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Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Department (USDA)

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October 2016: "Food companies using the US Department of Agriculture’s certified organic label must prove that products are at least 95% organic. But for non-food items, such as shampoos, cosmetics, and textiles—there is no such certification process."

April 2011: "At the Agriculture Department, the budget deal spared another untouchable: the Market Access Program."

December 2010: 'The law defined allowable agricultural exports as any product on a list maintained by the Agriculture Department, which went beyond traditional humanitarian aid like seed and grain and included products like beer, soda, utility poles and more loosely defined categories of “food commodities” and “food additives.”'

December 2010: "The law will affect the 80 percent of the food supply that is regulated by the F.D.A. However, it does not apply to most meat and poultry products, which are regulated by the Agriculture Department."

July 2010: "WASHINGTON — The White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized profusely and repeatedly on Wednesday to a black midlevel official for the way she had been humiliated and forced to resign her Agriculture Department job after a conservative blogger put out a misleading video clip that seemed to show her admitting antipathy toward a white farmer."

April 2010: "The federal government promised last month to pay more than $1 billion by the end of March to tens of thousands of black farmers who had filed decades-old discrimination complaints against the U.S. Agriculture Department."

May 2009: "Federal district courts in the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, which have jurisdiction over Western states, have issued contradictory rulings on the matter. In its statement, the Agriculture Department said those rulings had created confusion, making it difficult for the Forest Service, a department agency that rules on logging and road requests, to manage the lands it oversees."

April 2009: 'While it’s tough to pin down exactly how much tax revenue goes to farmer’s markets, many do receive some federal, state, or municipal support in the form of grants, subsidized administrators, or marketing, according to the USDA. One perk for consumers: As part of its promotion of farmer’s markets nationwide, the USDA keeps a detailed, state-by-state listing of them at www.ams 2. “Our produce is a mite pricey.”'

May 2008: "The Agriculture Department proposed on Tuesday banning from the food supply all cows that are too sick or injured to walk, a long-sought victory for advocates of animal welfare."

May 2008: "That phone call set off a chain reaction of Congressional inquiries and a Bush administration study, still in progress, over how agencies manage lawmakers’ pet projects once they are written into spending laws. Mr. Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska, later found out that the Department of Agriculture had also withheld about 10 percent of a $222,000 earmark to the university for drought research."

May 2008: "The USDA plays a central and often inconsistent role on the issue. It is the department behind the pyramid that shows Americans how fruits and vegetables should be consumed more than fatty foods, yet it supports companies' development of products that flout those guidelines. Pizza Hut's stuffed-crust pizza is among critics' ready examples."

May 2008: "Grocery stores discard products because of spoilage or minor cosmetic blemishes. Restaurants throw away what they don’t use. And consumers toss out everything from bananas that have turned brown to last week’s Chinese leftovers. In 1997, in one of the few studies of food waste, the Department of Agriculture estimated that two years before, 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten. Fresh produce, milk, grain products and sweeteners made up two-thirds of the waste. An update is under way."

May 2008: "The USDA website,, shows five key staffers who once worked for the National Cattleman's Beef Association - the industry's most powerful lobbying group. The man in charge of the lobbying arm of the nation's meat packers was also a top USDA official."

October 2007: “We’re beginning to feel that the 2002 [meat contamination--Ed.] guidelines have not been enacted to the maximum,” Dr. Richard A. Raymond, the Agriculture Department’s under secretary for food safety, said in an interview in Washington.

October 2007: Buying local: Make it legal for schools to seek out locally grown food. The USDA says federal regulations currently prohibit schools from showing geographic preferences when purchasing food, though others disagree.

October 2007: New data from the Department of Agriculture show that the prices paid for food for the main United States food aid program have risen 35 percent in 2006 and 2007. Ms. Sheeran told the panel that the World Food Program is projecting that what it pays for food will increase 35 percent in the next two years.

October 2007: The Agriculture Department, in anticipation of the report, said Tuesday that it would immediately require all business-class travel to be approved by its chief financial officer. The department is also opening an investigation, a spokeswoman said.

July 2007: The U.S. Department of Agriculture visits other countries to certify that meat-packing plants and local inspectors are operating under acceptable standards, before allowing those products into this country. But the FDA doesn't have the budget or legal authority to do the same for most other types of food.

July 2007: The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over seven years to the estates or companies of deceased farmers and routinely failed to conduct reviews required to ensure that the payments were properly made, according to a government report.

January 2007: Officials at the Agriculture Department, which oversees the definition and certification of organic food, say the question will not be fully settled until it is considered by an advisory panel, perhaps by this spring. At that meeting, they predict, opponents will probably win, and the term 'organic clone' will join the ranks of word pairs that simply do not belong together.

February 2007: The proposal unveiled by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns was the administration's opening move in what will be a lengthy tug of war with Congress over a new multi-year farm bill. The current bill, one of the most generous to farmers in history, expires Sept. 30.

