USDA

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Nonprofit Founder, 46 Others Charged in $250M Scheme

It's the biggest pandemic-related fraud case to date

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors indicted 47 individuals in Minnesota on Tuesday in a sprawling $250 million scheme described as the largest pandemic-related fraud case to date. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feeding Our Future "was at the center of each indictment," which included charges of wire...

Mystery of Seal Strandings May Be Solved

Tests confirm dead seals in Maine had avian flu

(Newser) - The avian flu epidemic appears to have claimed its first known marine mammal victims in North America. The US Department of Agriculture has confirmed four Maine seals who died or had to be euthanized tested positive for the virus, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday. Officials tested the...

USDA Keeps 1.4 Billion Pounds of Cheese in Missouri Caves

It's not all 'government cheese,' at least not anymore

(Newser) - You might say Springfield, Missouri, is the cheese capital of America, not because it’s known for great cheese but because the USDA maintains a hoard of 1.4 billion pounds of cheese in caves beneath the town. The so-called Springfield Underground has been there for decades, but its exact...

Government Agents Killed 200 Animals an Hour in 2021

Critic slams USDA's Wildlife Services as 'taxpayer-funded wildlife slaughter'

(Newser) - A government agency killed more than 1.75 million animals across the country in 2021, in what it claims were necessary actions. New data shows the Wildlife Services branch of the US Department of Agriculture, which acts to "resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist,"...

GMO Foods Won't Be Marked That Way Under New Rules

Government replaces 'GMO' and 'GE' on labels with 'bioengineered'—or a QR code

(Newser) - Genetically modified foods are still available in grocery stores, but the process of identifying them has changed. Shoppers will no longer see labels marked "genetically engineered" or "genetically modified organisms." Instead of "GMO" or "GE," products will be marked "bioengineered" or include a...

Feds: Trade Aid From Trump Overpaid Corn Farmers by $3B

Farmers in the South were paid more per acre than those in the West, Northeast

(Newser) - The Trump administration overpaid corn farmers by about $3 billion in federal aid in 2019 and farmers in the South were paid more for the same crops than those elsewhere in the country, a federal watchdog agency has found. The Government Accountability Office said in a report released Monday that...

Critics Rip USDA's 'Inhumane' Killing of Wolf Pups in Idaho

Students tracking the pups, conservation groups blast culling, while agency defends it

(Newser) - For students at Idaho's Timberline High School, a wolf pack roaming nearby in Boise National Forest offered the opportunity to study the animals, and so they've tracked the group since 2003. This spring, though, a shocking find was made: eight pups in the pack were killed by none...

Food Stamps Get Biggest Increase in History

White House raises average monthly benefits from $121 to $157

(Newser) - The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families—the largest single increase in the program's history, per the AP . Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps—officially known as the SNAP program—will rise more...

New Dietary Guidelines Skip 2 Controversial Suggestions
New Dietary
Guidelines Skip
2 Controversial
Suggestions
in case you missed

New Dietary Guidelines Skip 2 Controversial Suggestions

USDA rejects idea to further cut alcohol and sugar intake, weighs in on breastfeeding

(Newser) - The official new dietary guidelines for Americans have been updated for the first time in five years, and they might be more notable for what they don't include. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the federal guidelines don't call for cuts in alcohol and sugar intake. Over the...

Many People Planted Those Mystery Seeds. Others Ate Them
Mystery Seeds a 'Much Larger'
Operation Than We Thought
in case you missed it

Mystery Seeds a 'Much Larger' Operation Than We Thought

Thousands of Americans may have planted them, while others admitted to eating them, per Vice

(Newser) - Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans planted the mystery seeds they received in the mail over the summer, against the advice of US authorities, while others decided to pop them in their mouths. That's according to Jason Koebler at Vice , who read through "thousands of internal emails" from state...

Seed Mystery Leads Amazon to Cut Off Foreign Sales in US

USDA is analyzing 2.5K of the packets sent to homes

(Newser) - Until the mystery of the unsolicited seed packets is solved, Amazon is throwing a wrench into the supply chain. Foreign sellers have been told they can no longer ship plant or seed products through its site into the US, the Wall Street Journal reports; the packets often have China postmarks....

Current Owner of Tiger King Zoo Gets More Bad News

Jeff Lowe just saw his animal exhibitor license suspended by the USDA

(Newser) - In June, a judge gave control of the Oklahoma zoo once run by "Joe Exotic" of Tiger King fame (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage), and now owned by Jeff Lowe, to the two men's nemesis, Carole Baskin. Now, more bad news for Lowe: The Department of Agriculture this week...

Feds Remove Wakanda From List of US Free Trade Partners

'Guess we're in a trade war with them too'

(Newser) - Bad news for importers of vibranium: Wakanda, the fictional African country from Black Panther, is no longer listed as a free trade agreement partner of the US. The US Department of Agriculture removed Wakanda from its Agricultural Tariff Tracker Wednesday after a researcher discovered that there were hundreds of entries...

Food Experts Warn: Don't Rinse That Turkey

And don't leave it to thaw at room temperature, either

(Newser) - Go ahead and rinse your cranberries, potatoes, and green beans. But food experts say don't—repeat don't—wash the turkey before popping it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day. Experts at the US Department of Agriculture say that could spread the germs lurking on your turkey—to be...

2M Pounds of Chicken Need to Be Thrown Away

Recall issued for Simmons products

(Newser) - Consumers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania should check their fridges for potentially contaminated poultry products, authorities say. A recall notice has been issued for chicken products from Simmons Prepared Foods Inc. produced from Oct. 21 through Nov. 4 over fears they may have been contaminated...

Trade War Brings Bonus Food to Schools

USDA is buying, giving away food to help farmers

(Newser) - School lunch menus already have Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. Now some may get Trade Mitigation Thursdays. This fall, some US school cafeterias are expecting shipments of free food, one little-known consequence of President Trump's trade disputes. The products are coming from the Department of Agriculture, which is giving...

USDA Chief: We're Nixing 'Loopholes' for Food Stamps

New proposal from Trump administration could kick 3.1M people out of SNAP program

(Newser) - A new proposal from the Trump administration Tuesday could cut more than 3 million people from the food stamps program. Per Reuters , the Department of Agriculture says a tightening of who qualifies for SNAP, aka the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, would save the federal government about $2.5 billion annually;...

Watchdog: USDA Carried Out 'Cannibal Cat' Experiments

Lawmakers want experiments—including dog remains being fed to cats—to end

(Newser) - Government scientists have fed dog remains to cats, injected cat remains into mice, and conducted other experiments on animals that one member of Congress says "need to end now." The White Coat Waste Project, a nonprofit watchdog, drew the information from USDA publications for a report it plans...

Trump Administration May Get Its Food Stamps Wish After All

USDA proposal would tighten waiver eligibility on work requirements

(Newser) - It may soon be more difficult to get food stamps if you're jobless. The Washington Post reports the USDA has a new proposal that would tighten eligibility for food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and it's tied to unemployment. Under the current system, most adults who...

USDA Has Bad News for Happy Livestock

It walks away from stricter Obama-era animal welfare regulations for organic livestock

(Newser) - New rules, decades in the making, that would have required organic meat and egg producers to abide by stricter animal welfare standards were withdrawn by the feds on Monday, reports the AP , frustrating organic farmers and animal welfare groups but leaving some traditional farm groups rejoicing. The US Department of...

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