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House Ag Committee Approves COOL Repeal, Hagstrom Reports

The House Agriculture Committee has approved H.R. 2393, a bill to repeal country-of-origin labeling for beef, pork and chicken, but the road to resolution of the longstanding conflict with Canada and Mexico over the labeling program is still likely to be long, according to The Hagstrom Report. The vote was 38 to 6.

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Avian Influenza Triggers Egg Shortage for Dairy Companies

A highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza (AI), more commonly known as bird flu, is causing a drastic shortage of processed eggs for food manufacturers, including dairy companies. The shortage, now estimated at 20 percent to 25 percent of the processed egg supply, has caused prices for the eggs to climb, leading suppliers to reduce significantly or cancel contracts with food companies. IDFA is currently working with federal agencies, other trade associations and stakeholders to determine possible solutions.

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Trade News: TPA Passes Senate; COOL Legislation Introduced

IDFA commended the Senate for passing “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015,” the TPA-2015 bill. “We applaud the Senate for working together in a bipartisan manner to advance the TPA-2015 bill. We encourage the House to take up the legislation and pass it as soon as possible,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president. “Trade Promotion Authority is critical to ensuring that the U.S. dairy industry receives greater market access from the two trade agreements currently under negotiation – the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.”

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Hot Topics for July Food Safety Course: Pathogen Control and Monitoring

IDFA and Chestnut Labs will continue their partnership this summer to support and advance the dairy industry’s longstanding commitment to food safety with cutting-edge lab technology and practices. The updated course, “Hands-On Microbiological Testing, Food Safety and Laboratory Best Practices” course, July 13-14, will kick off with presentations on pathogen control and monitoring. Participants also will learn how to choose and conduct the right test methods for the right purpose, interpret results and prevent common mistakes in microbiological testing.

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Plaintiffs Appeal Court Ruling on Vermont GMO Labeling Law

Four trade associations, including IDFA, will appeal an April 27 federal court ruling that denied their motion to halt implementation of Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law pending further litigation. The ruling means Vermont can continue implementing the labeling law that is set to go into effect in July 2016. IDFA, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Snack Food Association and the National Association of Manufacturers filed a notice of appeal last week as a first step and will file a legal brief outlining the grounds for appeal in the coming weeks.

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Dietary Guidelines Summit Names Tactics for Reaching All Americans

A summit held last week in Washington brought together members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and other experts to discuss the Dietary Guidelines and how their messages can be shared effectively with Americans. Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, opened the summit with a promise that the Dietary Guidelines would be issued before the end the year. He intimated that they would follow traditional topics, possibly hoping to alleviate concerns about the committee’s recommendation to consider sustainability and food production’s impact on the environment.

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Three IDFA Members Earn U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards

Hilmar Cheese Company, HP Hood LLC and Prairie Farms Dairy were recognized last week for their outstanding efforts, respectively, in energy and water conservation, repurposing packaging for renewable fuel and providing affordable products to neighbors in need. The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Processing and Manufacturing Sustainability went to Hilmar Cheese. The award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships went to HP Hood, and Prairie Farms earned an honorable mention in the same category.

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Collegiate Dairy Contest to Return to Dairy Show

The Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest recognizes dairy science students and dairy product judging teams that master the ability to identify high-quality dairy products. Read more.

Recall Preparedness Webinar: What to Do When Things Go Wrong
June 10, 2015
2:00 - 3:30PM Eastern

Keeping food products safe is a shared responsibility throughout the supply chain. Part of this responsibility is being ready to execute a recall at a moment’s notice. From the manufacturer to distributor to retailer, everyone has a role to play to help prevent recalled product from reaching the consumer.


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Organic Market Is Booming

Organic milk sales increased 9.5 percent during the first 11 months of 2014, reports USDA.