Congressional Research Service Reports - 709 Matching Results

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Ethylene Dibromide: Regulatory Background
Much attention has recently been focused on the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB). This chemical has been widely used in leaded gasoline, and has also been used to treat grains, citrus and other crops. It has been found in foods and in groundwater. This paper examines the possible health effects of exposure to EDB, as well as its regulation. The possible health effects and regulation of various chemical and physical alternatives to EDB are also examined. This paper concludes with some policy considerations pertinent to EDB.
Pesticides Regulation: Current Issues
No Description Available.
Predator Control and Compound 1080
No Description Available.
Reauthorization of SNAP and Other Nutrition Programs in the Next Farm Bill: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report discusses the Nutrition Title (Title IV) of the pending farm bills and elaborates on the most controversial issues and differences between Senate and House proposals. Policies that are not necessarily controversial but are complex are also included in this report.
The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act
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.
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.
Legal Issues Related to Livestock Watering in Federal Grazing Districts
This report discusses proposed regulations related to livestock watering in federal grazing districts.
Survey of Grazing Programs in Western States
No Description Available.
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.
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.
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.
The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status
This report provides an overview of the 2002 farm bill and an update status of the farm bill.
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.
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.
Agricultural Exports: Technical Barriers to Trade
Technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are widely divergent measures that countries use to regulate rnarkets, protect their consumers, and preserve natural resources, but which can also discriminate against imports in favor of domestic products. Most TBTs in agriculture are sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures designed to protect humans, animals, and plants from contaminants, diseases, and pests. In the wake of new trade agreements aimed at reducing tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers, TBTs have become more prominent concerns for agricultural exporters and policymakers.
Agricultural Marketing and Regulatory Provisions of the 1996 Farm Bill
The Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127), signed into law on April 4, for the first time grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) broad-based authority to establish national generic promotion ("check-off") programs for virtually any agricultural commodity. Formerly, individual programs first had to be authorized expressly by Congress. The new law also explicitly authorizes the establishment of new check-off programs for rapeseed and canola, kiwifruit, and popcorn. Other provisions require USDA to establish a new meat and poultry inspection advisory committee; deal with the collection of user fees for the inspection of agricultural imports; and authorize new guidelines to protect horses being transported to slaughter facilities, among other things.
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.
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.
Animal Agriculture: Issues for the 106th Congress
This report discusses a variety of animal agriculture issues that generated debate during the 106th Congress, including low livestock prices, especially for hogs. Economic difficulties have revived questions such as the impacts of consolidation in the livestock industry, and the price effects of animal imports from Canada and Mexico. This report also discusses a number of legislative proposals to assist livestock producers and enforce sanitary and phytosanitary standards, as well as continuing trade disputes and negotiations with China, the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia.
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.
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.
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.
Cattle Prices: Questions and Answers
After 7 years of relatively high returns, cattle producers by 1994 were experiencing steeply falling prices--mainly caused by abundant supplies of cattle destined for U.S. feedlots. Record-high grain prices and dry pastures amplified the problem. Because of the lengthy biological cycle governing cattle production, large numbers will be coming onto the market for some time, as producers undertake the slow process of curtailing herd expansion.
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.
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 (now about $5.7 billion per year) is simply transferred directly into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) child nutrition account to fund school feeding and other programs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Farm Commodity Legislation: Chronology, 1933-98
Farm commodity programs were a product of the Great Depression. This report discusses the history of farm commodity legislation. Since 1933, Congress has required the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to administer a variety of programs providing price support and income protection for the nations farmers.
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.
Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
No Description Available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs
This report discusses legislation establishing national generic promotion ("check-off') programs for 20 specified farm commodities. Thirteen of the 20 authorized programs are now in effect.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.