Agriculture Appropriations Bill Clears Important VoteWednesday, July 15, 2015
(North American Meat Institute)
The House Committee on Appropriations last week approved the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, which provides $143.9 billion in funding for agriculture and nutrition programs. The bill funded USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at levels comparable to FY 2015, allocating $1 billion to FSIS and $871 million to APHIS, while also appropriating $2.7 billion for agricultural research programs.
The legislation also includes language that would require USDA to limit the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) to matters of diet and nutrition, would mandate that scientific evidence only be included if it is considered “Grade 1: Strong” by the Nutrition Evidence Library’s grading system and would require USDA and HHS to release draft guidelines for a public comment period of no less than 90 days, followed by an agency review period of at least 60 days. The legislation would delay the importation of beef from Brazil and Argentina, requiring USDA to first conduct an additional safety assessment of beef from those two countries, as well as site visits of all plants that would export beef to the U.S. Meanwhile, a third provision would prohibit funding of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center until USDA certifies to Congress that the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has updated its animal care policies such that all ARS research facilities conducting animal research have a functioning Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
The bill will now proceed to the House floor, where a vote has not yet been scheduled.share on facebook share on twitter