The Weekly Grind – January 31, 2014January 31, 2014
HOUSE PASSES FARM BILL CONFERENCE REPORT
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing nearly
$1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs, setting the stage for final passage of a new five-year farm bill that has been stalled for more than two years.
The Farm Bill Conference Report language includes the EPA Sulfuryl Fluoride (SF) Technical Assistance Legislative language that NAMA strongly advocated for. The EPA language is even stronger than the coalition-supported Senator Donnelly language, in protecting and maintaining SF uses and it would lead to the termination of EPA’s proposed rule on SF. This language, if maintained, will ensure a vital fumigant is available for a wide variety of food and agricultural uses in the United States, helping ensure an abundant and safe U.S. food supply and benefit the economy.
NAMA was a strong proponent of reforming the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), specifically calling for a reduction of the current CRP cap of 32 million acres. The Farm Bill language calls for lowering the maximum number of acres in the Conservation Reserve Program from 32 million to 24 million acres.
The Research title of the farm bill includes $10 million per year to support Fusarium, or Scab research and establishes the NAMA supported Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to supplement USDA’s basic and allied research activities.
NAMA interests in international food aid were addressed without the harm that we had feared as the Farm Bill process developed. There is more cash diverted to private voluntary organizations (PVO) for overhead, but those funds are intended to replace monetization and give an incentive to them to do less monetization than in the past, including the Administration’s original proposal to shift all the funding for PL 480 from Agriculture to the Foreign Affairs accounts and later proposals to shift funding to Local food procurement. The bill did authorize the USDA to undertake Local and Regional Purchase Program (LRP) for up to $80 million per year, but that would take a separate appropriation. In 2014, there is no such appropriation, so the earliest this project could be undertake would be 2015.
The Senate is expected to vote on the measure next Tuesday evening and the White House has indicated that the President will sign the bill.
NAMA SEEKS DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY AND TECHNICAL AFFAIRS
NAMA is seeking a Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs. For information on qualifications and job responsibilities, visit http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/NAMA-Director-Regulatory-and-Technical-Affairs1.pdf. To apply, please e-mail résumé’s to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please. NAMA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, color, gender, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, and physical or mental disability.
GRAIN CHAIN GATHERS AT USA RICE FEDERATION
This week “Grain Chain” members met to discuss the development of the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, FDA Nutrition Facts Panel, and activities to promote grain foods to consumers and influencers. Representation of the “Grain Chain” includes the North American Millers’ Association, as well as the American Bakers Association, Grain Foods Foundation, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Pasta Association, U.S. Wheat Associates, USA Rice Federation, and Wheat Foods Council.
THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR 2014 DIVISION MEETINGS
There is still time to register for the 2014 NAMA Division Meetings, which are being hosted at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida. Registration forms, a preliminary program schedule and hotel information are available on the NAMA website at http://www.namamillers.org/meetings/2014-division-meetings/. Reserve your hotel room before February 7 to receive the NAMA discounted group room rate. The early bird meeting registration fee discount ends February 3.
WFC UNVEILS PLANS FOR SECOND “WHEAT SAFARI”
The Wheat Foods Council (WFC) unveiled plans this month to host another “Wheat Safari,” which is scheduled for August and will take place in North Dakota. The first “Wheat Safari,” held June 2012 in Kansas, accumulated more than 20 bloggers and columnists from across the United States.
To view the full Baking Business article, visit http://www.bakingbusiness.com/articles/news_home/Business/2014/01/WFC_to_sponsor_second_Wheat_Sa.aspx?ID=%7B59659CD4-6E04-4A0B-8B6E-3EF2A80AC2C4%7D.
FDA FEED RULE COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED
FDA has extended the public comment period to March 31, 2014 for its October 29, 2013 proposed regulations for domestic and foreign facilities to “… establish requirements for current good manufacturing practice in manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding of animal food and to require that certain facilities establish and implement hazard analysis and risk based preventive controls for food for animals.” To view the full article, go to http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm383490.htm.