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Headline News

  • June 21, 2017

    Dairy Groups Urge USDA to Move Quickly on New School Milk Rules

    IDFA this week urged Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to quickly finalize plans for low-fat flavored milk’s return to school menus for the 2018-2019 school year. In a joint letter with the National Milk Producers Federation, IDFA thanked Secretary Perdue for his efforts to provide flexibility for milk options in schools and requested the department finalize regulations by October 2017.
  • June 21, 2017

    White House Sets New Direction in Policy Toward Cuba

    President Donald Trump last week announced a shift in policy toward Cuba that will make travel to the island nation more difficult, but could open the market for U.S. dairy products to Cuba. The shift, announced in a presidential memorandum, directs the Treasury and Commerce departments to implement regulatory changes that further enhance travel restrictions and reaffirm the United States’ statutory embargo towards Cuba. However, the memorandum also mandates the relevant agencies “support the sale of agricultural commodities,” including dairy, to Cuba. The process will begin within 30 days, and IDFA will work to ensure that dairy products have access to the Cuban market.
  • June 21, 2017

    EPA Delays Changes to Risk Management Program

    The Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it will delay implementation of amendments to its Risk Management Program, which regulates the dairy industry’s use of chemicals in refrigeration systems and wastewater treatment. EPA said it delayed the amendments, which were set to take effect this month, until February 19, 2019, to allow more time to address issues with the changes and to reconsider their implementation. In comments submitted to EPA before the decision, IDFA called for the changes to be delayed and revised because they fall short of their intended goals of protecting communities from chemical accidents and would have a negative impact on the dairy industry.
  • June 21, 2017

    EU Pushes Protection of Common Cheese Names in China

    The European Union and the Chinese government this month proposed extending geographical indications (GI) protections to the use of 200 product names as part of a new bilateral trade agreement. Among 100 of the European GIs set to be protected in China were several commonly used cheese names, including asiago, feta, gorgonzola and Roquefort. If passed, U.S. producers of these cheeses would be barred from exporting them to China, despite the widespread and common use of the product names.
  • June 21, 2017

    IDFA Webinar to Answer Compliance Questions on Two FSMA Rules

    When the Food and Drug Administration crafted regulations for its Preventive Controls for Human Food rule and Foreign Supplier Verification rule, it intended to build on existing good practices in supply-chain control. However, these regulations also establish new supply-chain obligations and are generating new challenges for customers and suppliers. To help respond to issues and provide suggestions on how companies and suppliers can be in compliance with the new requirements, IDFA will host the webinar, “FDA’s New Supply Chain Food Safety Requirements: Is Your Company in Compliance?,” on July 26 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • The IDFA team met with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (third from left) Tuesday morning in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
    June 15, 2017

    Strategic Visits with Officials, Congressmen Gain Visibility for Dairy

    IDFA decided earlier this year that scheduling a few smaller, strategically timed fly-ins to Washington, D.C., during the year rather than one annual fly-in would allow the association to more strategically deploy its greatest policy asset – dairy executives – on a series of issue-focused visits with high-level administration officials and key members of Congress. IDFA’s legislative team identified the right opportunity earlier this month, allowing a small group of dairy executives to attend targeted meetings with high-level members of the Trump Administration and Congressional leaders.
  • June 15, 2017

    Thank You, Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party Donors

    IDFA held its 35th Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party yesterday, serving nearly 70 flavors of ice cream and thousands of root beer floats in Upper Senate Park. Attendees came prepared with boxes, recycling bins and mail carts that they filled abundantly with bowls of ice cream for colleagues and themselves. IDFA would like to thank the Ice Cream Party sponsors for their generous donations.
  • (L-R): Clay Hough, IDFA Senior Group Vice President and General Counsel, and Randy Green, Principal of Watson Green LLC
    June 15, 2017

    Trump Administration Changes the Face of Federal Rulemaking

    There’s a new regulatory reform dynamic taking shape in Washington, and it’s ushering in a new climate of deregulation and giving industry stakeholders more opportunities to participate. Those were the main takeaways from two sessions on Tuesday at IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP, held this week in Washington, D.C. The sessions covered the regulatory shifts under the Trump Administration and highlighted the growing influence that the White House Office of Management and Budget has gained under President Trump.
  • Stephen Ostroff, M.D., deputy commissioner of food and veterinary medicine for FDA
    June 14, 2017

    FDA Deputy Commissioner Opens IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP

    Stephen Ostroff, M.D., the deputy commissioner of food and veterinary medicine for the Food and Drug Administration, made his second appearance as the keynote speaker for IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP on Monday where he announced a new agency agreement with China that will benefit U.S. dairy exporters. He also provided updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act and touched on other priority issues for IDFA members, including the Nutrition Facts label changes, ultra-filtered milk, standards of identity, draft guidance on the control of Listeria monocytogenes and FDA’s new program alignment for inspections.
  • (L-R): Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, and Andrea Huberty,  Ph.D., senior policy analyst in the Office of the Deputy Administrator, Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service
    June 14, 2017

    USDA Working at ‘Lightning Speed’ on Biotech Disclosure Standard

    With just two years to write and implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working at “lightning speed” and expects to issue a final rule on time in July 2018, according to Andrea Huberty, Ph.D., senior policy analyst in the Office of the Deputy Administrator, Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Huberty, who is helping to develop the standard, briefed attendees of IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP this week in Washington, D.C., on the latest progress to the standard. She encouraged participants to contact her or others at USDA to ensure their feedback and concerns are thoroughly considered during the rule’s tight turnaround.
  • June 14, 2017

    Coalition Urges President Trump to Open Ag Trade with Cuba

    The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, of which IDFA is a member, last week urged President Donald Trump to support a bill that would allow U.S. companies to promote agricultural products and develop agricultural businesses in Cuba. The Cuba Agricultural Exports Act, H.R. 525, is a bill that puts America first, the coalition said. If enacted, it would lift major financing restrictions many U.S. companies face in Cuba and allow American companies to compete on a level playing field with other exporters to the country.
  • June 14, 2017

    Dairy Sustainability Alliance to Provide Tracking Tools for Processors

    To help dairy companies better quantify their achievements in sustainability, IDFA and other members of the Dairy Sustainability Alliance are working with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to provide guidance for tracking and measuring emissions of greenhouse gasses at dairy processing facilities. Two updated documents that provide a standard of measurement to assist dairy companies in meeting and exceeding their sustainability goals will be available this summer.
  • June 07, 2017

    US and Mexico Strike Deal on Sugar That Avoids New Tariffs

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo today announced a new agreement in principle to suspend antidumping and countervailing duties against Mexican sugar imports into the United States. During the press conference, Ross noted that the U.S. sugar industry said “it is unable to support the new agreement,” but he expressed hope that they would “come on board” as the two countries finalize the agreement. The new agreement aims to prevent dumping of Mexican sugar and to correct for subsidies the Mexican sugar industry receives.
  • June 07, 2017

    Rylee Sterrett Joins IDFA Team as Summer Intern

    Rylee Sterrett, a recent graduate of Michigan State University, joins the IDFA team this summer as an intern in the Regulatory Affairs Department. For the next three months, Sterrett will assist IDFA’s regulatory team on special projects, research and events, including IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP next week. Sterrett holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and previously worked as a quality intern for Schreiber Foods Inc., where she gained experience in food safety best practices. She is certified in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach to identifying, evaluating and controlling food-safety hazards.
  • Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
    June 06, 2017

    Perdue Tells Canadian Officials New Pricing Policy Undercuts U.S. Dairy

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week completed a trip to Toronto, Canada, marking his first international trip as secretary. Perdue conducted a series of meetings with Canadian officials regarding several bilateral trade issues, including American ultra-filtered milk, which has been a point of disagreement between the United States and Canada. In a statement issued following his meetings, Perdue called Canada’s new dairy ingredient pricing policy “an unfair undercutting of the U.S. industry that grew up south of the U.S.-Canada border.”
 
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