Top government news stories in 2011 - The Packer

Top government news stories in 2011

12/23/2011 10:25:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

Listed in no particular order.

  •  The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services release new MyPlate dietary guidelines, urging Americans to “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.”
  • The House of Representatives passes legislation to fund federal agencies through the end of fiscal year 2011 by cutting the Women, Infants and Children feeding program by $750 million and jeopardizing full funding of fruit and vegetable vouchers.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal for a voluntary national leafy greens marketing agreement includes more regions and more grower board members than trade associations originally outlined.
  • A federal study criticizes Food and Drug Administration recall procedures.
  • An agreement to resolve the cross-border trucking issue between the U.S. and Mexico in October removes half of the retaliatory duties Mexico has applied to $2.4 billion worth of U.S. exports, including several fresh produce commodities.
  • Parterning with first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, retailers Supervalu, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and others pledge to open or expand more than 1,500 stores in food deserts.
  • Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, delays an amendment that would challenge the USDA’s proposal to limit potatoes in school meals.
  • The mandatory E-Verify bill, H.R. 2885, gains approval out of committee by a 22-13 vote, dissolving any pretense that the Legal Workforce Act might accommodate needs of the agriculture industry.
  • National debt issues impede Capitol Hill lobbying and the future of farm labor is a major focus of the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Public Policy Conference.
  •  Legislators say tomato sauce in pizza and frozen potatoes such as french fries should still count as vegetables in school meals, although the fresh produce industry lauds an increase in the funding of the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.

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