December 2006: Most U.S. dairy farmers work within a government system set up in the 1930s to give thousands of small dairies a guaranteed market for their milk and to even out prices for consumers. Farmers who participate in regional pools operated by the federal government or the states deliver raw milk to cooperatives or food processors. They get a guaranteed price, whether the milk ends up in a gallon jug, cheese, butter or ice cream. In Arizona and other federally regulated regions, the Agriculture Department uses a formula to set the price processors pay for raw milk, issuing 'milk marketing orders.'

August 2006: Environmental groups yesterday called for a moratorium on open-air tests of crops genetically engineered to produce medicines and vaccines, citing a federal court's conclusion last week that the Agriculture Department repeatedly broke the law by allowing companies to plant such crops on hundred of acres in Hawaii.

May 2006: For the first time, the Department of Agriculture is proposing that consumers be told which supermarkets and retail outlets have sold meat or poultry that is subject to a recall because of safety concerns.

May 2004: 1. 'Organic isn't what you think it is . . .' What comes to mind when you think 'organic'? Despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Agriculture laid down standards in 2002 for what does and does not constitute organic food, consumers still seem to be confused. In a 2003 survey sponsored by Austin, Tex.-based Whole Foods Market, 60 percent of respondents said they believe organics contain more nutrients than conventional food. In fact, evidence for extra nutrients in organics is debatable.

May 2004: Under a 1913 law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has sole authority to license "veterinary biologics," such as diagnostic tests. So far, the agency has licensed the mad cow test kits only to itself. They can be used only by USDA scientists or at seven USDA-approved labs.,1,1288019.story?coll=la-home-nation


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Organization Aug 17, 2006
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Organization Oct 19, 2006
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Organization Feb 4, 2007
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Organization Jun 11, 2006
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Forest Service Organization Mar 1, 2005
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Organization Feb 4, 2007
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Organization Jun 20, 2005
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Executive Branch Organization Mar 1, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Bruce L. Gardner Person Oct 19, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Dan Glickman Person
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Mike Johanns Esq. Person Jun 11, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) Susan Sechler Person Jun 27, 2006
Advised by (past or present) Bob Stallman Person Sep 7, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Ann M. Veneman Person
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Secretary Tom Vilsack Esq. Person Apr 1, 2010
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Vice President Henry Wallace Person Jan 7, 2013

Articles and Resources

116 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Previous 20] [Next 20]   [End]

Date Resource Read it at:
Jul 03, 2009 Purity of Federal 'Organic' Label Is Questioned

QUOTE: the USDA [organic food] program's shortcomings mean that consumers, who at times must pay twice as much for organic products, are not always getting what they expect: foods without pesticides and other chemicals, produced in a way that is gentle to the environment.

Washington Post
Jun 27, 2009 Rebellion on the Range Over a Cattle ID Plan

QUOTE: Ranchers like Mr. [Jay] Platt have been joined by small-scale family farmers and other agrarian advocates to oppose the national animal identification system.... The extra cost of radio tags, scanners and filing reports when animals change premises would be crushing, some smaller producers say.

New York Times
May 28, 2009 Directive Limits Activity in Roadless Areas of Forests

QUOTE: the Obama administration said Thursday that no new timber-cutting or road project could begin in roadless areas of national forests without the permission of the secretary of agriculture....Timothy J. Preso, a staff lawyer for Earthjustice said the directive took power “out of the hands of local forestry officials who in many cases have approved these projects.”

New York Times
Apr 24, 2009 10 Things Your Farmer's Market Won't Tell You

QUOTE: 2. “Our produce is a mite pricey"....3. “These ‘local’ tomatoes have more SkyMiles than Derek Jeter"....7. “These days even supermarkets sell cactus leaves"....9. “Our samples are about as sanitary as a bowl of bar nuts.”

Smart Money
Nov 19, 2008 City Room: Costco and Food Stamps

QUOTE: Farmers’ markets accept food stamps. The Harlem Fairway accepts food stamps. So does Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn. Even Whole Foods, which has been trying to shake that “Whole Paycheck” image, accepts food stamps. But Costco, the warehouse retailer that made its reputation as the anti-Wal-Mart, generous not only to Costco’s customers but to its workers as well, does not.

New York Times
Jul 23, 2008 How Whole Is Whole Grain?: A settlement between Sara Lee and the Center for Science in the Public Interest may lead to more accurate claims about whole grains on food labels

QUOTE: The group had threatened to sue Sara Lee in December, saying that the "whole grain goodness" sign splashed on Soft & Smooth packaging was misleading because the bread was made primarily of refined white flour.

Jul 12, 2008 Decisions Shut Door on Bush Clean-Air Steps

QUOTE: In the morning, a federal appeals court struck down the cornerstone of the administration’s strategy to control industrial air pollution by agreeing with arguments by the utility industry that the E.P.A. had exceeded its authority when it established the Clean Air Interstate Rule in 2005. The court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, said the rule, which set new requirements for major pollutants, had “fatal flaws.”

