Trump’s shortlist for the EPA

Trump’s shortlist for the EPA

By Matt Sabas   
President-elect Donald Trump. TMN/file photo

This week’s top stories in food and ag:

Trump’s shortlist to head the EPA. Reuters reported Tuesday that Trump is considering three former Bush officials to head the EPA. “Top contenders for the job include Jeff Holmstead, an energy industry attorney at Bracewell law firm who was assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation from 2001 to 2005, and Mike Catanzaro, a lobbyist for CGCN who was an associate deputy administrator at the EPA from 2005 to 2007, according to the sources. A third potential pick is Robert Grady, a venture capitalist at Gryphon Investors who served as associate director for Natural Resources at the Office of Management and Budget in former President George Bush’s 1989-93 administration, the sources said.”

House Ag Chairman open to splitting the Farm Bill before 2018, reports POLITICO. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway on Wednesday hinted at being open to splitting the Farm Bill ahead of the 2018 cycle — a controversial idea opposed by many farm and anti-hunger groups. ‘I’m committed to getting both sides of the Farm Bill extended on time,’ Conaway told reporters after the last in a long series of meetings examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Asked whether he meant moving one bill or two, Conaway replied: ‘I’m committed to getting them both done. If it’s together, great. If it’s separate, great. Whichever is the easiest path. I’m committed to getting them both reauthorized. The process is to be determined.’”

Oasis Brands Inc. owner sentenced to 15 months in prison. The owner of a Miami-based cheese company has been sentenced by a federal judge due for knowingly selling contaminated food, reports Food Safety News.  “U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. sentenced Christian Rivas on Monday to serve a total of 15 months in federal prison. Rivas negotiated a plea agreement in recent weeks, admitting he intentionally sold cheese he knew was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes after he promised federal authorities he would cease distribution. The judge ordered that Rivas can serve his sentences of 15 months on a felony count and 12 months on a misdemeanor count concurrently. Each count carries a one-year period of supervised release, which will also be served concurrently. Rivas, who is released on bond, must surrender himself by noon Dec. 20 to begin serving his time.”

Krispy Kreme sued for $5 million. Krispy Kreme is being sued in a class action lawsuit for fake blueberry doughnuts, according to Eater. “Doughnuts, however tasty, are not a wholesome or nutritious food. While that’s certainly obvious to any reasonable adult, it was apparently news to a California man named Jason Saidian, who has filed a $5 million class-action lawsuit against Krispy Kreme. Saidian is accusing Krispy Kreme of false advertising and fraud for misrepresenting its doughnuts — namely, the fact that its ‘Glazed Blueberry Cake’ doughnut does not contain any actual blueberries, its ‘Glazed Raspberry Filled’ doughnut contains no raspberries, and its maple bars don’t actually have any maple syrup in them.”

Boulder set to review potential GMO phase-out, reports Enterprise Review. “Boulder County commissioners have decided to proceed with holding a Nov. 30 public hearing about phasing out the growing of genetically engineered crops on county-owned farm land, despite a county advisory panel’s position that more time is needed to flesh out a more detailed transition plan. After their own Oct. 27 public hearing, Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee members asked for three more months before considering a staff-drafted transition plan that would end tenant farmers’ production of genetically modified corn and sugar beets on land those farmers lease from Boulder County by the year 2021.”


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