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ARLINGTON, VA –The National Milk Producers Federation today applauded introduction of legislation establishing federal standards for the safety and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). 
 
Under the bill, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), the Food and Drug Administration will set standards for companies that wish to label their products as containing or not containing GMOs. In addition, FDA is required to conduct a safety review of all new genetically modified traits and could mandate labeling if there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with a particular ingredient.  The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY).
 
“Rather than create a patchwork of state policies, what this legislation would do is deal with this important issue at the national level,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF.  “And since there is no reason for Congress and the FDA to require mandatory labels on foods produced through GMOs, we need this approach instead:  clarifying how companies can voluntarily label their products in a way that reduces confusion at the consumer level.”

From Jim Mulhern, President and Chief Executive Officer, NMPF: 
 
“The National Milk Producers Federation supports the legislation introduced this week by four House members to stop the Food and Drug Administration from making it harder to use beer by-products in animal feed. We need to keep the brew in the moo on our farms, and this legislation is a signal that the FDA needs to rethink the regulation that it is pursuing.
 
As our comments to the FDA last month pointed out, there is no public health risk associated with the long-standing practice of using brewers’ grains as animal feed. The proposed FDA regulations would unnecessarily increase costs to dairy farmers. Farmers have been using high-protein brewers’ grains in livestock feed for hundreds of years.

CEO’S CORNER


Jim Mulhern
NMPF President
& CEO

 

Much of the focus of international trade negotiations in the 21st century addresses the regulation of products created by our minds – what’s known as intellectual property, things like software programs, movies, and trademarked brands. What’s become painfully obvious in recent years is that modern notions about intellectual property are being twisted to stifle the sales of some of the oldest things created by human hands: wine, meats, and cheeses.

Introducing the New Margin Protection Program

After suffering a catastrophic year 2009, dairy farmers needed a new safety net. It took five years of work, but Congress finally responded by including a new Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program in the 2014 farm bill. It wasn’t everything we wanted. But the 950-page bill does feature the most significant rewrite of dairy policy in more than a generation. The program will help address the volatility in farmers’ milk prices, as well as feed costs, and provide appropriate signals to help address imbalances in supply and demand. Overall, it provides a more effective and reasonable safety net for dairy farmers. And whatever its shortcomings, it is far better than the programs it replaced.

Use our website www.futurefordairy.com to read about what the new program is, why it was needed, and, most importantly in the months ahead, how it is being implemented.

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