New York Times
Jul 04, 2008 Some Seek Guidelines to Reflect Vitamin D's Benefits

QUOTE: A flurry of recent research indicating that Vitamin D may have a dizzying array of health benefits has reignited an intense debate over whether federal guidelines for the "sunshine vitamin" are outdated, leaving millions unnecessarily vulnerable to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.

Washington Post
Jul 03, 2008 E. Coli Illnesses Prompt Beef Recall

QUOTE: The company, Nebraska Beef Ltd. of Omaha, recalled the beef produced since May after some of its products, sold by the Kroger Company with sell-by dates of May 21 to July 5, was linked to reports of illnesses in Ohio and Michigan, the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said on Tuesday. In addition to Michigan, Nebraska Beef reported some of the contaminated products were distributed in Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. Other beef products were reportedly sent to Colorado and Texas for further processing, although it was not immediately clear whether any contaminated beef was sold in the other states.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2008 You're On Candid Camera: The Bush administration now wants to watch you from the sky. (Terror Watch)

QUOTE: expanding domestic use of picture-taking spy satellites...[Secretary Michael Chertoff] promised strict procedures to protect the rights of Americans, including obtaining court authorization for law enforcement-related surveillance operations where appropriate. Despite Chertoff's assurances, however, Harman said that Congress probably would not fully approve the program until the administration is more explicit about how it would operate.

Jun 11, 2008 FEMA gives away $85 million of supplies for Katrina victims

QUOTE: The material, from basic kitchen goods to sleeping necessities, sat in warehouses for two years before the Federal Emergency Management Agency's giveaway to federal and state agencies this year. James McIntyre, FEMA's acting press secretary, said that FEMA was spending more than $1 million a year to store the material and that another agency wanted the warehouses torn down, so "we needed to vacate them."

CNN (Cable News Network)
May 31, 2008 Administration Moves to Avert a Late Rules Rush

QUOTE: While the White House called the deadlines “simply good government,” some legal specialists said the policy would ensure that rules the administration wanted to be part of Mr. Bush’s legacy would be less subject to being overturned by his successor. Moreover, they said, the deadlines could allow the administration to avoid thorny proposals that are likely to come up in the next few months, including environmental and safety rules that have been in the regulatory pipeline for years.

New York Times
May 23, 2008 U.S. in Difficult Position Over Japan’s Rice Plan

QUOTE: They say that the Japanese plan risks setting off a trade dispute with the United States — and may barely dent the price of rice. Yet opposing the Japanese plan could put the United States in a delicate diplomatic position. The price of rice, the most important staple food of the world’s poor, has risen faster than any other cereal, nearly tripling this year alone, according to rice traders. The high prices have caused protests in many countries and, according to World Bank officials, pushed 100 million people back into poverty.

New York Times
May 21, 2008 U.S. Moves to Prohibit Beef From Sick or Injured Cows

QUOTE: The animals had fallen after passing an initial inspection by government inspectors. Under the downer exemption, a veterinarian could have been called to reinspect the animals and perhaps deem them healthy enough to slaughter. But the exemption apparently encouraged laxity; in some instances at Westland/Hallmark, downer cows were sent to slaughter without the reinspection.

New York Times
May 20, 2008 Not All Earmarks Are Paid in Full, and a Senator Wants to Know Why

QUOTE: While many of his questions remain unanswered, Mr. Nelson says that federal agencies have been taking a cut from earmarked funds for years, some for unrelated purposes as varied as staff salaries and postage stamps. Mr. Nelson calls the practice “earmark skimming,” and lately he has become increasingly vocal over what he describes as unaccountable federal bureaucrats diverting millions of dollars into agency “slush funds

New York Times
May 19, 2008 Inertia at the Top: Belated, Patchy Response Further Hamstrung By Inadequate Federal Attention, Experts Say ("Young Lives at Risk: Our Overweight Children" part 2 of 5)

QUOTE: "The sense of this as a national health priority just doesn't come through," said Jeffrey P. Koplan...The top recommendation of that seminal report was for the government to convene a high-level, interdepartmental task force to guide a coordinated response. No such body has been assembled.

Washington Post
May 18, 2008 The World: One Country's Table Scraps, Another Country's Meal

QUOTE: You’d never know it if you saw what was ending up in your landfill. As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study — and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.

New York Times
May 14, 2008 Lawmaker: Nation's food system is collapsing

QUOTE: As nearly 12 million cattle nationwide are being readied for slaughter this year to satisfy America's passion for beef, new questions have arisen about the safety of the nation's meat supply and the agency that oversees it.

CNN (Cable News Network)
May 06, 2008 Farm Bill Negotiators Cut Funds for Overseas School Lunch Program

QUOTE: House and Senate negotiators bargaining over a new farm bill have reduced funding for a key school lunch program for poor children abroad and agreed to sharply expand nutrition programs for low-income families and children in the United States.

Washington Post
May 01, 2008 Report Questions Quality of Medical Care for Workers in War Zones (Federal Diary)

QUOTE: The Defense Department, for example, has issued a memo that provides medical care for injured Defense civil service employees at the same level and scope of that provided to military personnel. But that directive may not be sufficient or properly implemented, the report said.

Washington Post

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