Pending Federal Actions
Bill Introduced to Restrict Labeling on Meat Alternatives
A new bill, the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act, would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that any “imitation meat food product, beef, or beef product” both be labeled with the word “imitation” immediately before or after the name of the food in uniform size and prominence and include a “statement that clearly indicates the product is not derived from or does not contain meat.”
Passed Municipal Actions
New York City Bans the Sale of Foie Gras
The New York City Council has passed a measure that outlaws the retail and food service establishments from possessing or selling foie gras, beginning in 2022. The violation for the law ranges from $500 to $2000 per violation. It is reported that the council also passed a number of other animal protection measures, including setting minimum and maximum temperature requirements for horses used to pull carriages.
Case Law Updates
Federal Case Law Updates
Judge Restores Gillnet Ban to Protect Right Whales
A D.C. federal judge ruled that the National Marine Fisheries’ decision to allow gillnet fishing violated the Endangered Species Act because the decision was made without properly evaluating the impact it would have on right whales.
Judge Denies Class Certification in Tainted Dog Food Case
A federal judge in California denied plaintiffs’ request to be certified as a class bringing action against Champion Petfoods USA for allegedly offering false advertising that suggested—contrary to the truth—that there were no heavy metals in the products. The judge denied the request because of the variations in labeling between different food varieties.
State Case Law Updates
Minnesota Court of Appeals Requires GHG Emissions Evaluation of Dairy Expansion
In an unpublished decision released in October, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the state’s pollution control agency’s denial of an environmental group’s petition to ensure that the agency consider the greenhouse gas emission impacts of a proposed dairy expansion was arbitrary and capricious. The case is nonprecedential, but shows an increase in at least one court’s willingness to consider the argument that even environmental agencies are not properly considering the environmental impacts of animal agriculture.
NOAA Releases Draft EIS on Elkhorn Reserve Boundary Expansion
FWS Extends Comment Period for Incidental Take Permits Under the ESA
The Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it is extending the public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement and habitat conservation plan with regard to incidental take permit applications under the Endangered Species Act from the Deschutes Basin Board of Control and the City of Prineville. The comment period is now open until December 3, 2019.
NOAA Announces Public Hearing on Import of Beluga Whales for Research
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced it will hold a public hearing on an application it received to import five beluga whales from Canada to Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for purposes of scientific research. The meeting will be held in Silver Spring, Maryland on November 8, 2019, and the agency is accepting written comments on the application until December 2, 2019.
House Committee Seeks Input on Role of Agriculture in Climate Change
The House Democrats’ climate panel held a hearing addressing the relationship between agriculture and climate change, exploring what steps could be taken in the sector to address the crisis. Discussion mostly centered around carbon storage, helping farmers and ranchers adapt to climate changes, and forest management. The committee is asking for input on what it can do with regard to agriculture and the climate crisis until November 22, 2019.