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Washington Insider

Obama Re-establishes Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba have re-established diplomatic relations, effective July 20, and will re-open embassies in their respective countries. According to The Hagstrom Report, it is unclear what impact re-establishing diplomatic relations will have on U.S.-Cuban agricultural relations.

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Tipton to Wisconsin Dairy Group: Dairy is Strong Despite “Really Crazy World”

In her luncheon speech at the Wisconsin Dairy Products Symposium last week, Connie Tipton, president and CEO of IDFA, said that dairy is a strong, healthy industry, but operating “in the midst of a really crazy world.” Tipton shared her perspective on the potential for industry growth and expanded access to global markets.

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Trade News Update: TPP Ministers Meet in Maui This Week

Chief negotiators held a meeting this past week in Maui, Hawaii, to work on issues that would help to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. The TPP ministers are meeting in Maui this week, but issues like agricultural market access are unresolved. IDFA is seeking market access for all dairy products across all tariff lines in the TPP negotiations. This month’s Trade News Update by Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, also discusses progress on geographical indications, country-of-origin labeling, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Cuba.

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FDA Proposes User Fees, Model Standards for Third-Party Accreditation

The Food and Drug Administration published on Friday a proposed rule and a draft guidance document to support a new program under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help foreign entities demonstrate that imported food meets U.S. food safety requirements. The proposed rule would establish user fees for the third-party auditor accreditation program, and the draft guidance sets forth Model Accreditation Standards (MAS) for the program.

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House Passes Bill to Eliminate Patchwork of GMO Labeling Laws

The U.S. House of Representatives voted last Thursday to pass H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, by a vote of 275-150. The bill, introduced in March by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), would pre-empt state labeling laws regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would also create a national, science-based voluntary labeling standard for non-genetically engineered food certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The next step in the Senate is uncertain.

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FDA Proposes Additional Updates to Nutrition Facts Panel

The Food and Drug Administration published on Monday two proposed rules that would make further changes to updates to the Nutrition Facts panel that the agency proposed last year. One would mandate a percent Daily Value declaration for added sugars and define the term Percent Daily Value (%DV) in a footnote on the label. The other proposed a reopening of the comment period for 60 days for the sole purpose of inviting public comments on two consumer studies that FDA conducted related to added sugars declaration and the %DV footnote.

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Coalition Urges Congress to Act on Truck Weight Reform

The Coalition for Transportation Productivity, of which IDFA is a member, called on Congress last week to review the technical findings of a recent U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) study and take steps to reform Interstate vehicle weight limits for six-axle trucks. The coalition, a group of nearly 200 manufacturers, shippers, carriers and allied associations, sent a letter to members of Congress, along with a one-pager highlighting key findings from the DOT’s Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study that was released in June.

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Gain Access to Extended Educational Programs at the Dairy Show

The education programs at the International Dairy Show, PROCESS EXPO and InterBev Process shows will provide thought-provoking insights. One pass gives access to all programs and activities on three show floors. Read more

200X182BUTTON_1Better Process Cheese School
September 15 & 16, 2015
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

IDFA’s Better Process Cheese School will take place in conjunction with IDFA's International Dairy Show. The training will utilize materials developed by Kathy Glass, senior scientist from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and by Kraft Foods. Topics will include microbiology and control of Clostridium botulinum, thermal processing/pasteurization, formulation control, process instrumentation, production and packaging controls, and records.


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Organic Market Is Booming

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