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Dairy Facts 2016

IDFA Clarifies Status of Regulations on Administration’s Unified Agenda

Aug 02, 2017

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has announced plans to withdraw and reconsider regulations it called “ineffective, duplicative and obsolete” in the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions it released last month. The administration updates the Unified Agenda twice every year and includes regulatory agendas from all federal regulatory agencies that currently have regulations under development or review. The current agenda is of interest to IDFA members because it includes status updates for key regulations affecting dairy companies.

IDFA members may log in to read a status list of all regulations relevant to dairy included on the Unified Agenda.

For the first time, OMB included an “Inactive Actions List” to provide public notice of regulations still being reviewed or considered. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard was listed, but efforts continue.

“Although the bioengineered food disclosure standard has been placed on the list, USDA is actively moving forward on the rule,” said Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel. “The agency is now gathering information from stakeholders on extremely important issues through the agency’s scoping questions. Responses are due August 25, and we expect the agency to use those for drafting the proposed rule.” IDFA plans to submit comments.

Also included on the “Inactive Actions List” are USDA’s Nutrition Facts changes that apply to meat, poultry and egg products. These regulations are different from the rule changes issued in May 2016, by the Food and Drug Administration, which apply to milk and dairy products. In June, FDA announced its intention to extend the compliance dates for the new Nutrition Facts label and Serving Size rules to provide additional time for implementation, but no timeline was set. FDA said it will provide details of the extension through a Federal Register notice at a later time.


The actions on the regulations included in the Unified Agenda reflect the policies in President Donald Trump’s executive orders for regulatory reform. In February, President Trump issued an executive order requiring federal agencies and executive departments to identify at least two existing regulations for repeal whenever a new regulation is proposed or finalized. This order also required costs for any new regulations to be offset with reductions from the rules that were eliminated. In April, he issued a second executive order to establish guidance for agencies to use when implementing the first order.

Overall, the agenda included the following agency actions:

  • Agencies withdrew 469 actions proposed in the Fall 2016 Agenda;
  • Agencies reconsidered 391 active actions by reclassifying them as long-term (282) and inactive (109); and
  • Economically significant regulations fell to 58, or about 50 percent less than the Fall 2016 Agenda.

For more information, contact Lyons at

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