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Washington Insider

Senate Child Nutrition Bill Hotlined

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are asking all members of the Senate if they have any objections to moving the bill reauthorizing child nutrition programs forward, a person close to the situation has confirmed to The Hagstrom Report. Under this “hotline” process, Senate offices have an opportunity to comment on whether senators approve of the bill or have objections.

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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 FDA released yesterday new draft guidance to help industry comply with certain requirements in the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule.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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IDFA Works with USDA to Improve Cheese Procurement Specs

IDFA has provided input to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which was finalizing proposed specification changes for mozzarella and natural American cheeses sold in USDA’s Commodity Procurement Program. USDA agreed not to change the natural American cheese specifications. For mozzarella, USDA expanded the delivery temperature range for string cheese and lowered the minimum milkfat percentage for low-moisture, part-skim types.

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States Begin Issuing Overweight Permits to Milk Haulers

Late last year, IDFA helped convince Congress to include a provision in the Federal Highway Bill that would allow vehicles carrying fluid milk products to be eligible for non-divisible overweight vehicle permits on the National Interstate Highway system. Since then, several states that have a federally mandated maximum gross vehicle weight limit of 80,000 pounds have begun the process or are actively issuing permits under the new authority. IDFA is part of a coordinating group that is working to advance the issuance of these permits in these and other eligible states.

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NCI Laureate

Webinar: Introduction to Dairy Product Labeling

Nov 1-2, 2016
From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST Each Day  

This two-session training opportunity will provide you and your staff with the essential information need to produce compliant and effective labels for your products. The two sessions, “Labeling 101” and “New Nutrition Labeling Regulations and Claims” will be interactive, allowing for participants' questions.

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, has 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.