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  • Tony Eberhard, IDFA Vice President of Legislative Affairs
    January 17, 2018

    Hill of Beans

    ​The federal government will shut down by the weekend should Congress fail to pass an appropriations bill to fund the government by midnight on Friday, Jan. 19, explains Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative policy, in his latest Hill of Beans column. "I’d expect that Republicans will give something to the Democrats to get a short-term continuing resolution, even if it’s just a commitment for further action on one of their key issues," he said, adding that no one will be satisfied. The good news: Debates around the Margin Protection Program and Livestock Gross Margin provisions in a final appropriations bill and a guest-worker program that works for dairy in a larger immigration agreement will resume when the funding bill is passed.
  • January 17, 2018

    IDFA, NMPF Oppose Proposed Raw Milk Bill in Virginia

    IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter last week to Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services opposing proposed legislation that would loosen restrictions on the sale of raw milk to consumers in the state. The bill would allow consumers in Virginia to purchase raw milk through herd-sharing ownership agreements. The bill, H.B. 825, also would remove existing regulations prohibiting sales of raw milk for consumption. Creating herd ownership agreements is a loophole that would put vulnerable consumers at risk, IDFA and NMPF said.
  • John Allan, IDFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and International Standards
    January 17, 2018

    IDFA Discusses Inspection Concerns with FDA Officials

    IDFA met last month with several top Food and Drug Administration officials, including Dr. Stephen Ostroff, M.D., deputy commissioner of the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, and Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, to share concerns about FDA inspections of dairy food facilities under the new Preventive Controls for Human Food rule. FDA welcomed the opportunity to hear from the industry, according to John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. “It is clear the agency is looking to be more consistent and efficient in carrying out its duties and IDFA is glad to be able to help,” he said.
  • January 17, 2018

    UDSA Trade Counsel Jason Hafemeister to Headline Sweetener Colloquium

    Jason Hafemeister, trade counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will deliver the keynote address at the International Sweetener Colloquium to provide an insider’s look into USDA’s latest trade policy and actions that affect food companies and sweetener users. As trade counsel, Hafemeister advises Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney on agricultural trade policy. “Hafemeister understands the issues facing the U.S. sweetener sector and, as a counsel to USDA’s top leaders, is uniquely qualified to provide the latest insights into the administration’s agricultural trade agenda,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs.
  • January 17, 2018

    FDA’s ‘Roadmap’ Outlines Future Actions on Key Regulations for Dairy

    The Food and Drug Administration last week released its new Strategic Policy Roadmap, an 18-page report highlighting key priorities and selected areas where FDA wants to achieve results during the next two years. Important to IDFA members, the report outlines FDA’s plans for progress on Nutrition Facts label updates, Standards of Identity, label claims and the Food Safety Modernization Act. “We’re pleased to see many of FDA’s priorities align with areas of interest to the dairy industry,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs.
  • Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
    January 17, 2018

    FDA to Issue Guidance on Voluntary Recall Procedures

    Scott Gottlieb, M.D., commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, recently announced that FDA will issue guidance on food recall communications within the next six months. His announcement followed a report released in December by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services that outlined shortcomings in FDA’s process for handling food recalls. “We’re staying closely engaged with FDA officials as they work on the guidance,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
  • January 17, 2018

    Can’t Attend Dairy Forum? Engage via Broadcast Live

    Dairy Forum 2018 will bring together a diverse group of industry leaders next week to discuss the future of dairy and ways to take advantage of the opportunities ahead. If you’re not able to attend, you can register at no cost to view two featured sessions that will be broadcast live online from Palm Desert, California. IDFA and Dairy Foods magazine have partnered to offer these broadcasts on Monday, Jan. 22. IDFA also invites members to follow along with #DairyForum conversations on social media for real-time highlights from the event.
  • January 17, 2018

    In Memoriam: Albert Yarnell, Former President of Yarnell Ice Cream Company

    Albert Yarnell, former president of Yarnell Ice Cream Company, passed away this month at the age of 94. For more than 75 years, he worked with his family and management team to expand the company’s operations. He became the company’s president in 1974. He made significant contributions to IDFA as well, serving as a board member of the International Ice Cream Association for 18 years. Yarnell is an inductee of both the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Dairy Products Association Hall of Fame.
  • January 17, 2018

    ‘Dairy Delivers,’ IDFA’s Economic Impact Tool, Looks at Georgia

    The dairy products industry in Georgia employs more than 23,000 skilled individuals, generates more than $675 million in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of $2.26 billion. The state’s dairy companies ranked 19th among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in contributions to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2017, according to IDFA’s Dairy Delivers. The tool is designed to help tell the story of the economic power of the dairy products industry.
  • January 10, 2018

    IDFA Garners Coverage for Dairy While Amplifying President Trump’s Message to Farmers

    President Donald Trump’s speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation in Nashville on Monday presented IDFA with a unique opportunity to leverage public interest in trade and the administration’s support for rural communities. In the news cycle that followed, IDFA emphasized the importance of international trade to the U.S. dairy industry, the need to successfully renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the value that workforce development would bring to rural communities across the country and IDFA’s economic impact tool, Dairy Delivers. IDFA worked with the White House communications team to publicize the news from the president’s speech and its impact on the dairy industry.
  • Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky (center left) meets with Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO (center right) and IDFA board members during a December fly-in.
    January 10, 2018

    How Will USDA Promote Rural Agriculture Prosperity in 2018?

    Armed with the interagency task force report released this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture can better achieve its goal of maximizing opportunities to create jobs in agriculture. How will USDA act to meet this goal in 2018? Dairy leaders will learn more about USDA’s plans from Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky, who is set to deliver remarks at Dairy Forum 2018, January 21-24 in Palm Desert, California. “Steve is well versed in the issues of modern food and agriculture production and has prior leadership experience at USDA having served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We’re looking forward to hearing his insight at Dairy Forum and to working with him.”
  • January 10, 2018

    FDA Grants Enforcement Discretion for Several FSMA Provisions

    The Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it will not enforce certain provisions in four Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules while it considers changes to the requirements and addresses stakeholder concerns. IDFA welcomes this announcement and agrees with the statement made by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., that the move will help reduce industry and government burdens as the agency works to provide flexibility in FSMA’s implementation. The announcement covers certain requirements in the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule, the Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule, the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule and the Produce Safety rule.
  • January 10, 2018

    IDFA, Others Call for Science-based Messages on Sodium DRIs

    IDFA joined with a coalition comprised of several other food associations this week to urge an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services to adhere to scientific evidence when crafting messages from the agency’s systematic review of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for sodium and potassium. “We are concerned that the current key messages are neither transparent nor accurate in that they do not adequately confer the true state of the science as articulated in the report,” the coalition said in comments filed on Monday with the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • January 10, 2018

    How Is President Trump Shaping Nutrition and Labeling Policy?

    The White House last month announced that federal agencies are making progress toward more effective and less burdensome regulation and that they plan to finalize three deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action in fiscal year 2018. How will these actions affect the expected release in July of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, implementation of Nutrition Facts label updates and work on the next Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Agricultural policy experts and editors will answer these questions and more as they map the road ahead for nutrition and labeling issues at the International Sweetener Colloquium, Feb. 11-14, in Orlando.
  • January 10, 2018

    IDFA Welcomes Agpro, Inc. As Business Partner

    IDFA welcomes Agpro, Inc. as its newest Business Partner. The company is located in Paris, Texas, and specializes in waste management for the dairy industry.
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