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

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.
Date: December 14, 2009
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Global Food Security Initiative: Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: November 24, 2009
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E. & Ho, Melissa D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Consumers and Food Price Inflation

Description: 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.
Date: November 4, 2009
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Richardson, Joe
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Local and Regional Procurement for U.S. International Emergency Food Aid

Description: 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.
Date: August 10, 2009
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: August 6, 2009
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession

Description: 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.
Date: April 14, 2009
Creator: Falk, Gene
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Description: 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.
Date: March 19, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The FHA Modernization Act of 2008

Description: 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.
Date: February 25, 2009
Creator: Foote, Bruce E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession

Description: 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.
Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: Falk, Gene
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Description: 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.
Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: February 2, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Postage Subsidies for Periodicals: History and Recent Developments

Description: 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.
Date: January 22, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Description: 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.
Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Impact of Food Insecurity and Hunger on Global Health: Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Description: 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.
Date: December 19, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: November 25, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies

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.
Date: October 30, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Description: 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.
Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Description: 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.
Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Description: 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.
Date: October 2, 2008
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Hornbeck, J. F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food and Agricultural Imports from China

Description: 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.
Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department