making a difference for dairy

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  • January 18, 2017

    Former Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to Speak at Dairy Forum

    IDFA is announcing today that former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will speak at Dairy Forum 2017 on Jan. 31 in Orlando, Fla. Vilsack, who has ended his eight years of service as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is moving to a career in dairy, will share his perspective on the major issues facing dairy and agriculture including trade agreements, immigration reform and the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • January 18, 2017

    Dykes Stresses Dairy Policy Fairness on Canadian National News

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s national public broadcast network, interviewed Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA, on its show “On the Money” last Friday for a segment titled “U.S. Dairy Reaches Out to Trump.” Dykes explained to national viewers how Canada is enacting trade policies, in direct violation of the country’s existing trade agreements, which unfairly force out U.S. dairy exports. He said that dairy groups are raising the issue with the president-elect as he prepares to take office.
  • January 18, 2017

    FDA Releases Long-Awaited Listeria Draft Guidance

    After a nearly nine-year wait, the Food and Drug Administration last Friday released a revised draft of “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods: Guidance for Industry.” The guidance replaces the previous draft released in 2008 and reflects FDA’s current thinking, now with greater encouragement for companies to use robust environmental testing procedures to continue to ensure safe food products. “These recommendations support IDFA’s stance that such a change in policy would allow the industry to be more aggressive in seeking out and destroying Listeria in the food production environment,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
  • January 18, 2017

    USDA Moves on Organic Program, Finalizes Rule

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) over the past few days has released several changes to various National Organic Program (NOP) regulations, including opening a public comment period proposing a new industry-funded research and promotion program for organic foods and issuing a final rule regarding organic livestock and poultry raising and handling practices.
  • January 18, 2017

    OSHA Releases Final Guidance on Whistleblower Protection Programs

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week released final guidance on “Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs,” which was created to assist employers in creating workplaces and policies that allow workers to raise concerns without fear of retaliation. This guidance intends to cover the 22 whistleblower protection programs administered by OSHA, which include food safety, worker safety and environmental issues. IDFA members are encouraged to review their company policies, procedures and training to ensure compliance with the new guidance.
  • January 18, 2017

    Can’t Attend Dairy Forum? Watch Featured Sessions Online

    Dairy Forum 2017 will bring together a diverse group of industry leaders to discuss issues relevant to the dairy industry and to the success of their businesses. If you’re not able to attend in person, you can register at no cost to watch four featured sessions that will be broadcast live online from Orlando. IDFA and Dairy Foods magazine have partnered to offer these broadcasts on Jan. 30-31 and Feb. 1.
  • January 12, 2017

    NAS Committee Aims to Reduce Milk, Add Flexibility in WIC Packages

    The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine last week released the final report from the committee tasked with reviewing current food packages in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and making recommendations to update food packages. Overall, the committee recommended significantly reducing the amount of milk and dairy products provided for children and women participating in the program. Some recommended packages, however, would allow participants to substitute more yogurt for fluid milk, and participants will still have the option to swap milk for cheese.
  • January 12, 2017

    Frye Presents to Future Ice Cream Leaders in 125th Penn State Course

    Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, presented her 10th consecutive lecture this week to attentive ice cream industry up-and-comers participating in Penn State University’s globally renowned Ice Cream Short Course. The course is the nation’s oldest educational program for ice cream science and technology and has trained more than 4000 professionals since it began in 1892. This year 130 students, two thirds of which represent IDFA member companies, are attending more than 20 workshops in the course’s seven days.
  • January 12, 2017

    USDA Implements Next Phase of Sodium Reduction in School Meals

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service last week announced a “period of flexibility” for school nutrition officials who are required to implement gradual reductions in sodium levels averaged over all meals offered during the school week. In a memo to state agency directors for school nutrition, USDA said it will implement its “target two” sodium reductions effective July 1, 2017, but it will not enforce penalties during the 2017-18 school year as long as school food authorities show that they are working toward compliance.
  • January 12, 2017

    IDFA Commends White House for Finalizing Coordinated Framework

    The White House last week released the “2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology,” which provides a comprehensive summary of the roles of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture when regulating genetically engineered crops, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and other biotechnology products. It also includes guidance important to IDFA members that use products or ingredients made through biotechnology. IDFA is pleased with the update, said Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs. “This comprehensive summary of agency roles and responsibilities in biotechnology regulation is crucial to ensuring that consumers understand that foods and ingredients derived from biotechnology are safe and nutritious.”
  • January 12, 2017

    Earn Qualifications, Expand Expertise in ProFood Tech Workshops

    ProFood Tech, a new trade show and conference that will focus on processing technologies and innovations for the food and beverage industry, will make its debut April 4-6 in Chicago. To help attendees make the most their trip, IDFA is kicking off its dynamic conference program with three pre-conference workshops, starting on April 2. Two of the workshops are designed to help attendees obtain qualifications recognized by the Food and Drug Administration and the third will offer effective protocols for working with regulatory agencies and communicating to the public in case of a product recall.
  • January 04, 2017

    Michael Dykes Highlights 100-Day Plan

    In his first column for Cheese Market News, Michael Dykes, IDFA president and CEO, offered highlights from his 100-day plan, including the interviews he conducted with staff and members and his goals for increased collaboration across the industry. “My 100-day plan focuses on three key groups: the IDFA team, our IDFA members and external stakeholders who are partners or may become partners in future collaborative efforts,” Dykes said. “I firmly believe we will be more effective and have a stronger voice to shape policy supporting our industry if we focus on our shared interests. We will be strongest when we work together.”
  • Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) (left) pictured with Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO.
    January 04, 2017

    IDFA Welcomes 115th Congress to Capitol Hill

    IDFA staff took to Capitol Hill yesterday to visit nearly 60 new members of Congress and their staffs on the first official day of the 115th Congress. Joining the buzz of visitors viewing the swearing-in ceremony, congratulating members and making introductions were Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA, and the association’s legislative team. They visited members in both the House and Senate to familiarize them with IDFA and the national significance of dairy processing.
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
    January 04, 2017

    Wisconsin Governor Asks Trump to Counter Canada’s Dairy Policies

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sent a letter last month to President-elect Donald Trump, asking him to focus on newly implemented Canadian dairy trade policies that will displace U.S. dairy exports and potentially violate Canada’s trade obligations. In the letter, Walker referenced provincial pricing policies already in place, as well as new national policies that are expected to be implemented on February 1. IDFA plans to raise the issue soon with the Trump Administration’s transition team and appropriate members of the new administration.
  • January 04, 2017

    EPA Issues Final Changes to Risk Management Plan Regulations

    The Environmental Protection Agency announced final changes late last month to its Risk Management Plan regulations aimed at preventing the accidental release of hazardous chemicals. For dairy companies, this rule regulates anhydrous ammonia, the most commonly used chemical in industrial refrigeration systems, and chlorine, a chemical used in the wastewater treatment process. The rule could potentially come under review by the Trump Administration or be subject to the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to overturn a regulation from the administration or previous administration. In comments, IDFA suggested several areas that EPA needed to revise.
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