Department of Agriculture December 20, 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Confidentiality Pledge Revision Notice
Document Number: 2016-30658
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service
Under 44 U.S.C. 3506(e), and 44 U.S.C. 3501, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is renewing a revision to the confidentiality pledge it provides to its respondents under CIPSEA and Title 7, Chapter 55, Section 2276. This renewal will be valid for three years. The revision was originally approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 1, 2016 under an emergency request. The original request was warranted by the passage and implementation of provisions of the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2029, Division N, Title II, Subtitle B, Sec. 223), which permits and requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide federal civilian agencies' information technology systems with cybersecurity protection for their Internet traffic. More details on this announcement are presented in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Promotion
Document Number: 2016-30621
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This final rule implements Section 4018 of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Section 4018 created new limitations on the use of Federal funds authorized in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (FNA), for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) promotion and outreach activities. Specifically, Section 4018 of the 2014 Farm Bill prohibits the use of Federal funds appropriated in the FNA from being used for: recruitment activities designed to persuade an individual to apply for SNAP benefits; television, radio, or billboard advertisements that are designed to promote SNAP benefits and enrollment; or agreements with foreign governments designed to promote SNAP benefits and enrollment. The prohibition on using funds appropriated under the FNA for television, radio, or billboard advertisements does not apply to Disaster SNAP. Section 4018 also prohibits any entity that receives funds under the FNA from compensating any person engaged in outreach or recruitment activities based on the number of individuals who apply to receive SNAP benefits. Lastly, Section 4018 modifies Section 16(a)(4) of the FNA to prohibit the Federal government from paying administrative costs associated with recruitment activities designed to persuade an individual to apply for program benefits or that promote the program through television, radio, or billboard advertisements. This final rule also impacts the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), both of which receive funding and/or foods authorized under the FNA.
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils
Document Number: 2016-30600
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) are sponsoring a public meeting on January 24, 2017. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions that will be discussed at the 25th Session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 27-March 3, 2017. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and the FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 25th Session of the CCFO and to address items on the agenda.
Notice of Request for a New Information Collection: In-Home Food Safety Behaviors and Consumer Education: Annual Observational Study
Document Number: 2016-30599
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to collect information in the form of observational studies to inform the development of food safety communication products and to evaluate public health education and communication activities.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-30567
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Unfair Practices and Undue Preferences in Violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act
Document Number: 2016-30430
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), Packers and Stockyards Program (P&SP) is proposing to amend the regulations issued under the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended and supplemented (P&S Act). The proposed amendments will clarify the conduct or action by packers, swine contractors, or live poultry dealers that GIPSA considers unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive and a violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act. The proposed amendments will also identify criteria that the Secretary will consider in determining whether conduct or action by packers, swine contractors, or live poultry dealers constitutes an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage and a violation of section 202(b) of the P&S Act. This proposed rule identifies the conduct or action that is a per se violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act, includes an illustrative list of conduct or action, absent demonstration of a legitimate business justification, GIPSA believes is unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive and a violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act regardless of harm to competition, and clarifies that any conduct or action that harms or is likely to harm competition is a violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act. The proposed rule also includes criteria the Secretary will consider in determining whether conduct or action constitutes an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage and a violation of section 202(b) of the P&S Act.
Poultry Grower Ranking Systems
Document Number: 2016-30429
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), Packers and Stockyards Program (P&SP) is proposing to amend the regulations issued under the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended and supplemented (P&S Act). The proposed amendments will identify criteria that the Secretary may consider when determining whether a live poultry dealer's use of a poultry grower ranking system for ranking poultry growers for settlement purposes is unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive or gives an undue or unreasonable preference, advantage, prejudice, or disadvantage. The proposed amendments will also clarify that absent demonstration of a legitimate business justification, failing to use a poultry grower ranking system in a fair manner after applying the identified criteria is unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive and a violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act regardless of whether it harms or is likely to harm competition.
Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act
Document Number: 2016-30424
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), Packers and Stockyards Program (P&SP) is amending the regulations issued under the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended and supplemented (P&S Act). GIPSA is adding a paragraph addressing the scope of sections 202(a) and (b) of the P&S Act. This interim final rule clarifies that conduct or action may violate sections 202(a) and (b) of the P&S Act without adversely affecting, or having a likelihood of adversely affecting, competition. This interim final rule reiterates USDA's longstanding interpretation that not all violations of the P&S Act require a showing of harm or likely harm to competition. The regulations would specifically provide that the scope of section 202(a) and (b) encompasses conduct or action that, depending on their nature and the circumstances, can be found to violate the P&S Act without a finding of harm or likely harm to competition. This interim final rule finalizes a proposed amendment that GIPSA published on June 22, 2010. GIPSA is now publishing as an interim final rule what was proposed on June 22, 2010, with slight modifications, in order to allow additional comment on these provisions.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Decreased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30303
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that implemented a recommendation from the California Date Administrative Committee (committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the committee for the 2016-17 and subsequent crop years from $0.10 to $0.05 per hundredweight of dates handled under the marketing order (order). The committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of dates operating within the area of production. The interim rule was necessary to allow the committee to reduce its financial reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30302
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-2017 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.15 to $0.25 per ton of Washington cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of cherries operating within the production area. Assessments upon cherry handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the marketing order. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated.
Almonds Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
Document Number: 2016-30264
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-12-20
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (Board) for an increase of the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 through the 2018-19 crop years from $0.03 to $0.04 per pound of almonds handled under the marketing order (order). Of the $0.04 per pound assessment, 60 percent (or $0.024 per pound) is available as credit-back for handlers who conduct their own promotional activities. The assessment rate will return to $0.03 for the 2019-20 and subsequent crop years, and the amount available for handler credit- back will return to $0.018 per pound (60 percent). The Board locally administers the order and is comprised of growers and handlers of almonds grown in California. Assessments upon almond handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The crop year began on August 1 and ends on July 31. The $0.04 assessment rate will remain in effect until July 31, 2019. Beginning August 1, 2019, the assessment rate will return to $0.03 and will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Two comments period were provided to interested individuals. Comments will be addressed later in this document.