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Headline News

  • May 18, 2018

    House Committee Passes Funding Bill with Positive Dairy Provisions

    The Committee on Appropriations this week passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill with key IDFA priorities. For the first time, the Agriculture Appropriations bill directs funding to the Food and Drug Administration’s work on updating standards of identity. The legislation also instructs FDA to finalize industry guidance regarding control of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in a reasonable manner. Additionally, during consideration of the FY 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill, the committee approved an amendment proposed by Congressman Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., to direct the Agricultural Research Service to find solutions to the ice cream waste issue that costs the industry tens of millions of dollars a year.
  • May 16, 2018

    NAFTA Must Protect Common Cheese Names, Especially in Mexico

    The European Union and Mexico last month reached an agreement in principle to update their 18-year-old bilateral trade agreement and announced plans to allow only the EU to use several common cheese names, which could include terms like parmesan and feta. IDFA has repeatedly urged the administration to fight EU attempts to use geographical indications protections to limit fair competition of U.S. cheeses in Mexico, which is the largest export market for U.S. dairy. This week, IDFA and other members of the Coalition for Common Food Names called on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to address GIs in the modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • May 16, 2018

    IDFA Calls on HHS to Challenge WHO Policies at World Health Assembly

    IDFA is urging federal officials to stand up against World Health Organization (WHO) actions that encourage foreign governments to exclude industry stakeholders from policy-development efforts and pressure countries to adopt policies discouraging the consumption of dairy products by young children. IDFA, the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council last week sent joint comments asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure the proposed actions are not endorsed later this month at the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of WHO’s governing body in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • May 16, 2018

    Trade Actions by Japan Could Hinder U.S. Dairy Exports

    The Japanese government has implemented new measures to support its cheese industry and make domestic cheese more abundant and competitive. At the same time, Japan is entering into free trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and with the 11 countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). These measures and agreements could threaten the market for U.S. dairy exports to Japan, the fourth largest market for U.S. dairy products, representing sales of more than $290 million in 2017.
  • May 16, 2018

    DHS Shares Terrorism Threat Bulletin with Food and Ag Sector

    IDFA has played a critical role in the Food and Agricultural Sector Coordinating Council, a presidentially mandated partnership between government and the private sector, since the council was formed by the Department of Homeland Security in 2002. The council works to protect the nation's food supply by encouraging communication and planning between the private sector and DHS, the Food and Drug Administration and other government entities and organizations. DHS recently extended its current National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin and asked council members to share it. The Bulletin, which is different than an alert, is informational and offers ways companies can help, be prepared and stay informed.
  • May 16, 2018

    What Does the Proposed Biotech Labeling Rule Mean for Dairy?

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture this month released the proposed rule on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which would require food labels and packaging to reveal the presence of genetically engineered ingredients. IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP, June 5-6 in Washington, D.C., will discuss what’s in the proposed rule and how dairy companies may need to change their labels to comply. Emily Lyons, former IDFA director of regulatory affairs and current associate attorney at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, will present the session, along with Randy Russell, president of the Russell Group, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm.
  • May 16, 2018

    Dairy Delivers℠, IDFA’s Economic Impact Tool, Looks at Arkansas

    The dairy products industry in Arkansas employs more than 7,500 skilled individuals, generates more than $250 million in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of $3.28 billion. The state’s dairy companies ranked 36th among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in contributions to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2017, according to IDFA’s economic impact tool, Dairy Delivers℠.
  • May 10, 2018

    Hill of Beans

    “The farm bill is likely to be brought to the House floor for consideration next week. We have only a few days to make sure members of Congress are aware that this farm bill includes provisions to improve the competitiveness of a dairy industry supporting nearly 3 million American jobs,” said Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs. In his new “Hill of Beans” column, Eberhard said that IDFA is hard at work, ensuring that every member of Congress knows the impact dairy has in their districts and the importance of passing the bill. “We know how to whip butter and cream; now is our time to show we know how to whip up support as well,” he said.
  • May 09, 2018

