The Weekly Grind – February 7, 2014February 7, 2014
NAMA URGES REJECTION OF USER FEES
NAMA, along with other food and agricultural organizations, urged the Administration to reject FDA’s regulatory taxes as a revenue raiser. This issue was a constant topic of discussion during the Food Safety Modernization Act deliberations and FDA continues to voice support for additional funding through user fees. In a letter sent to the Administration, NAMA reiterated its support of maintaining the safety of the U.S. food supply as a top national priority and encouraged lawmakers to appropriate adequate federal funds to implement food safety programs and inspections that benefit all American consumers without imposing new food safety taxes or user fees on consumers and food makers. Visit http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FDA-Reg-Taxes-2015-Admin-FINAL-1.pdf to view the letter.
NAMA JOINS GMO COALITION CAMPAIGN FOR A FEDERAL LABELING SOLUTION
NAMA, along with farmers and representatives from a diverse group of almost thirty industry and non-governmental organizations, announced the formation of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (www.CFSAF.org) and urged Congress to quickly seek a federal solution that would establish standards for the safety and labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association said, “GMO technology has fostered a revolution in American agriculture that has benefitted consumers in the United States and around the world. And with global population expected to grow from seven to nine billion by 2050, we will need 70% more food production to keep safe.” To view the full press release from the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, visit http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Final-Press-Release-Coalition-for-Safe-Affordable-Food-Launch31.pdf.
SAVE THE DATE: 2014 NAMA LEADERSHIP MEETING
The NAMA 2014 Leadership Meeting in Washington, D.C. will take place April 9-10 this year. NAMA has invited its Executive Committee and Board of Directors to join industry leaders in Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of the milling industry. Hotel and registration information will be sent in the coming weeks.
PRESIDENT SIGNS FARM BILL INTO LAW
This week, in a 68-32 vote, the Senate passed the Agriculture Act of 2014, most commonly known as the farm bill. Today, the President signed that bill in to law. “Many people said this would never happen in this environment, but congress has come together to pass a major bipartisan jobs bill,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The bill includes the EPA Sulfuryl Fluoride Technical Assistance Legislative language that NAMA strongly advocated for, as well as 10 million dollars per year to support Fusarium, or Scab research, and establishes a NAMA supported Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to supplement USDA’s basic and allied research activities. NAMA was also a strong proponent of reforming the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), specifically calling for a reduction of the current CRP cap. The farm bill language calls for lowering the maximum number of acres in the CRP from 32 to 24 million acres.
For an overview of the Agriculture Act of 2014, go to http://www.ag.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/senate-approves-2014-farm-bill.
WHY WE NEED GMO WHEAT
In the opinion piece, “We Need GMO Wheat,” written this week in the New York Times, Jayson Lusk, a professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University and Henry I. Miller, a physician and fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the author of “Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto about the Politics of Your Plate,” outlines the benefits of GMO wheat and what it would offer to our nation’s farmers and the population worldwide.
To view the full New York Times article, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/opinion/we-need-gmo-wheat.html?_r=0.
THIRD MEETING OF THE DIETARY GUIDELINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ANNOUNCED
The third meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will be held March 14 from 8a.m. to 4:45p.m. The meeting will be accessible by webcast only. Registration for this meeting is currently available on DGAC’s website. The website also contains a link to specific requests from the committee for public comments. Meeting materials, including a draft agenda, will be available soon. To register for the webcast, visit http://www.nccsite.com/events/dgac/.
FEBRUARY IS BAKE FOR FAMILY FUN MONTH
The Home Baking Association (HBA) has designated February as Bake for Family Fun Month and encourages families to spend time together baking. Charlene Patton, Executive Director of HBA, suggests families visit Homebaking.org for recipes and family baking activities.
To view the full press release, visit http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/PR_HBA_BakeforFamilyFun1.pdf.