22, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Legislative Action

Description: 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.
Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Biofuels: Overview and Emerging Issues

Description: This report reviews the evolution of the U.S. biofuels sector and the role that federal policy has played in shaping its development. In addition, it highlights emerging issues that are critical to the biofuels sector and of relevance to Congress.
Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

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.
Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Description: This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Description: 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.
Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports

Description: The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Some in Congress have continued to call for changes to the program that could limit GSP benefits to certain countries, among other changes. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. In the past few years, Congress has extended GSP through a series of short-term extensions. However, the 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010. The expiration of the GSP will likely become a legislative issues in the 112th Congress.
Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

Description: 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.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agriculture Implications

Description: The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused widespread devastation that affected many of the country's agricultural and fishery areas. The nuclear crisis that followed at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, and the subsequent detection of radioactive contamination of food produced near the disabled facility, further raised fears about the safety of Japan's food production systems and its future food exports. Most reports acknowledge that Japan's current production and supply shortages, along with rising food safety concerns and possible longer-term radiation threats to its food production, could limit Japan's food exports while possibly increasing its need for food imports in the future. It is still not clear what effect, if any, Japan's current food supply and demand situation will have on world farm commodity markets and food prices.
Date: May 18, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Description: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
Date: April 19, 2011
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Safety Net Proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill

Description: This report discusses three proposals-one by the National Cotton Council, one by Representative Neugebauer, and another by a private crop insurance company-focus on modifications to crop insurance programs. The National Farmers Union proposes to replace existing farm programs with a combination of farmer-owned-reserves, increased loan rates, and set asides. A proposed new dairy program-the Dairy Security Act-would provide a voluntary margin insurance program and market stabilization activities in place of current dairy programs. Finally, the proposed REFRESH Act (Senator Lugar) would eliminate most commodity programs (including the sugar program), and incorporate ARRM, the Dairy Security Act, and expanded whole-farm revenue insurance in their place.
Date: October 6, 2011
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTADR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in production, public investment in education, infrastructure, logistics, and good governance in general.
Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA DR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in production, public investment in education, infrastructure, logistics, and good governance in general.
Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Description: The use of biomass as an energy feedstock is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy, crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. For over 30 years, the term biomass has been a part of legislation enacted by Congress for various programs, indicating some interest by the general public and policymakers in expanding its use. To aid understanding of why U.S. consumers, utility groups, refinery managers, and others have not fully adopted biomass as an energy resource, this report investigates the characterization of biomass in legislation.
Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Previewing the Next Farm Bill

Description: Congress periodically establishes agricultural and food policy in an omnibus farm bill. The 112th Congress faces reauthorization of the current five-year farm bill because many of its provisions expire in 2012. The 2008 farm bill contained 15 titles covering farm commodity support, horticulture, livestock, conservation, nutrition assistance, international food aid, trade, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, bioenergy, and forestry, among others. Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees anticipate having a new farm bill completed before the end of this session. If the current farm bill expires without a new authorization or a temporary extension, it automatically would be replaced with permanent statutes for farm commodity support, which are not fully compatible with current national economic objectives, global trading rules, and federal budgetary or regulatory policies.
Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama

Description: This report discusses pending U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The bills to implement these agreements will now be debated under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration. The report includes an overview of agricultural issues regarding FTAs and pending FTA partners, as well as a closer breakdown of the specific issues for each of the countries.
Date: October 6, 2011
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act

Description: This report looks at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry" which was entered into by the Secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, and the Navy. It raises issues and concerns for Congress to consider when deciding how to fund MOU.
Date: June 22, 2012
Creator: Andrews, Anthony; Bracmort, Kelsi; Brown, Jared T. & Else, Daniel H.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling

Description: This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings.
Date: July 3, 2012
Creator: Jurenas, Remy & Greene, Joel L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Description: This report discusses some of the most relevant factors to take into account when considering whether or not biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways.
Date: March 24, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. and EU Agricultural Support: Overview and Comparison

Description: This report uses data from two public sources to compare agricultural support between the United States and the European Union (EU): (1) estimates of domestic support for agricultural programs based on World Trade Organization (WTO) notifications; and (2) the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) country-level policy database. Each of these data sources uses a slightly different metric to evaluate agricultural support. The report includes an overview of farm programs in the U.S. and EU, comparisons of support based on the metrics, and conclusions with policy implications.
Date: March 21, 2011
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Description: This report discusses pending U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The bills to implement these agreements will now be debated under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration. The report includes an overview of agricultural issues regarding FTAs and pending FTA partners, as well as a closer breakdown of the specific issues for each of the countries.
Date: February 14, 2011
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The World Trade Organization: The Non- Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Negotiations

Description: This report looks at the evolution of the Doha Round World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, possible effects of the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) agreement, and major negotiating issues from a U.S. standpoint. NAMA refers to the cutting of tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTB) on industrial and primary products, basically all trade in goods which are not foodstuffs.
Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling

Description: This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings.
Date: September 16, 2013
Creator: Jurenas, Remy & Greene, Joel L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling

Description: Report that covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives.
Date: July 22, 2013
Creator: Jurenas, Remy & Greene, Joel L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department