Congressional Research Service Reports - 284 Matching Results

Search Results

Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies
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.
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues
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.
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi on the U.S. Marine Environment
The massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage in northeastern Japan, including damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power installation, which resulted in the release of radiation. Concerns have arisen about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. This report discusses these concerns.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report describes provisions in the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234) related to Section 32 appropriations and how non-transferred money (funding not put toward child nutrition programs) may be spent. It includes an overfiew of how Section 32 funds have generally been used and the implications of the new restrictions.
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues
This report discusses the bills and issues regarding horses that are slaughtered for human food. Debate revolves around the acceptability of horse slaughter, and how to care for and/or humanely dispose of horses if they no longer become human food.
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
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.
What Is the “Farm Bill”?
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.
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.
Meat and Poultry Inspection: Background and Selected Issues
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).
The FDA FY2009 Budget
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.
The Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust: Background and Current Issues
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.
Food Safety Agencies and Authorities: A Primer
No Description Available.
Pesticide Legislation: Food Quality Protection Act of 1996
No Description Available.
Primer on P.L. 480 -- Program History, Description, and Operations: A Brief Compilation of Explanatory Documents
No Description Available.
Older Americans Act Nutrition Program
No Description Available.
African Famine: U.S. Response
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.
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.
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.
Charitable Contributions of Food Inventory: Proposals for Change
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.
Seafood Safety: Background and Issues
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.
Federal Food Assistance in Disasters: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
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.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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.
Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status
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.
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
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.
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
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.
The Role of Local and Regional Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy
This report provides background information on many of the type of operations engaged in the U.S. local and regional food system. A wide range of farm businesses are involved in local foods, such as direct-to-consumer marketing, farmers' markets, farm-to-school programs, community-supported agriculture,6 community gardens, school gardens, food hubs and market aggregators, kitchen incubators, and mobile slaughter units. This report also highlights some of the available resources within existing federal programs administered by USDA and other agencies.
U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues
This report includes three principal sections: the first section is a description of U.S. international food aid programs under current law; the second section discusses several important policy issues related to U.S. international food aid; and the third section describes Administration and congressional proposals intended to change the nature of U.S. food international aid.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
2014 Farm Bill Provisions and WTO Compliance
This report briefly describes the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) rules governing domestic support programs under the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). The report then reviews the current U.S. farm safety net programs in light of their potential for compliance with the AoA and SCM and their potential to affect the success of the current Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
U.S. Sugar Program Fundamentals
This report discusses the U.S. sugar program, which is singular among major agricultural commodity programs in that it combines a floor price guarantee with a supply management structure that encompasses both domestic production for human use and sugar imports.
The International Wine Market: Description and Selected Issues
This report discusses global trade in wine, which has Several important issues have emerged in recent years with respect to international wine trade, particularly between the EU and non-EU countries, including oenological (wine-making) practices and the use of “semi-generic” names for wines. The latter issue is encompassed under the debate on “geographical indications” at the World Trade Organization. Ongoing bilateral negotiations between the United States and the EU seek to resolve both of these issues. .
Infant Formula: National Problems
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding infant formula that was deficient in a required nutrient.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Background, Operations, and Issues
This report provides background information on the institutional makeup and operations of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the leading international humanitarian and development arm of the U.S. government. It then discusses in greater depth several aspects of the agency that might be of particular congressional interest.
The International Wine Market: Description and Selected Issues
This report discusses the global trade in wine, which has increased rapidly during the past 25 years, steadily rising from under $1 billion in 1977 to over $7 billion in 2001. Reports of health benefits and rising global incomes have spurred increasing demand for wine, particularly in mid- to upper-income countries. In 2001, the United States was the world’s leading importer, just ahead of the European Union (EU). Together, they accounted for over 60% of global imports.
U.S. European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
No Description Available.
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.
U.S.-European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
No Description Available.
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.
Asian Soybean Rust: Background and Issues
This report discusses the background and issues regarding Asian soybean rust (ASR) that was discovered in the United States in an experimental field in Louisiana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating a plan to deal with ASR that encompasses various USDA agencies, state land-grant universities, and industry participants. The arrival of ASR has implications for several public policies including pest control research (particularly the development of resistant varieties), pesticide regulation, disaster assistance, and crop insurance.
Peanut Program: Evolution from Supply Management to Market Orientation
No Description Available.
Comparing Quota Buyout Payments for Peanuts and Tobacco
The purpose of this analysis is to provide a generally consistent comparison of the benefits provided to peanut quota holders and producers and proposed benefits concerning tobacco. It is not the intention of this analysis to attempt to determine the appropriate size of these buyout payments.
U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues
This report includes three principal sections: a description of U.S. international food aid programs under current law; a discussion of several important policy issues related to U.S. international food aid; and a description of Administration and congressional proposals intended to change the nature of U.S. food international aid.
Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agriculture Implications
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.
Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status
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, the Defense Supply Center (DCSP) 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. This report will describe the origin, authority, and policy in military food procurement.
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues
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.
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses the recent development in different programs administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the goal to promote agricultural exports and to provide food aid. These programs include direct export subsidies, export market development, export credit guarantees, and foreign food aid.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011
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.