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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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IDFA Praises U.S. Senators’ Call for Canada to Expand Dairy Market Access

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today praised Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) for calling on Canada to finally engage on dairy market-access negotiations during high-level talks this week in Hawaii of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation.“We thank the Senators for their support on gaining the best deals for the U.S. dairy industry in this agreement,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “Now is the time for Canada to come to the table with a commercially meaningful offer on dairy.”

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Food Safety Workshop to Feature Best Practices for Ice Cream Plants

This week, IDFA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced that the popular Dairy Plant Food Safety Workshop have been updated to meet the needs of ice cream manufacturers. “These workshops have always offered a great opportunity for attendees to learn, share experiences, and discuss food-safety practices with peers and industry experts,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “We’re pleased to be able to offer sessions that address the specific needs of our ice cream members.”

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House Schedules Vote on GMO Labeling Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to convene at noon on July 23 to vote on HR 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The bill, introduced this past 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 will also create a national, science-based voluntary labeling standard for non-genetically engineered food certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) is chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over USDA.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) is chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over USDA.

Congressmen Call for Sound Science in Dietary Guidelines

Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) sent a letter last week to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health & Human Services Sylvia Burwell, urging them to base the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on “sound scientific evidence and medical knowledge” and to limit “agenda-driven” recommendations to nutrition and diet. They expressed concerns about the report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and called on the Secretaries “to consider recommendations that are based on a preponderance of current scientific and medical knowledge, promote healthy diets and reduce chronic disease risk for Americans.”

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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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A Dairy Show Solution Could Save Companies $1 Million or More  

One-quarter of attendees responding to the 2013 post-show survey said they expected to realize between $100,000 and more than $1 million in profits and cost savings directly from a solution they found at the Dairy Show. 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.