The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced import fee increases in order to recoup the cost of fee inspections conducted at U.S. ports of entry.  APHIS, which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), proposed the rule on April 25, 2014.  The proposal provides a 60-day comment period that will take into consideration all submitted comments.

An annual report released today meant to alarm consumers about pesticide residues and produce was swiftly and summarily refuted by the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF).  The list, known as the “dirty dozen,” purports to list the produce with highest residual pesticide amounts; however, the AFF issued a press release referencing findings of sound science and asked concerned consumers and the media to review several of the peer reviewed studies and government reports on the subject before coming to any conclusions regarding the list.

The State Water Board (SWB) will hold public meetings from May 5-8 to discuss groundwater issues as it relates to farming practices.  Specifically, the “Agriculture Expert Panel” will review how agriculture, farm management practices, irrigation and fertilizer use impacts groundwater.  The Panel consists of eight experts to assess existing agricultural nitrate programs and to develop recommendations that ensure ongoing efforts are protective of groundwater supply quality.  The SWB contracted with the Irrigation Training and Research Center to assemble the expert panel. The results of the Expert Panel will likely have a substantial impact on the next Ag Order.  As a result, participation in these public meetings is highly recommended.

 

Gail Delihant

Western Growers, joined by a coalition of California-based agricultural associations, filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in California’s Fifth District Court of Appeal in support of Gerawan Farming Inc.’s petition for a writ of review.  The writ raises statutory and constitutional challenges to the Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation (“MMC”) statute, and asks the court to vacate the Agricultural Labor Relations Board’s (“ALRB”) orders which compelled Gerawan into MMC and which would impose a contract on Gerawan (and its workers) with UFW.

 

Jason Resnick

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