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

Description: 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.
Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Concerns in Agricultural Trade

Description: This report categorizes, describes, and in some cases quantifies these barriers on a country-by-country basis. Sixty-two major trading partners are covered in the 2008 report.10 Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are generally detailed in each country’s profile and, where feasible, their impacts on U.S. exports are quantified by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Date: December 15, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The "Farm Bill" in Brief

Description: 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.
Date: December 19, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
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.
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Description: 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.
Date: April 21, 2010
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Description: This report discusses the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as amended by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246), which states that many U.S. retailers must begin providing country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, peanuts, chicken, ginseng, pecans, and macadamia nuts.
Date: September 16, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hog Prices: Questions and Answers

Description: This report discusses price changes in the pork industry. In late 1998, the lowest hog prices in decades created a crisis in the pork industry and prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to take a series of actions to assist producers, including direct cash payments, and the purchase of extra pork products to reduce market supplies. The industry sought additional aid as low prices persisted into 1999.
Date: December 15, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill

Description: 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.
Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments

Description: 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.
Date: July 20, 2001
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Program Spending: What's Permitted Under the Uruguay Round Agreements

Description: 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.
Date: March 13, 2001
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farmers' Markets: The USDA Role

Description: 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.
Date: January 3, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: Previewing a Farm Bill

Description: Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. Nonetheless, various policy developments have brought farm bill programs into play during the 109th Congress. For example, the FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95) directs the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to find five-year savings of $3 billion from programs under their jurisdiction. Hearings on a 2007 farm bill itself could begin later in 2005. This report will be updated if events warrant; for a more extensive discussion of the issues, see CRS Report RL33037, Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill.
Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: Prospective Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture Support Mechanisms in the European Union: A Comparison with the United States

Description: 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.
Date: July 31, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Identification and Meat Traceability

Description: 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.
Date: March 7, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Identification and Meat Traceability

Description: 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.
Date: September 2, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Rendering: Economics and Policy

Description: 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.
Date: March 17, 2004
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or "Mad Cow Disease") in North America: A Chronology of Selected Events

Description: This report provides a chronology of selected events leading up to and following the discoveries of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) in North America. These are primarily regulatory, legal, and congressional developments that are frequently referenced in the ongoing policy debate. The chronology does not contain entries for the introduction of the many BSE-related bills introduced into this or previous Congresses, except for those in recent years where committee or floor action has occurred. This report, which will be updated if significant developments ensue, is intended to be used alongside other CRS reports that provide more background and context for the BSE policy debate, and that cover many specific legislative proposals.
Date: November 8, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Description: Federal law requires most imports, including many food items, to bear labels informing the “ultimate purchaser” of their country of origin. Meats, produce, and several other raw agricultural products generally have been exempt. The omnibus farm law (P.L. 107-171) signed on May 13, 2002, contains a requirement that many retailers provide, starting on September 30, 2004, country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on fresh fruits and vegetables, red meats, seafood, and peanuts. The program is voluntary until then. USDA on October 8, 2002, issued guidelines for the voluntary labeling program.
Date: October 11, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department