NAMA staff attended the 2013 Division Meetings at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. Major topics of the NAMA Division Meetings included biotech wheat, food safety, oat research, sustainability and allergens.
Terri Long reported the Wheat Innovation Alliance has completed messaging tools that can be used by members to foster acceptance of biotech wheat by customers and the public. Tools include sound bites with backup proof points and a PowerPoint slide deck. Members can contact Terri for the tools at [email protected].
Jim Bair described the recent NAMA-sponsored conference at which more than 40 oat researchers and NAMA members gathered in Ottawa to discuss next steps in the Collaborative Oat Research Enterprise that has developed molecular markers for critical agronomic and nutritional traits. Members with questions can contact Jim at [email protected] or view the conference proceedings at https://www.namamillers.org/meetings/2013-oat-research-meeting/
Jim discussed recent meetings with representatives of grower and customer associations regarding sustainability. NAMA’s technical committee will form a task force to work on the issue. NAMA anticipates millers will receive a sustainability survey from a major retailer this fall. In the meantime, the Field to Market report serves as an excellent source of information on sustainability gains made by major crops including wheat and corn. View the report here: http://www.fieldtomarket.org/report/
Sherri Lehman reviewed the current status of FDA’s Preventive Controls for Food rule and requested input from the Technical Committee on the NAMA draft comments circulated in March by April 16, 2013. A final draft of the comments will be sent to members prior to the submission deadline of May 16, 2013.
Sherri reported on the current open FDA docket requesting information to help them conduct a risk-assessment to establish regulatory thresholds for major food allergens. It was noted that FDA attempted to establish allergen thresholds in 2006 and was unable to agree on an approach. NAMA is working with the “grain chain” and other stakeholders on this issue.