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Headline News

  • May 17, 2017

    Perdue Highlights Dairy Trade Issues in Congressional Testimony

    Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appeared yesterday before the House Committee on Agriculture to discuss the state of U.S. agriculture and its impact on the rural economy. In his testimony, Perdue outlined the goals he aims to accomplish during his tenure as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and noted that the department is “actively engaged in addressing the discriminatory and unfair dairy policies that Canada recently implemented.” He said that “USDA will use all the instruments available to us to ensure our agricultural producers and products get fair treatment in foreign markets” and detailed the agency’s reorganization efforts that direct attention to agricultural trade.
  • Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
    May 17, 2017

    Roberts, Stabenow Call for Quick Action on Canadian Dairy Policies

    Adding their voices to the dispute with Canada over protectionist dairy policies, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to hold Canada accountable for policies that function as trade barriers to U.S. products. In a letter sent on Tuesday, Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) asked the officials to gain detailed information about the pricing scheme that is allowing Canadian dairy processors to undercut U.S. companies and upend market-driven dairy sectors around the world.
  • May 17, 2017

    IDFA Asks EPA to Ease Regulatory Burdens

    IDFA this week asked the Environmental Protection Agency to review several regulations that “place a massive burden on dairy foods processors that make them less competitive than food manufacturers overseas.” EPA solicited comments on whether to repeal, replace or modify its existing regulations as directed by President Trump under an executive order he enacted in February requiring a regulatory reform task force to help “alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.” IDFA’s comments highlighted three EPA regulations that are unnecessary burdens to dairy companies.
  • May 17, 2017

    Small Business Administration: Tell us Your Regulatory Burdens

    The Small Business Administration, a federal agency devoted to assisting small American businesses, has announced plans to host roundtable discussions across the country to find out what regulations most concern small companies. The roundtables, formed in part to comply with President Trump’s executive orders on regulatory reform and reduction, will allow dairy company professionals to share firsthand accounts with regulators and to ask for regulatory changes.
  • May 17, 2017

    Join Us at the 35th Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party

    IDFA’s Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party, now in its 35th year of celebration, is eagerly anticipated every summer by members of Congress, their families and staff, and other special guests. The Hill's "coolest" summertime tradition this year will dish up about 1500 gallons of ice cream and frozen yogurt, as well as 6,000 root beer floats. IDFA is extending an invitation this week to its members and the public to join in the festivities.
  • May 17, 2017

    IDFA Webinar to Provide Insights on Labeling and Product Reformulation

    Claims about ingredients are the most common reason for food and beverage label changes, according to recent research on labeling decisions across all food sectors conducted exclusively for IDFA by the international research firm McKinsey & Company. The survey also identified that providing clean labels, disclosing genetically engineered foods and making health claims are the top three reasons why companies decide to reformulate products. These findings are just a few of many that will be covered in a new IDFA webinar, “New Labeling Research: Balancing Policy Changes and Consumer Demands,” on Wednesday, June 7, at 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • May 15, 2017

    Are You Prepared for FDA’s New Listeria Policies and Tools?

    The Food and Drug Administration’s new draft guidance and policies related to Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods, along with its use of whole genome sequencing to better discriminate between bacteria strains, represent major changes to how the agency regulates dairy companies. IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP, June 12-13, in Washington, D.C., will feature a session to explain the impact of these new developments and offer advice to attendees on how to successfully adapt.
  • Dykes (left) and Gus Jacoby, executive vice president, fluid dairy group, T.C. Jacoby & Co., meets with Rep. Hartzler.
    May 10, 2017

    Rep. Hartzler Asks FDA for Quick Action on Ultra-filtered Milk

    The U.S. dairy industry’s dispute with Canada over its protectionist trade policies on ultra-filtered (UF) milk has drawn new and welcome attention to the use of UF milk in the United States. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, last week urged the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate existing federal regulations regarding UF milk and to allow regulatory discretion for its use in all standardized cheeses without the need for special labels. “The inconsistency and uncertainty of these regulations is discouraging domestic cheese manufacturers from utilizing UF milk in their plants,” Hartzler said.
  • May 10, 2017

