Panel acts to delay beef imports, protect food companies

House appropriators have agreed to block imports of fresh beef from regions of Brazil and Argentina until the Agriculture Department does further study on the potential risk from foot and mouth disease. The House Appropriations Committee, acting on its fiscal 2016 spending bill for the USDA and Food and Drug Administration, also agreed to provide food companies some protection from lawsuits over trans fat. An amendment approved by the panel would allow partially hydrogenated oils to continue to be classified as “generally recognized as safe” until the end of a three-year transition period ordered by FDA. But the committee defeated a Democratic effort to extend a ban on the slaughter of horses and protected a provision sought by the cotton industry to allow farmers to exceed the $125,000-per-grower limit on farm subsidies.<more>

July 8, 2015 Agri-Pulse