New regs for Monday: Electronic records, nutrient labeling, Hispanic colleges

Monday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for electronic recordkeeping, nutrient claims in food labels, Hispanic colleges, and people who file disability claims.

Here's what is happening:

Records: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCSA) is considering a rule that would allow trucking companies to maintain electronic records as opposed to paper records.

The FMCSA announced Thursday it would allow trucking companies and their drivers to use electronic methods to sign and certify records as long as they are accurate.

But this rule only applies to the trucking companies' internal records. They would still be required to send paper copies of forms that must be submitted to the agency.

The public has 60 days to comment. 

Nutrients: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with a rule that tightens the controls on nutrient claims by food manufacturers. 

The manufacturers of foods and dietary supplements will be prohibited from making nutrient claims about certain omega-3 fatty acids, the FDA announced Friday in a new rulemaking.

Nutrient content claims help consumers figure out the level of a nutrient in a food or dietary supplement.

"The claim must be an accurate representation of the authoritative statement and must be stated in a manner that enables the public to comprehend the information provided by the claim and to understand the relative significance of such information in the context of the total daily diet," the agency wrote.

The rule goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Colleges: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating a list of Hispanic-serving agriculture colleges and universities that are eligible for federal aid.

The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced Friday it has identified 97 schools that qualify. The list is based in part on statistics from the Department of Education, which were just released.

To be eligible, schools must offer agriculture degrees and award at least 15 percent of these degrees to Hispanic students.

The rule goes into effect immediately.

Disability: The Social Security Administration is considering changes to how it evaluates neurological disorders in people who file disability claims, the agency announced Friday. 

The agency will hold a teleconference on May 12 to discuss the changes with the public.

"We use the criteria in the listings to evaluate the effects of neurological disorders in adults and children," the agency wrote.

"The proposed revisions reflect our program experience; advances in medical knowledge, treatment, and methods of evaluating neurological disorders," it added.

Banks: The Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is considering raising the fees it charges large banks to regulate them. 

The rules would apply to national banks and federal savings associations that have more than $40 billion in assets, and would raise their fees by anywhere from .32 percent to 14 percent.