    Sugar Dispute Escalates with Threats of New Duties from Mexico

    Following notification last week from the U.S. Department of Commerce that antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Mexican sugar could soon resume, Mexico quickly countered with its own trade punch. Mexican Sugar Chamber President Juan Cortina Gallardo told Inside U.S. Trade this week that Mexico plans to file an antidumping case against imports of U.S. high fructose corn syrup within a week. IDFA has argued against the suspension agreements and duties imposed on Mexican sugar imports, because they undermine free trade and the core principles of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • May 10, 2017

    NCIMS Conference to Consider Further PMO Alignment with FSMA

    The National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) will consider nearly 100 proposals to change Grade “A” plant and farm regulations in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) at its biennial meeting, May 12-17, in Grand Rapids, Mich. These proposals include a set that seeks to further align the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Cary Frye, IDFA vice president, is the NCIMS program committee chair. Earlier this month, Frye and several other IDFA regulatory affairs staff members met with their counterparts from the National Milk Producers Federation, then later with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials, to discuss the proposals and build consensus.
  • May 10, 2017

    IDFA, Business Groups Urge Administration to Support US Manufacturing in Global Institutions

    As part of a new coalition representing the broad U.S. manufacturing sector, IDFA and 14 other organizations this week urged federal agency leaders to defend American economic interests against a “growing wave of activities” conducted by the United Nations that could harm American workers and jobs. The groups said new UN policies and initiatives “have not been developed in a manner transparent to all stakeholders and are not based on good regulatory practice or sound science.” They added, “Many of these policy proposals and recommendations are formulated in ways that exclude or marginalize U.S. government and private sector representatives, calling into question the impartiality and motivations of these initiatives.”
  • May 10, 2017

    McKinsey & Co. to Reveal Research on Industry Label Decision-making in IDFA Webinar

    Drawing on recent research on labeling and product reformulations conducted exclusively for IDFA, the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company will present its findings on labeling decision-making and deployment processes that food and beverage companies are using in an IDFA webinar June 7, 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern time. “Today’s food and beverage companies must make increasingly complex decisions regarding product labeling,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs. “This research can help inform those decisions as companies position their products in today’s marketplace.”
  • Jonathan Gledhill, President of the Policy Navigation Group
    May 09, 2017

    A Little-Known White House Office Could Have Big Impact on Dairy

    The little-known White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is a big stop for all regulations in review and will play an important role this administration as President Trump seeks to relieve burdensome federal regulations. How can dairy professionals get involved with the office to ensure regulations don’t overly burden their companies? Former OMB staffer Jonathan Gledhill, now president of the Policy Navigation Group, will offer an inside perspective and advice during IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP, June 12-13, in Washington, D.C.
  • May 09, 2017

    EPA Invites Fluid Milk Plants to Test Energy Management Tool

    For the past seven years, IDFA has promoted energy efficiency in the dairy industry through a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency and by encouraging member participation in the agency’s voluntary ENERGY STAR programs and tools. EPA last week invited dairy companies to expand their commitment to improving the energy efficiency of their operations by testing a preliminary energy management tool designed specifically for plants that process fluid milk. If the tests are successful and EPA is pleased with the results, dairy companies testing the model and earn a performance score of 75 or higher in their facilities will be fast-tracked for ENERGY STAR certification.
  • Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, and other dairy leaders meet with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (second row, second to right) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    May 09, 2017

    Dairy Leaders Hit the Hill and USDA for Meetings on NAFTA

    IDFA last week joined more than 40 dairy company executives and farmers from across the country in meetings on Capitol Hill and with administration officials to stress the importance of preserving U.S. dairy exports in the North American market. The dairy industry fly-in included meetings with Stephen Vaughn, acting U.S. Trade Representative; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), speaker of the House; and Ray Starling, special assistant to President Donald Trump for agriculture, trade and food assistance. The group also met with leading members of the House and Senate agriculture committees and with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during his first week in office.
 
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