On May 14 NAMA sent a letter to Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), requesting the agency officially seek public comments on the concept of expanded trading hours for grain futures contracts and give stakeholders more time to analyze the implications. NAMA also discussed the issue with CFTC commissioner Jill Sommers last week when she spoke at the opening lunch of NAMA’s annual Leadership Meeting. Go to https://www.namamillers.org/letter-to-cftc-re-trading-hours/
to read the letter.
The Chicago, Minneapolis and Kansas City exchanges have notified the CFTC of plans to expand trading hours in their grains and oilseeds contracts almost immediately. Most believe this was in reaction to Intercontinental Exchange plans to begin trading grain contracts that would include 22 hour trading.
NAMA is working with the IAOM Food Protection Committee to create an online Integrated Pest Management (IPM) manual. The manual will provide the milling industry critical information necessary for managing pests in mills and related structures. With methyl bromide nearly phased out and sulfuryl fluoride under attack, the manual will assist in the continual transition to IPM techniques. NAMA VP Jim Bair is leading the effort. A January 2013 completion date is targeted.
This week HBO aired “The Weight of the Nation,” a four-part film series created with the support of the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. The series is part of a campaign to raise public awareness about the seriousness of the obesity epidemic in the U.S., particularly as it relates to children. It puts much of the blame on society: public policy, the food and beverage industry, food marketing, home, work and school environments.
The Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), of which NAMA is a member, responded by reinforcing GFF messages through the GFF blog, social media and using former U.S. soccer star, Mia Hamm in interviews. Go to http://www.gowiththegrain.org to learn more about the GFF messages.
The International Food Information Council 2012 “Consumer Perceptions of Food Technology & Sustainability” survey shows that Americans remain highly supportive of existing federal rules for labeling foods produced through biotechnology and very few cite biotechnology as an information need on the food label. Go to http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=2012ConsumerPerceptionsofTechnologySurvey to review the survey.