Green light for USDA’S pork slaughter modernization rule

Source: National Pork Producers Council
At a pork industry meeting this week, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says its modernization of pork slaughter rule will move forward. The National Pork Producers Council supports the rule, which will increase efficiency of the federal inspection process, encourage adoption of new food safety technologies and increase plant capacity. The rule calls for certain food safety responsibilities to be shifted from federal inspectors to packing plant workers.

Dan Kovich, deputy director of science and technology, represented the NPPC at the USDA meeting and says the FSIS is expected to send the rule to the Office of Management and Budget soon as the next step in its implementation.

‘TPP 11’ agree to carry on, set November deadline for talks
Four months after the United States announced it would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the remaining 11 TPP countries agreed to “launch a process to assess options to bring the comprehensive, high-quality agreement into force expeditiously, including how to facilitate membership for the original signatories.”

The countries agreed on a Nov. 10 deadline at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in Vietnam. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the TPP-11 effort wouldn’t draw the United States back to TPP and prioritized the need for bilateral negotiations. “TPP 11 can make their own decisions, and the United States makes it decisions,” he says.

Iowa governor confirmed as U.S. ambassador to China
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad this week was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China. The confirmation ends Branstad’s 22-year tenure as governor, the longest serving in U.S. history. Branstad eased through his confirmation process, drawing bipartisan support.

President Trump nominated Branstad based on his experience on trade and agricultural issues and his long-standing relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds was sworn in as governor on Wednesday, following Branstad’s resignation.

NPPC files extension on air emissions case; Senators weigh in
NPPC on Monday sought an extension from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to file a motion seeking a re-hearing of an April 11 decision that would create a new requirement for livestock farms to report their air emissions.

The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association joined the NPPC in filing for the extension. Previously, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a motion with the same court seeking an extension to request that the court delay issuing its final order, which would apply an emergency reporting requirement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act to farms for day-to-day routine emissions from manure.

If the court does not grant the requests, its ruling will likely become final on or about June 2, requiring livestock farmers to comply with emission reporting requirements. Also this week, 28 senators signed onto a letter, urging EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, to challenge the D.C. Circuit’s decision and to “provide America’s farmers and ranchers with regulatory relief through agency directive and rulemaking.”

CERCLA is used to recover natural resources damages caused by hazardous substances; EPCRA is for use by state and local emergency responders when dealing with hazardous chemical releases. “Congress never imagined normal odors and emissions … of livestock, poultry, and egg production would somehow be captured” under the laws, the lawmakers wrote.

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