The Weekly Grind – May 23, 2014May 23, 2014
NAMA PRESIDENT GIVES KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT IAOM’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXPO
Jim McCarthy, President and CEO of NAMA gave the keynote address this week at the International Association of Operative Millers’ (IAOM) 118th Annual Conference and Expo. During his speech, McCarthy discussed, “The Power of Flour,” NAMA’s new grassroots advocacy effort to shape policy. “The Power of Flour” focuses on three pillars: food safety, nutrition, and the supply chain. McCarthy also spoke of NAMA’s other activities and partnerships and touched base on the role NAMA would like to play for the milling industry in the future.
To download a pdf of the presentation, visit http://www.namamillers.org/pdf/McCarthy_IAOM.pdf.
To view the two videos that accompany the presentation visit http://www.namamillers.org/wmv/Video1_NAMA_Intro.wmv for part 1 and http://www.namamillers.org/wmv/Video2_NAMA_grassroots_Overview_720.wmv for part 2.
NAMA OBSERVES FOOD AID AT SUDAN REFUGEE CAMP IN KENYA
Paul Green, NAMA’s International Trade Consultant visited the Kikumu Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya last week during an International Trade Committee sponsored food aid mission in cooperation with the World Food Program. Green observed the use of food aid in responding to the expansion of the camp from less than 100,000 persons to over 150,000 in the last several months. The unrest in South Sudan has led to a stream of refugees into Kenya. World Food Program reports that they have the ability to process 700 people per day into the camp, but over 2,000 persons per day have shown up at the gates, severely challenging their ability to respond with food, shelter and security.
Green is preparing a report that will be available by the end of May, but one of the huge issues identified by this trip is the inability to program any NAMA food products except wheat flour due to the Government of Kenya’s ban on genetically modified foods into or in transit through Kenya. This restriction is another example of the challenge of responding to humanitarian need in the face of non-science based regulations of biotechnology by countries around the world.
FOURTH MEETING OF THE DIETARY GUIDELINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ANNOUNCED
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) – HHS, in collaboration with the USDA, has scheduled the fourth public meeting of the DGAC, which will be accessible by webcast only, for July 17 and 18, 2014 – The meeting agenda will include “… (a) review of Committee work since the last public meeting and (b) plans for future Committee work …” – The purpose of the DGAC is to “… examine the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, take into consideration new scientific evidence and current resource documents, and develop a report that is to be given to the Secretaries of HHS and USDA. The report will outline science-based recommendations and rationales, which will serve as the basis for developing the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For more information, visit http://www.fien.com/article.php?id=29833.
FLOUR RIVALS STRIKE U.S. ANTITRUST DEAL
Wall Street Journal, By Jacob Bunge, May 21, 2014
U.S. antitrust regulators said they would bless a joint venture to create the country’s largest seller of wheat flour if the companies involved follow through on plans to sell four mills to a smaller rival. The joint venture, called Ardent Mills, would comprise the flour operations of Cargill Inc., CHS Inc. and ConAgra Foods Inc. in a company with an estimated $4 billion in annual sales, about a third of the U.S. flour business. The Justice Department has been investigating the deal since last summer, with officials expressing concern that it could boost prices for wheat in several regions, potentially influencing prices of pizza dough, bagels, and cakes.
To view the full Wall Street Journal article, visit http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702304422704579574380079523794?mod=yahoo_itp&mg=reno64-wsj.
USDA DELAYS WHOLE GRAINS RULE FOR SCHOOL PASTAS
Associated Press, By Mary Clare Jalonick, May 20, 2014
The Agriculture Department will allow some schools to delay adding more whole-grains to meals this year, responding to criticism from school nutrition officials and Congress that the standards were too difficult to put in place. The delay comes hours after a Republican-led House spending panel criticized the Obama administration’s healthier school-lunch standards and proposed letting some schools opt out of them entirely. To view the full Associated Press article, visit http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HEALTHIER_SCHOOL_MEALS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT.