USDA plans long list of rule changes |

USDA plans long list of rule changes

The Agriculture Department has announced changes to many rules, according to the fall 2018 Unified Agenda released by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

The list of changes ranges from USDA’s Freedom of Information Act regulations to farm program regulations to crop insurance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program rules.

The Agriculture Department’s Food and Nutrition Service plans to revise regulations for quality control of SNAP benefits.

The rule changes apparently would attempt to improve the SNAP error rate, which reflects overpayments and underpayments, not fraud and abuse. The notice notes that the states report the error rates, and there have been questions about the integrity of those state-collected statistics.

The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plans to revise its regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms, USDA said.

APHIS said the revision is being planned “in order to update the regulations in response to advances in genetic engineering and APHIS’ understanding of the plant health risk posed by genetically engineered organisms, thereby reducing the burden for regulated entities whose organisms pose no plant health risks.”

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