January 5, 2018

USCIS to undertake “a thorough review of employment-based visa programs.”

From: San Francisco Chronicle


How can the administration accomplish this? The administration is looking at reinterpreting a law passed in 2000, the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act, which overhauled the H-1B visa program. That law says that the government “may” grant extensions to foreigners while their green card is pending.


Jonathan Withington, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security that oversees visas, said it is considering a “number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the president’s Buy American, Hire American executive order, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programs.”

December 26, 2017

Updated regulatory agenda shows fewer changes to OSHA, unveils ‘3-for-1’ deregulation plan

From: Safety + Health

Washington — The Department of Labor’s updated regulatory agenda for fall 2017, released Dec. 14, contains fewer changes for OSHA than the previous agenda, published in July. The Mine Safety and Health Administration, meanwhile, is seeking input on potential alterations to a rule intended to reduce worker exposure to coal dust.

In addition, the introduction to the fall agenda touts a “3-for-1” plan, in which “agencies plan to finalize three deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action in 2018.” The agenda, typically issued twice a year, details the status and projected dates for all regulations.

December 20, 2017

Say hello to nonaddictive cigarettes?

From: Scientific American

Watch for These 7 U.S. Science Regulations/Deregulations in 2018

These changes could have serious consequences for health, food and safety

By Dina Fine Maron


December 19, 2017

Lack of USDA Organic Labeling for Aquaculture Harming US Competitiveness?

From: SeafoodSource

Organic standards for US farmed seafood going nowhere despite market demand

By Aaron Orlowski


“We remain on hold one year later, in spite of numerous requests to move forward into final rulemaking with the publication of the proposed final rule,” George Lockwood, who chaired the Aquaculture Working Group, told SeafoodSource. “With the change in government, USDA has put this matter on hold. We have asked on several occasions that it be moved onto their active regulatory review agenda, but that has not happened.”

December 12, 2017

FDA Network Takes a New Approach to Produce Safety

From: FDA Food Safety Magazine

Source: FDA


The challenges of successful implementation include regional differences in growing conditions and practices across the country, and that the produce industry has never before had this kind of FDA oversight.

The PSN does two things:

  1. It establishes regionally based policy and regulatory experts throughout the country, making them uniquely suited to address the issues specific to the states they’re supporting.
  2. It also places these experts, from two very different FDA offices, within one team. The network combines the regulatory expertise from the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) with the policy and science expertise from the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

December 7, 2017

The DHS Form that Wouldn’t Die

From: Center for Immigration Studies

By David North


All of this shows the power of tradition in the U.S. government. The Paperwork Reduction Act requires periodic reviews of government forms, which is commendable. But this form itself should have been eliminated, so no further reviews would be needed.

What is the form in question? It is the ancient N-300, and it relates to a century or so ago, when aliens often filed a form indicating that they were intending to become citizens, (i.e., first papers) before they got around to actually applying for citizenship (second papers).

November 22, 2017

Trump administration starts push to officially rescind ‘startup visa’ rule

Editor’s Note: See, Should the EB-5 Investor Visa Program Recognize Cyber Workers?

From: San Francisco Chronicle

By Trisha Thadani


The rule, which is the closest Silicon Valley has come to a visa for entrepreneurs, was approved by the Department of Homeland Security during President Barack Obama’s last few hours in office. But a week before it was set to go into effect in July, the Trump administration delayed it with the intent to rescind it altogether.

November 13, 2017

Administration Acts On Executive Order: Proposed Short-Term Plan Rule Hits OMB

From: Inside Health Policy

The first regulatory action stemming from President Donald Trump’s Oct. 12 executive order asking agencies to reverse Obama-era rules on short-terms plans and promote associated health plans is under review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB received the proposed rule on “Short Term Limited Duration Insurance” on Monday (Nov. 6). One source was somewhat surprised to see a proposed, rather than “interim final” rule. . . .

Read Complete Article [paywall]

November 8, 2017

Supplement Industry Has ‘Rare Opportunity’ to Seek Regulatory Reform

Editor’s Note: FDA guidance documents, including new dietary ingredient (NDI) guidance, are subject to the “seek and obtain correction” provisions of the Data Quality Act.

From: Natural Products Insider

by Josh Long


NDI Guidance

It’s possible OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) could review FDA’s draft new dietary ingredient (NDI) guidance, or a proposed final version. As the U.S. Government Accountability Office noted in an April 2015 report, OIRA “reviews some significant guidance documents” before they are issued.

Read Complete Article

November 7, 2017

Trump’s agriculture department reverses course on biotech rules

From: Science Magazine

By Kelly Servick


USDA’s announcement and its notice in the federal register today provided little detail about the motivation for the reversal. The agency is taking another look at the rules to balance “regulatory requirements [that] foster public confidence” with a “review process that doesn’t restrict innovation,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue said in a statement. USDA will now start fresh discussions with stakeholders to consider other approaches, the statement said.