food marketing, food bans, obseity, natural foods, high fructose corn syrup, mandatory labeling, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), animal production, penicillin, tetracyclines, FDCA, Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), pink slime, food libel, First Amendment, Ag Gag, egg industry, animal welfare regulation, "downer" animals, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), World Trade Organization (WTO), European Union, growth hormones, beef imports, food supply chain

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Observers of food law in the 2012 presidential election year witnessed a dramatic slowing of federal initiatives-perhaps arising from a desire by both Congress and the administration to avoid upsetting critical constituent groups during a year seemingly dominated by campaigns and endless talking points. For example, Congress failed to take action on a unique compromise between what some had considered mortal enemies-the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers-that would implement a federal animal welfare standard for laying hens in return for abandoning ballot measures in various states. Similarly, the FDA waited until the early days of 2013 to issue the proposed rules implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Recall that Congress passed this landmark statute not in 2012, but January of 2011. Despite this apparent reluctance to tackle some big issues in 2012, the FDA did decide two significant food law issues: a refusal of a request seeking to rebrand high fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar," as well as promulgation of a long overdue rule on salmonella testing in shell egg production.