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The Weekly Grind – June 20, 2014

June 20, 2014

NAMA NEWS

NAMA PARTICIPATES IN INTERNATIONAL GRAINS COUNCIL MEETINGS

International Trade Consultant Paul Green represented NAMA at the annual meeting of the International Grains Council (IGC) in London. The IGC is an organization of grain production and importing countries that meets twice a year to discuss Supply/Demand and factors influencing the global grain-trading environment. It is one of the few fora that global government and private sector grain trade and processing industries can meet to discuss policy related issues.

NAMA also took advantage of the London location to meet with NABIM, the National Association of British and Irish Millers. The individual industries’ approach to mycotoxins was a prominent part of the discussion and it was agreed upon to continue to exchange information on the Codex Alimentarius proposals for stringent MLs on DON.

NAMA ORGANIZES U.S. GRAIN INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS IN A STRATEGY TO ADDRESS CODEX DON MLs

Following the decision by the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) to freeze action on Maximum Levels of Deoxynivalenol in grains, NAMA is helping to organize a grain task force of interested trade associations in the U.S. and Canada and to seek rational policies from Codex on DON and other mycotoxins.

NAMA has made several attempts to get other organizations to lead this effort, but the wheat producer sector, which would logically be the organizers, have resisted leading, pointing out that several countries have already implemented very stringent MLs for DON on imports of U.S. wheat. The growers also note correctly that the U.S. is very unlikely to adopt tighter mycotoxin standards based on the Codex actions. Therefore, our grower group colleagues indicate they are willing to continue to cooperate with other stakeholders in the Codex DON effort, but they will not be leading it.

This week, the stakeholders met and agreed to a strategy to engage Codex staff in Rome and fund a paper from the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) to provide input on approaches to DON and other mycotoxins in grains.

COMMENT PERIOD FOR INTENTIONAL ADULTERATION RULE COMING TO CLOSE

NAMA Director of Government Relations Sherri Lehman attended a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Coalition Committee meeting to review the Intentional Adulteration (IA) Rule and the Sanitary Transportation of Food (STF) Rule. The comment period for the IA Rule closes June 30 and there was consensus between the food and agriculture organizations in attendance that FDA should draw a distinction between food safety and food defense and should consider current mitigation strategies used by companies today. In discussions of the STF Rule, there was agreement that there was no need to keep records from three loads back.

NAMA PARTICIPATES IN USBG AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN FESTIVAL

NAMA Manager of Communications and Administration Lyndsey Valentine participated in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s (USBG) Amber Waves of Grain Festival at the Milling in Motion table on June 14 in Washington, D.C. The festival included hands-on activities for children, live wheat weaving, baking demonstrations, hand-crank flour mills, and a tabletop threshing machine as well as a mixing activity illustrating the function of different wheat classes and flour. In addition to USBG staff and volunteers, other participating groups included farmers from Maryland and Kansas as well as representatives from the American Bakers Association, Home Baking Association, Kansas Association of Straw Artists, Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, Kansas Wheat Commission, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, National Association of Wheat Growers, Nebraska Wheat Board, Wheat Foods Council, and the U.S. Wheat Associates.


INDUSTRY NEWS

THIS WEEK’S HEAT WAVE, AND HUMOR, MARK THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM’S ANNUAL COOKOUT
Washingtonian, By Carol Ross Joynt, June 18, 2014

Holding a tent party in Washington in June requires a well-developed sense of perspective.“Whoever was responsible for the weather, thank you,” Barbara Shea, board chair of the Friends of the National Arboretum, said over the multitude of floor fans at the group’s annual cookout Tuesday night. A crowd of 550 horticulturists, business leaders, and politicians gathered despite the heat, humidity, and threats of gusty thunderstorms. “We’ve sometimes had dramatic weather for this event,” said Shea. “Heat is the least of our worries.” Each year, according to honored tradition, the cookout celebrates a different state. This year it was the “Show Me” state, Missouri, and for that reason, almost the entire Missouri congressional delegation was in the tent, including senators William Lacy Clay and Roy Blunt, who went table to table to say hello to friends; and representatives Emanuel Cleaver, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Jason Smith, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Earl Blumenauer, and Tom Petri. Representing DC were council members Kenyan McDuffie and Tommy Wells, who was there with his wife, Barbara.

NAMA President and CEO Jim McCarthy attended the dinner and had the opportunity to speak with Senator Roy Blunt and USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Dr. Ann Bartuska.

To view the full Washingtonian article, visit http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/capitalcomment/parties/this-weeks-heatwave-and-humor-mark-the-national-arboretums-annual-cookout.php.

HOW THE AMERICAN DIET HAS FAILED
Washington Post, By Roberto A. Ferdman, June 18, 2014

If you took a little bit of dairy, added a slightly larger serving of vegetables, fruits and proteins, and then piled on as many superfluous oils, fats, and grains as possible, you’d have a mock, but also a reasonably accurate picture of the modern American diet. The Americans on average eat nearly 2,600 calories a day, almost 500 more than they did thirty years ago, according to the USDA, which uses food production data, along with spoilage and waste estimates, to approximate per capita consumption. That increase alone should be enough to raise an eyebrow (or three hundred million), but what’s most troubling isn’t the increase in our caloric intake, so much as its make-up. Over 92% of the uptick in per capita caloric intake since 1970 is attributable to oils, fats, and grains. Thirty years ago, the combination was responsible for roughly 37% of our daily calories; today, it makes up closer to 47% of our diet.

To view the full Washington Post article, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/18/the-rise-of-processed-and-fast-foods-and-the-ever-expanding-american-waistline/.

BORLAUG COLLEAGUE WINS WORLD FOOD PRIZE FOR WHEAT WORK
The Des Moines Register, By Christopher Doering, June 18, 2014

For decades, Sanjaya Rajaram has tirelessly toiled in labs and fields to carry on Iowa native Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, increasing wheat production and alleviating hunger around the world. The connection between the two plant breeders grew stronger Wednesday when Rajaram was honored as the 2014 recipient of the prestigious World Food Prize.

NAMA President and CEO Jim McCarthy and International Trade Consultant Paul Green were in attendance.

To view the full Des Moines Register article, visit http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2014/06/19/world-food-prize-sanjaya-rajaram-norman-borlaug-colleague/10832037/.

CONSUMERS WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR PROTEIN-ENRICHED FOODS
Food Business News, By Keith Nunes, June 16, 2014

Consumers are open to purchasing protein-enriched foods, most notably nutrition bars, cereal and bread, according to The NPD Group. In its “Protein perception and needs” report, the market research firm said one in five consumers is willing to pay more for a protein-enriched item. As part of a survey of consumers, The NPD Group defined “protein enriched” as foods that naturally have no protein or a low amount of protein and are then enriched. The survey included a list of such products as cereal, nutrition bars, non-dairy beverages, frozen foods, soup, etc., for respondents to consider. The list did not include such items as yogurt and meat products because they are natural sources of protein.

To view the full Food Business News article, visit http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/2014/06/Consumers_willing_to_pay_more.aspx?ID=%7B69E5FE2B-C337-47E0-81C8-96C364B5033F%7D.

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