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NAMA calls on Congress to do more for the malnourished people of the world

June 16, 2005

Washington, D.C. – June 16, 2005 – In a hearing of the United States House of Representatives today, James A. Madich testified on behalf of the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) in support of export food aid programs and the pre-positioning of food aid products. Madich is the Chairman of NAMA’s International Trade Committee and Vice President, Flour Milling, of Horizon Milling, LLC a Cargill, Inc. affiliate. His testimony calls on Congress to defend the legitimacy of U.S. food aid programs before the World Trade Organization.

Mr. Jim Madich, Vice President, Horizon Milling, Wayzata, Minnesota testifying before the House of Representatives on behalf of the North American Millers’ Association. Testifying on the same panel with Mr. Madich were Mr. Bart Ruth, Past President, American Soybean Association, Rising City, Nevada; Ms. Barbara Spangler, Executive Director, Wheat Export Trade Education Committee, Washington, DC; and Mr. John Lestingi, Vice President, The Rice Company, Morganville, New Jersey, on behalf of the US Rice Producers Association and USA Rice Federation.

Current estimates put the number of malnourished people in the world at 850 million. “Food aid budgets need to be predictable and big enough to make a real dent in the number of malnourished people around the world, to improve education levels and help HIV/AIDS remediation” said Madich. “We’re clearly doing far too little.”

On June 8 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY06 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Of the total $17 billion provided in discretionary resources, $1.107 billion is for Food For Peace (PL 480) Title II. Title II PL 480 funds are used for development programs and emergencies. Development programs include school feeding, food for work, and monetization. “The current appropriations process has yielded inadequate funding up front for global needs resulting in additional supplemental appropriations. This piecemeal funding process does not allow for long term planning and forces programs to be cancelled and recipients dropped” said Madich.

Predictability and stability can have a positive impact on the entire food aid chain. In September 2004, the U.S. Agency for International Development began a pilot project to store processed U.S. commodities in warehouses within easy access of future emergencies. This pre-positioning project has been an overwhelming success. It enabled the U.S. to deliver food aid to Tsunami victims within hours of the tragedy occurring. Testimony called for this successful project to be expanded.

Development programs are an essential part of the U.S. national security. By assisting those in need, the U.S. reduces the pool of people from whom U.S. adversaries recruit. U.S. food aid reduces dependency and promotes self-reliance. U.S. food aid is a demonstration of U.S. compassion and caring.

NAMA has 48 member companies operating 169 wheat, corn, oat and rye mills in 38 states, 150 cities, and Canada. Its members have been active suppliers to U.S. food aid programs since the inception of the PL 480 program 50 years ago. Companies supply fortified, grain-based products to USDA who distribute the products to Non-Government Organizations and World Food Programme for the Title II PL 480 programs.

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CONTACT: Terri Todd, Director of Communications
202.484.2200, ext.108
ttodd@namamillers.org

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