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NAMA News – May 9, 2013

May 9, 2013

Inside this Issue:


Milling Science and Operations Committee Chairman Visits K-State

Chairman of NAMA’s Milling Science and Operations Committee Tom Rogers, Wilkins Rogers Mills and NAMA vice president Jim Bair, represented NAMA at an April 25 meeting of Kansas State University’s Grain Science Advisory Council. While in Manhattan, they also observed a milling science lecture presented by Fran Churchill, NAMA Instructor of Milling. In addition to funding the milling instructor position, NAMA also funds scholarships for milling science students. The 2012-13 recipient of the NAMA scholarship is Austin Bergeron. The NAMA funds at K-State will generate enough income to sponsor two milling science scholarships in 2013-14.  

(Pictured left to right: Jim Bair, NAMA Vice President; Fran Churchill, NAMA Instructor of Milling; Austin Bergeron, NAMA Scholarship Recipient; Tom Rogers, Chairman, Milling Science and Operations Committee, Wilkins Rogers Mills.)


NAMA Urges Continuation of SCAB Funding

This week NAMA sent letters to House and Senate Appropriators strongly urging them to keep funding the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI).  The President’s FY 2014 budget terminates $4.71 million (post-FY 2013 sequester) in USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) funding and redirects the monies to non-scab ARS research programs in a few states. While significant progress has been made through the USWBSI, the continuing threat posed by scab in its typical impact areas in the East, Midwest and South is a reminder that vigilance is still necessary.

To view the letter sent to the House and Senate Appropriators, follow this link:

http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/SCAB-Letter1.pdf


NAMA Hosts Visit from Japan Flour Millers Association

In what has become an annual tradition, NAMA hosted members of the Japan Flour Millers Association in the NAMA office May 3. NAMA vice president Jim Bair gave a presentation highlighting NAMA’s top priorities including food safety, changing crop patterns and biotechnology. Also speaking were Christine Cochrane, Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), who discussed the GFF response to low/no gluten fad diets and Lee Sanders, American Bakers Association who discussed bakers’ priorities.

(Pictured: Members of the 2013 Japanese Milling Executive Team visiting the NAMA office included: Tsunetaka Honda, President, Nippon Flour Mills Co., Ltd.; Masaaki Kadota, Executive Director, Flour Millers Association; Kazuhiko Niitsuma, Managing Director, Showa Sangyo Co., Ltd.; Naoji Uike, Chairman, Riken-Nosan-Kako Co., Ltd.; and Motohiro Seko, President, Seko Flour Milling Co., Ltd.)


Coalition Opposes GM Labeling Legislation

A broad coalition of 36 food and agriculture associations, including NAMA, jointly sent a letter to Congress opposing recently introduced legislation that would require special labels for foods with biotech content. The coalition’s May 8 letter was sent to all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The bills, S.809 and H.R.1699 – the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act – were introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D–OR), respectively.

The current Food and Drug Administration policy is that such foods or ingredients do not require special labeling, as they are not materially different from conventional foods or ingredients. The coalition wrote that special GM labeling would “not provide consumers with any significant or useful information” and “may mislead consumers into believing that products are somehow materially different or even dangerous.”

To view bill H.R.1699, follow this link:

http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/H.R.1699-GM-labeling-bill1.pdf

To view a copy of the coalition letter, follow this link:

http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Coalition-letter-opposing-GM-labeling1.pdf


NAMA and Syngenta Meet to Discuss Wheat Quality

In 2012 NAMA and seed company Syngenta met to discuss the critical importance of milling and baking quality at all stages of wheat variety development. As an outcome of those discussions, Syngenta held a May 7 meeting in Berthoud, CO. Participating were 14 representatives from nine milling companies, NAMA vice president Jim Bair and members of the grower and baker communities. In-depth discussions were held on quality and related subtopics including end product functionality, Syngenta’s trait pipeline and sustainability. The meeting included tours of Syngenta’s wheat quality lab and greenhouses. 

(Pictured left to right: Norm Dreger, Syngenta; Reuben McLean, Pendleton Flour Mills; Joe Smith, Syngenta; Bob Sombke, North Dakota Mill & Elevator.)


Administration Continues Push for Local, Regional Food Aid Change

The Obama Administration continues to lobby aggressively for its proposal to end the Food for Peace Program of food aid that has been providing nutrition to hungry people around the world for nearly 60 years and replace it with a cash program to give some recipients cash and to buy food in other countries for some others. Attached is yesterday’s Chicago Tribune op-ed piece written by the Secretary of State and Agriculture and the Administrator of USAID.  Illinois is considered an important state in this debate, particularly because Senator Durbin is in the Senate Leadership and is a thought leader in past food aid discussions.

NAMA and other agriculture groups have been actively monitoring the status of the proposal in Congress and so far, we find little evidence the Administration proposal will be adopted as proposed, but we think it is likely that some flexibility will be given to the Administration to substitute cash or LRP distributions instead of 100% U.S. origin food.

To view the Chicago Tribunes op-ed, follow this link:

http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Food-Aid_21st-Century_OpEd1.pdf

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