To label or not to label. Do beef consumers have a preference of the origins of their beef? In this blog post, 2L Andrew Bocanumenth explores labeling in the beef industry.
In 2016, after years of discussion and debate, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) issued a final rule that would “make it easier for small contract farmers…to sue meat-packing or processing companies that engage in anticompetitive practices." In October 2017, however, the USDA withdrew the rule.
As long as a USDA-licensed animal exhibitor fills out the correct paperwork on time, he or she can continue to exhibit exotic animals, despite recorded violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Unless an exhibitor is convicted of a violation, the USDA cannot revoke his or her license. The USDA took notice and comment on changing this regulation to make it more difficult to keep a license if an exhibitor is found violating animal welfare laws.
For those not well versed in science jargon, CRISPR-Cas is a genome-editing technology that allows the user to precisely cut out sections of DNA. Not surprisingly, scientific technology is moving faster than the gears of the political process can turn. The FDA and the USDA have realized that CRISPR is coming whether they are ready or not. But the agencies are going different directions on whether to regulate the organisms that undergo CRISPR alterations.