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Washington Insider

The Hagstrom Report: Financial Regulations on Sales to Cuba to be Eased

The Commerce Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control will ease the financial regulations on U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba as part of a normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, senior administration officials said today. Read more from The Hagstrom Report.

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Key Issues

Government Funding Bill Passes; Several Items Affect Dairy

Congress passed last Saturday a $1.1 trillion year-end spending bill that will fund the federal government through September 2015. For agriculture, in total, the bill provides $20.6 billion in discretionary funding, including funding for the national feeding program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency to carry out the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, which includes the new Dairy Margin Protection Program.

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Alexis Taylor Replaces Darci Vetter at FFAS

Alexis Taylor has been named the deputy under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this role, Taylor oversees the department’s international activities, including international trade policy and export assistance programs. Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, and Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, met with Taylor recently to discuss IDFA’s priorities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

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Flexibility Remains Key to FSMA Implementation, IDFA Tells FDA

The Food and Drug Administration in September released revisions to four proposed rules for implementing portions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The updates, which cover preventive controls for human food, preventive controls for animal food, foreign supplier verification programs and produce safety, reflect significant changes requested by IDFA and others in the food industry. On Monday, IDFA submitted new comments supporting many of FDA’s changes and requesting additional revisions to make the requirements consistently systems-based and risk-based.

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OMB Releases Unified Agenda; Nutrition Facts Rule Slips to 2016

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released the Fall 2014 Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions for federal agencies, which outlines the rulemaking actions under development in federal agencies. According to the agenda, developing and issuing final rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) remains a high priority, but action on Nutrition Facts panel and certain other labeling issues likely will fall to 2016.

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Dietary Guidelines Committee Set to Affirm Role of Dairy in Healthy Diet

At the final public meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) this week, committee members accepted the major conclusions and recommendations for their final report. These recommendations include choosing healthy eating patterns containing dairy, particularly low-fat or fat-free dairy. The committee also will recommend that Americans limit their intake of saturated fat, added sugar and sodium, which could affect recommendations for full-fat dairy products, cheese and sweetened dairy products.

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Supreme Court Decides Case on Fair Labor Standards Act

The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided last week that employees do not have a right to compensation for time spent waiting to undergo and undergoing security screening under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). The decision settled a class-action suit, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk. For IDFA members, this case has implications on whether or not employers need to compensate an employee for pre- and post-shift activities, such as donning and doffing clothing for work.

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DairyForum2015 Dairy Forum 2015
Jan 25-28, 2015
Boca Raton Resort & Club
Boca Raton, FL

IDFA's annual Dairy Forum has become the must-attend meeting for U.S. dairy leaders. Dairy Forum 2015 offers an exceptional opportunity to build relationships, hear about the latest consumer trends from industry experts and discuss the current political landscape as it relates to the dairy industry. Join us this January at Dairy Forum 2015 to envision what it will take to move dairy fearlessly into the future.



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