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Corn Division Meeting Minutes – October 26, 2012

North American Millers’ Association
Corn Division Committee
Minutes

The Grove Park Inn
Skyline Room

Friday, October 26, 2012
1:15-3:15PM

DRAFT

Members Present:

George Allard, Chairman, Bunge Milling, Inc.

Keith Ballard, PepsiCo/Quaker Oats

Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company

John Didion, Didion Milling Company

Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling, Inc.

Bob Giguere, Iowa Corn Processors, Inc.

Robert Harper, Hopkinsville Milling Co.

Kim King, Lakeside Mills, Inc.

Tommy Lynn, C.H. Guenther & Son, Inc.

Jim Meyer, Italgrani, USA

Bruce Roskens, Grain Millers, inc.

Rick Schwein, Grain Millers, Inc.

Don Sullins, ADM Milling Company

 

Nick Weigel, ADM Milling Company

Stephen Wickes, Agricor, Inc.

Bryan Wurscher, Cargill Corn Milling

 

Staff:

Mary Waters, President

Jim Bair, Vice President

Sherri Lehman, Staff Liaison, Director of Government Affairs

Lyndsey Valentine, Administrative Assistant

Paul Green, International Trade Consultant

Robert Myers, Jr., Legal Counsel, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP


1. Call to Order- George Allard, Chairman, Bunge Milling, Inc.

Mr. Allard called the meeting to order at 1:18p.m.

a. Introductions- George Allard, Bunge Milling, Inc.

Self-introductions were made.

b. Review of Antitrust Guidelines- Robert H. Myers, Legal Counsel, Morris, Manning, & Martin, LLP

Mr. Myers, legal counsel, reviewed the antitrust guidelines.

2. Administrative

a.  Approval of Minutes– Sherri Lehman, NAMA

The March 11, 2012 Corn Division minutes were distributed prior to the meeting for review.  Mr. Wurscher noted a correction to be made to the minutes.  Mr. Ellis made a motion to approve the minutes.  Mr. Sullins seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved at 1:21p.m.

b. Report on Corn Division Reserve Fund & Budget- Mary Waters, NAMA

Ms. Waters reported that there is $201,447.23 in the Corn Division Reserve Fund.

3. Items for Discussion

a. Research

i. Report on Corn Dry Milling Conference- Robert Harper, Hopkinsville Milling Company

Mr. Harper said the Corn Dry Milling Conference (CMDC) would take place in Peoria, Illinois in May 2013.  He noted the dates have not been set.  He said if anyone would like to volunteer for the committee or has any topics or speakers they would like to hear, to let him know.

ii. Cornmeal Nutritionals Update- Steve Wickes, Agricor, Inc.

Mr. Wickes reported NAMA milling member, Chelsea Milling, inquired about the discrepancy in fat levels found on the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. NAMA has met with USDA via conference calls to discuss the issue and USDA has expressed willingness to work with NAMA to help populate the database.

Mr. Wickes suggested NAMA not encourage a study of cornmeal fat levels that advocates acid hydrolysis, which is USDA’s preferred method of analysis, instead preferring the ether extraction method Mr. Roskens said it is important to compare methods of analysis because the hybrid has changed compositionally there may be seasonal difference between the crops.  Mr. Wurscher asked if the study would just highlight a difference.  Mr. Wickes said the desired outcome of the study is that a common method based on either extraction would be the preferred test.  He said NAMA could move forward with what USDA has proposed, let the issue die, or members could provide additional feedback to work further with USDA on a proposal.

iii. Update on New Corn Research Project- Sherri Lehman, NAMA

Ms. Lehman said at the Corn Dry Milling Conference, they had a separate meeting to discuss a new corn research project.  Brian Anderson and Keith Smith have been working on a proposal but it is not quite ready yet.  Ms. Waters said the budget for the project is $5,000.

b. Food Safety

i. Update on FSMA Implementation- Sherri Lehman, NAMA

Ms. Lehman said the regulations on preventive controls and produce safety have not come out yet.  The only new item for discussion is the registration renewal process is now open.  The registration period is from October-December, however, government regulators have been discussing the possibility of extending the deadline since registration opened later than expected.

c. Supply

i. Aflatoxin Conditions- Jim Bair, NAMA

Mr. Bair said NAMA is working in coalition with other aflatoxin stakeholders.  The aflatoxin situation is not as bad as previously thought.  Mr. Bair reported that as an industry, we have been more proactive. On August 21, Mr. Bair sent members FDA compliance documents and on August 28, he sent members details of a relaxed blending policy. Mr. Allard said the related industries seem to be vigilant as well. 

4. Other Business

Mr. Bair discussed the technical meeting, which was held at the Institute of Food Safety and Health in Chicago, IL.  Bob Brackett hosted the meeting for NAMA.  The meeting started with a tour of the facility.  Mr. Brackett then started off the meeting giving information to members about FDA inspections.

Mr. Wurscher asked NAMA staff to explain California Proposition 37.  Mr. Bair said it required labels to be on any food with GE levels at 0.5%.  It would forbid the use of “natural” labels, which could include some processed foods.  Processed food means any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any food produced from a raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing such as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration, fermentation or milling.  Violations of the measure could be prosecuted by state, local, or private parties.  It allows the court to award these parties all reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action.  Under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, consumers would be allowed to sue without needing to demonstrate that any specific damage occurred as a result of the alleged violation.  Biotechnology companies and the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) are working together to fight the ballot initiative.  If it passes, it will take effect by July 2014.

Mr. Allard noted that there is no new news from Syngenta. He reported information about Syngenta is on the Enogen website.  Most of the information is about testing the stewardship program at the farm level.  Mr. Bair expressed disappointment that NAMA heard about the last three field tests through word of mouth and not Syngenta directly.

Ms. Waters reported there is language in the farm bill that would expedite approvals of biotech products.  NAMA spearheaded the Value Added Biotechnology Coalition (VABC) and wrote a letter opposing the language and offering to provide assistance to improve it.  No consensus was reached on whether there is a benefit in changing the language. Mr. Allard drew attention to a provision in the language that says if there is inaction on an application for more than 12 months, you have a defacto regulation. He reported the provision impacts more than the milling industry.

5. Adjournment

Mr. Allard adjourned the meeting at 2:24p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Sherri Lehman

Staff Liaison

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