Congressional Research Service Reports - 187 Matching Results

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What Is the “Farm Bill”?
This report discusses the farm bill, which renewed about every five years, governs federal farm and food policy.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
The 2002 farm bill required retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, peanuts, and seafood by September 30, 2004. Congress twice postponed implementation for all bu seafood; COOL now must be implemented by September 30, 2008. This report describes the current status of the COOL issue, as well as the ongoing discussion of additional COOL requirements for other foods and food ingredients as part of the proposed Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act overhaul.
Rising Food Prices and Global Food Needs: The U.S. Response
This report discusses rising food prices that are having impacts across the world, but especially among poor people in the low-income developing countries. The report addresses several issues, such as: Why Are Food Prices Increasing? How Countries Have Responded? Food Aid Funding Shortfalls, and the U.S. Response to Food Aid Funding Shortfalls.
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).
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.
What Is the “Farm Bill”?
This report discusses the farm bill, which renewed about every five years, governs federal farm and food policy.
Food Safety: Provisions in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007
This report reviews the food safety provisions of the statute of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, their history, and certain issues surrounding their passage.
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 Budget for Fiscal Year 2008
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.
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 “Farm Bill” in Brief
This report discusses the farm bill, which renewed about every five years, governs federal farm and food policy. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171) is the most recent omnibus farm bill, covering a wide range of programs including commodity price and income support, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
The “Farm Bill” in Brief
This report briefly discusses 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. These policies can be and sometimes are modified through free-standing authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
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.
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.
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.
International Efforts to Control the Spread of Avian Influenza (H5N1) Virus: Affected Countries' Responses
No Description Available.
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.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
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.
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.
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.
Sugar Policy Issues
No Description Available.
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2006, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
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.
Meat and Poultry Inspection: Background and Selected Issues
This report discusses the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for inspecting most meat, poultry, and processed egg products for safety, wholesomeness, and proper labeling.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
H.R. 2744, USDA’s FY2006 appropriation, again postpones rules requiring many retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, and peanuts — until September 30, 2008. Mandatory COOL for seafood was finalized on September 30, 2004. Some in Congress still strongly support mandatory COOL, and say they voted against final passage of H.R. 2744 because of the delay. Others counter that COOL should be voluntary. Several pending bills would alter the program including H.R. 2068, H.R. 2744, S. 135, S. 1300, S. 1331, and S. 1333.
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.
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.
Food Labeling: Allergy Information
Media attention to food allergies is the result of the recent tracking of food allergy sufferers and a clear rise in the number of affected individuals. Several efforts are underway to improve the ability of individuals who have a food allergy to avoid products that cause symptoms that can range from mild to serious. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Allergy Issues Alliance each have released guidelines to address the issues of labeling and cross-contamination. Nine state attorneys general have petitioned FDA for stricter rules, which are also supported by some consumer groups. The FY2002 agriculture appropriations bill directed FDA to address and report on cross-contamination; however, this report had not yet been submitted. Most recently, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-282) was enacted on August 2, 2004. This report will provide background on food allergies and review efforts to provide improved labeling information for food allergy sufferers; it will be updated to reflect legislative or other activity.
Federal Food Assistance: Hurricane Katrina
This report discusses the federal food assistance programs for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, making them automatically eligible for maximum benefits. It also is providing substantial amounts of direct food aid drawn from its commodity stocks.
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.
Dietary Supplements: International Standards and Trade Agreements
The dietary supplement industry has long been concerned about international activities that could have a potential impact on supplement trade. As originally proposed, FDA reform legislation contained provisions on mutual agreements and global harmonization that would have applied to most products under FDA jurisdiction. However, Congress explicitly exempted supplements from the final provisions of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-115), which means that these products are not part of on-going trade discussions.
Child Labor in West African Cocoa Production: Issues and U.S. Policy
This report outlines how and where cocoa is produced, discusses the use of abusive child labor in the industry, efforts by Congress to counter abusive child labor — including the Harkin-Engel Protocol, and initiatives by affected governments and international organizations to address the problem. This report also provides possible policy options that might undertaken to stop the use of child labor in cocoa production.
Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status
In an effort to reduce costs, adopt commercial practices, and gain technological advantages, the DOD Food Policy Council directed the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP) to establish a common food management system. Under DLA, DSCP 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; under DSCP, the Subsistence Directorate serves as the operational manager for all food operations. This report will describe the origin, authority, policy, and military food acquisition process.
Genetically Engineered Fish and Seafood
Genetic engineering techniques allow the manipulation of inherited traits to modify organisms. Genetically modified (GM) fish and seafood products are currently under development and may offer potential benefits such as increasing aquaculture productivity and addressing human health concerns. However, some critics of this rapidly evolving field are concerned that current technological and regulatory safeguards are inadequate to protect the environment and ensure public acceptance of these products. This report discusses various regulatory and environmental concerns regarding GM fish and seafood, then discusses the possible benefits and disadvantages of their use.
Animal Identification and Meat Traceability
This report focuses on animal ID and meat traceability. However, traceability, and the somewhat different but related concepts of “identity preservation” and “product segregation,” also pertain to other agricultural products (e.g., grains) and issues (e.g., genetically modified, or GM, crops; the labeling of GM foods; and the production and labeling of organic foods)
Food Safety Issues in the 109th Congress
No Description Available.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
The 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as modified by the FY2004 USDA appropriation (P.L. 108-199) mandates retail country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, and peanuts starting September 30, 2006, and for seafood starting September 30, 2004. Some in Congress still strongly support mandatory COOL, especially after discoveries since 2003 of “mad cow” disease in four Canadian-born cattle. Others counter that COOL is a marketing, not an animal or human health, concern and should be voluntary.
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2005, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
International Food Aid: U.S. and Other Donor Contributions
No Description Available.
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2005, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami: Food Aid Needs and the U.S. Response
No Description Available.
Sugar Policy 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.
Food Safety Issues in the 109th Congress
No Description Available.
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.
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.
Meat and Poultry Inspection Issues
This report discusses the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for inspecting most meat, poultry, and processed egg products for safety, wholesomeness, and proper labeling.
Farm Commodity Programs: Honey
This report discusses the honey price support program, which was first created by the Agricultural Act of 1949 (P.L. 81-439) to provide market price stability for honey producers and to encourage maintenance of sufficient bee populations for pollination