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NAMA News – January 25, 2013

January 25, 2013

NAMA’s 2014 Methyl Bromide Exemption to be the Last

EPA officials contacted the NAMA office January 25 with the notification that NAMA’s 2014 methyl bromide Critical Use Exemption will be the last one granted. The EPA officials stated that this decision was made at the highest levels within the Obama Administration.

A historical reminder – methyl bromide was to be banned with no exceptions on January 1, 2001. However, in 1998 NAMA successfully lobbied Congress to amend the law and set a new phase-out date of January 1, 2005, and with opportunities to apply for exemptions. NAMA is now in the 9th year of receiving such exemptions.

Ag Coalition Supports CRP Reform in Farm Bill

A coalition of nine agriculture related associations including NAMA sent a letter to House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and senior Democrat Collin Peterson (D-MN) in support of including Conservation Reserve Program reform in a new five-year farm bill. The January 23 letter expressed particular support for H.R. 349, a bill introduced by Representative Martha Roby (R-AL). Rep. Roby's bill, the Preserving Marginal Lands and Protecting Farming Act of 2013, would reduce the CRP acreage cap to 24 million acres over five years. It would also remove non-environmentally sensitive lands from eligibility and allow growers with CRP contracts to exit those contracts without penalty in FY2014.

To view the letter, click here: https://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Support-for-Preserving-Marginal-Lands-and-Protecting-Farming-Act1.pdf

States Considering GM Labeling

Even though the California ballot initiative to require labeling of GM foods failed at the November election, a similar voter initiative in the state of Washington is now moving forward with the January 3 delivery of about 350,000 voter signatures to the Washington Secretary of State. About 241,000 were required.

Initiative 522 – the so-called People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act – would require food and seeds with GM content be labeled beginning July 2015. Assuming the signatures are certified by the Secretary of State, the state legislature would have three options: adopt the measure into law, refuse to act on it but place it on the November 2013 ballot, or approve an alternate measure and place both it and the original on the ballot.

In New Mexico, a bill has been filed in the state Senate that, if enacted, would require labeling of any product containing more than 1.0 percent GM. Unlike the “bounty hunter” provisions that allow private interests to bring action against products in the California and Washington ballot initiatives, the New Mexico law would be enforced by the state government.

Labeling initiatives are also under consideration by groups in Oregon, Connecticut and Florida.

Registration Open for the 2013 Division Meetings

Registration is open for the 2013 Division Meetings. The meetings will be held March 23-26 at the Hammock Beach resort in Palm Coast, Florida.

This year’s keynote speaker, Christine Cochran, president, Grain Foods Foundation, will share with NAMA how the foundation is investing in consumer education to keep the grain foods consumption needle moving forward.

NAMA food safety consultant, Ricardo Carvajal, has been invited to drill down into the Food Safety Modernization Act and present the top food safety regulations that will have an impact on your milling business.

Rick Thaemert of Global Prairie, the public relations firm for the Wheat Innovation Alliance (WIA), will speak during the Soft Wheat General Session about consumer attitudes towards biotech wheat.

Go to the NAMA website, https://www.namamillers.org/meetings/2013-annual-meeting-general-information/, to register for the 2013 Division Meetings and for detailed information about the meeting. Please contact Terri Long, Director of Membership, Communication and Meetings at 202.484.2200, ext. 11 or [email protected] for more information.

For more information about NAMA issues, meetings, membership and staff, go to https://www.namamillers.org.

The North American Millers' Association prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact NAMA at 202.484.2200 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Terri Long, Corporate Secretary, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 825W, Washington, DC, 20024 or call 202.484.2200 ext. 11. NAMA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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