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Omnibus Bill Signed into Law

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

Congress last week passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that will fund the government through September 2016 and avert a government shutdown. The House voted 316 to 113 to approve the measure, while the Senate passed the bill by a margin of 65 to 33. President Obama on Friday signed the legislation into law. In addition to repealing the country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef and pork, the legislation includes several provisions specifically related to food and agriculture policy. The omnibus, for instance, calls for a comprehensive review of the process used to draft the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the National Academy of Medicine and blocks the release or implementation of any part of the guidelines not based on significant scientific agreement, limiting recommendations in scope to nutritional and dietary information. The bill also bars the Food Safety and Inspection Service from spending any money on horse slaughter, effectively banning the practice in the U.S. Meanwhile, the legislation addresses the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban on artificial trans fats, declaring that partially hydrogenated oils cannot be considered unsafe or adulterated until FDA’s formal phase-out starts in June 2018. 

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