Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the incoming chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, reached out last month to more than 150 companies and trade organizations, including IDFA, to identify regulations that have harmed job growth in their industries. IDFA responded this week, naming the complex and outdated federal order pricing system and the painstakingly slow process for changing product standards of identity as the main obstacles for dairy.
"While IDFA supports regulations that safeguard the food supply, and the dairy industry has an excellent food safety record, this web of regulations is holding us back and keeping this industry from reaching its full potential as an economic engine for our country," the comments stated.
Regarding the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, IDFA said "Federal requirements need to be updated to get USDA on the right track." As an example, IDFA noted that the Office of Management and Budget is prohibited in annual appropriations bills from reviewing proposed FMMO regulations to conduct cost benefit analyses. IDFA called for Congressional oversight and support to ensure that the system is reformed in the 112th Congress.
The disproportionately high number of food standards mandated by the Food and Drug Administration is another key hindrance to growth for dairy, IDFA said. Modernizing the food standards process and streamlining rulemaking for standards of identity would go a long way to help manufacturers keep pace with constantly changing consumer preferences, new technology and global trade in dairy.
Read the letter here.