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USDA Establishes GMO Law Implementation Panel as Controversy Continues

The Agriculture Department has already established an interagency working group to implement the law requiring labeling of genetically modified products that President Barack Obama signed last month, according to The Hagstrom Report. The process will require formal comment periods and promises to be highly complex.

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USDA Offers Help to Producers Squeezed by Dairy Margins

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that approximately $11.2 million in financial assistance will be available to American dairy producers enrolled in the 2016 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The payment rate for May/June 2016 will be the largest since the program began in 2014. The narrowing margin between milk prices and the cost of feed triggered the payments, which are provided for through the 2014 Farm Bill.

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White House Statement Signals Next Step for TPP

Despite harsh trade rhetoric from presidential nominees, the Obama administration continues its fourth-quarter push for enactment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before President Obama leaves office. By submitting a draft Statement of Administrative Action to Congress this month, the White House signaled that it wants Congress to pass TPP before the end of the year. The draft statement outlines several major administrative actions that will change or affect existing law in order to comply with TPP, including several that are relevant to the dairy industry.

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FDA Releases Draft FSMA Guidance; Clarifies Compliance Dates

The Food and Drug Administration is moving forward in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), with the first major compliance dates beginning next month for large food facilities. FDA released yesterday new draft guidance to help industry comply with certain requirements in the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule. FDA also issued a final rule that extends and clarifies the compliance dates for certain provisions in four of the seven foundational rules, including an extension for dairy facilities producing Grade “A” milk products to comply with the new modernized Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) requirements.

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Vermont Will Not Enforce Food Labeling Law

Following President Obama’s signing of the GMO bill, which established a national disclosure standard for bioengineered food, the Vermont Attorney General’s office announced that it will no longer enforce Act 120, Vermont’s law that required the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering. “We’re pleased that the state quickly announced that it will not enforce the preempted law,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president and general counsel. “With that added clarity, our members can rest assured that they are no longer required to label their products to meet the provisions of Vermont’s law.”

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Milk Shares Spotlight During Olympic Games in Rio

Marking a successful start to the Milk Processor Education Program’s five-year sponsorship with the United States Olympic Committee and Team USA, milk processors and the dairy industry ran a powerful race during the recent Games in Rio. “Throughout the Games, Milk Life's integrated national marketing campaign reinforced how a lifetime of hard work – and milk – helps build champions and established an authentic and emotional connection with consumers,” said Julia Kadison, CEO of MilkPEP. By the closing ceremony this past Sunday, the industry’s efforts had garnered more than two billion impressions, more than three million video views and nearly 300,000 engagements on social media.

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Sustainability Resource Tracks Dairy’s Improvements

Starting in 2012, more than 200 organizations, including IDFA, collaborated through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to develop a framework that would help dairy producers and processors to measure, report and communicate their progress on sustainability. Last week, the Innovation Center released an update, titled “The Stewardship and Sustainability Framework for U.S. Dairy.” IDFA and the Innovation Center currently are working with dairy foods companies to develop a processor handbook as a supplemental resource.

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NCI Laureate

Webinar: Nutrition Label Reform Final Rules: Implications for the Dairy Industry

Aug 22-23, 2016
From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST Each Day  

This webinar series will provide you with the details of FDA’s new regulations and practical guidance on what changes will be needed for milk, yogurt, cultured dairy products, packaged ice cream and novelties, cheese and beverages.

Microbiological Testing: A Hands-On Food Safety Course

November 1-3, 2016
Chestnut Labs Education Center
Springfield, MO
This a career-building training course that is offered exclusively for dairy industry professionals with food safety responsibilities, including those working in quality assurance and control, sanitation, maintenance, operations and more.


ProFood Tech Square

New Media Brand to Support ProFood Tech

PMMI Media Group, a division of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, this week launched ProFood World, a new media brand that will serve the global food and beverage processing industry. The brand, which includes an online magazine and e-newsletters, will help to support ProFood Tech, including IDFA's dynamic conference program, with content covering news, trends, products and technologies in food safety, automation, processing, packaging, material handling and sustainability.