    IDFA, Global Dairy Groups Urge Chile to Keep Markets Open

    IDFA is continuing to fight for free and fair global trade for U.S. dairy products and increased market access in many areas abroad. Most recently, IDFA and several groups representing the dairy industries in Argentina, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand and Uruguay urged the Chilean government to continue to allow dairy imports into the country. The groups made the request in response to Chile’s recent investigation to determine if imports of whole dry milk, nonfat dry milk and gouda cheese represent a threat to Chile’s domestic dairy industry. If Chilean officials deem imports a threat, they could enact safeguards to reject these products.
  • May 09, 2018

    IDFA’s Trade Show Partner Launches ProFood Live Conference

    IDFA invites members to attend ProFood Live, a new conference in June devoted to real-world solutions in manufacturing, automation and sustainability. ProFood Live is hosted by PMMI Media Group, a division of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which partners with IDFA and Koelnmesse in producing the biennial ProFood Tech trade show. The new conference will be held June 20-21, 2018, at the Westin Chicago Northwest. “The offering of rich content within a compact agenda will appeal to food and beverage professionals who struggle to find the time for educational opportunities and industry networking,” said Neil Moran, IDFA senior vice president of finance, administration and the trade show.
  • May 09, 2018

    IDFA Voices Support for Bill to Bring Whole Milk to Schools

    Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., last week introduced legislation that would increase the variety of milks available in school meals. The Whole Milk Act, H.R. 5640, would amend the National School Lunch Act to allow schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program to serve unflavored whole milk. “We appreciate that Congressman Marino introduced this bill, which demonstrates the important role that milk – and milk choice – plays in enhancing the diets of children and adolescents,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We agree that schools need more flexibility to provide a range of milk choices to make sure students are getting the nine essential nutrients milk offers.”
  • May 07, 2018

    FDA Clarifies Compliance Date for PHO Rule

    Late last month, IDFA and 14 other food and manufacturing trade associations urged Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to provide the food industry with more clarity and time as companies work to comply with FDA’s rule to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from food and beverage products sold in the United States. In joint comments, the groups asked FDA to clarify that products containing PHOs that are already shipped and in stores before the compliance date of June 18, 2018, would not need to be removed from store shelves. According to an article by IEG Policy, Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, confirmed last Friday that the agency will not require recalls for products containing PHOs that were introduced before the June compliance date. She said FDA plans to issue written clarification soon.
  • May 03, 2018

    USDA, FDA Announce Harmonized Compliance Dates for Major Label Changes

    IDFA learned today that the administration has responded positively to industry requests for harmonization of the compliance dates for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard and revisions to the Nutrition Facts label. The new compliance date for most companies making both sets of required changes would be January 1, 2020. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service today released the proposed rule on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, and IDFA will provide a detailed summary for members soon. The proposed rule includes a suggested compliance date of January 1, 2020. Also today, FDA issued a final rule to extend the Nutrition Facts label compliance dates from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales.
  • May 02, 2018

    NAFTA Talks Likely to Conclude This Month

    IDFA believes an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be reached soon to meet the deadlines set forth in the Trade Promotion Authority legislation and allow for a vote on the new agreement in this Congress. An agreement in principle is likely to be concluded sometime in the next two weeks. Ministerial-level talks will reconvene on May 7 after Ambassador Lighthizer returns from China, but negotiations on technical issues continue almost daily. IDFA continues to urge USTR and the White House to address Canada’s Class 7 milk pricing policies in the modernized agreement.
  • May 02, 2018

    Farm Bill to Hit the House Floor in May

    The House version of the farm bill, which includes IDFA’s key legislative priorities, is headed for consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives in May after it was approved last month by the House Agriculture Committee. The timing will depend on how long it takes to educate other members of Congress about the bill and build support sufficient to secure a majority of votes on the House floor. Before the bill can be considered on the House floor, the House Rules Committee will need to determine which farm bill amendments are allowed to be offered. IDFA will be watching this process closely as it will shape the debate and perhaps determine the fate of the House farm bill.
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