Daily Harvest -- 9/5/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA inspector general finds 67 percent increase in overpayments
- The USDA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported today that it found a 67 percent increase in “high-dollar” overpayments in FY 2012 compared to the previous fiscal year.
Agri-Pulse: Government report: USDA poultry inspection pilot used incomplete data
- A report from the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) released today indicates that USDA used incomplete data to formulate a proposed rule based on its poultry and meat plant inspection pilot.
Politico: Top meat safety official fires back at poultry change critics
- Elisabeth Hagen, undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sat down for an exclusive interview with POLITICO on Wednesday morning in the wake of a report from the Government Accountability Office that suggests the department should provide more information on the impact of its plans to expand its HACCP-based Improvement Project.
Wall Street Journal: Sugar Processor Takes Unusual Late Loan
- As the U.S. Department of Agriculture scrambles to boost sugar prices and keep processors from defaulting on government loans, one sugar company recently borrowed more.
Washington Post: ‘Food insecurity’ may be high, but states are still saying no to federal food-stamp support
- More than one in seven households were unable to get access to quality food at some point over the past three years, according to a new federal report. But that hasn’t stopped some states from refusing federal food-stamp support in an effort to coax recipients back to work.
New York Times: On the Edge of Poverty, at the Center of a Debate on Food Stamps
- As lawmakers cast the fight in terms of spending, nonpartisan budget analysts and hunger relief advocates warn of a spike in “food insecurity” among Americans who, as Mr. Rigsby said recently, “look like we are fine,” but live on the edge of poverty, skipping meals and rationing food.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Kansas to require able-bodied adults with no children to work before getting food stamps
- A federal waiver that allowed about 20,000 unemployed Kansas residents to receive food assistance will be allowed to expire at the end of the month, state officials announced Wednesday, saying they wanted to encourage work over welfare dependency.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA data shows 14.5 percent of U.S. households still food insecure
- USDA's Economics Research Service (ERS) yesterday released a report indicating that 14.5 percent of households were food insecure in 2012. Those 17.6 million households represent virtually the same numbers the country saw when it first dipped into recession four years before.
Wall Street Journal: The Greek Yogurt Culture War
- Over a third of the yogurt in a typical grocery store is now Greek, in varieties from low-fat to fruit-on-the-bottom to tubes for kids. Because shelf space is limited, the Greek squeeze means consumers have had to say goodbye to some varieties of traditional-style yogurt and more obscure flavors.
NPR: New York's Dairy Farmers Squeezed By Greek Yogurt Boom
- A federal formula sets the milk price farmers are paid by region. And that price because there are a bunch of Greek yogurt plants looking for milk nearby.
Washington Post: Alaska fishermen protest Wal-Mart decision about sale of seafood
- In 2011, the world’s largest retailer decided to only buy seafood that was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, a London-based organization; fish in a fishery improvement program; or any equivalent certification program, of which there currently are none, said Chris Schraeder, a Wal-Mart spokesman.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Financial Times: US likely to clear $4.7bn Smithfield deal
- (Subscriber only) The $4.7bn acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International is likely to be cleared by the US Treasury department, moving it a step closer to what would be the largest ever Chinese takeover of a US company, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wall Street Journal: CFTC Moves to Safeguard Customer Funds
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is closing in on rules designed to make the futures market safer in the wake of implosions at MF Global Holdings Ltd. and Peregrine Financial Group Inc.
Agri-Pulse: Commerce Department again finds against Vietnam on catfish
- The Commerce Department announced Tuesday that a ninth administrative review and an eleventh new shipper review of the antidumping duty on certain frozen fish fillets from Vietnam have found that the product has been sold below normal value.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Feinstein to ICE: Stop targeting farm workers
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to halt enforcement actions against illegal farm workers and their employers, saying continued prosecutions could cripple the agriculture sector.
Agri-Pulse: Next Up - Tractors for Africa
- Marshall Matz, founder of the World Food Program-USA, elaborates on former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan’s comment that, “I firmly believe that the transformation of African agriculture has moved beyond its tipping point.”
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