This spring weather pattern across much of the United States appears to be “vastly different than last March, and will translate to a more favorable growing season for agriculture” in many areas, according to a forecast this week by AccuWeather.

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USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking comments by April 11 on a proposal to amend the mandatory country of origin labeling (mCOOL) requirements for muscle cut meats to provide consumers with more specific information and modify the definition for “retailer” to include any person subject to be licensed as a retailer under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, according to an AMS  statement issued this week.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said interested parties have until May 13 to file petitions requesting accelerated tariff elimination and changes to the non-textile and non-apparel products rules of origin under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA).

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USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is improving and streamlining its reporting of sanitary and phytosanitary provisions (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT) information by launching a new SPS/TBT Data Management System (DMS).

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Developing a new menu labeling law for foodservice establishments, grocery food stores, and vending machines “has gotten extremely thorny,” Food and Drug Administrator Margaret Hamburg told the Associated Press earlier this month.

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