The wide variety of plant-based foods that are being positioned in the marketplace as substitutes for standardized dairy products has been the subject of much discussion in our initial work on the Nutrition Innovation Strategy. The rising demand for plant-based products, like soy-based alternatives to cheese and nut-based alternatives to milk, has created a growing number of new food choices in supermarket aisles. However, these products are not foods that have been standardized under names like “milk” and “cheese.” The FDA has concerns that the labeling of some plant-based products may lead consumers to believe that those products have the same key nutritional attributes as dairy products, even though these products can vary widely in their nutritional content. It is important that we better understand consumers’ expectations of these plant-based products compared to dairy products. Many dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and certain cheeses, have standards of identity established by regulation, which require certain components and ingredients in these foods. Names such as “milk”, “yogurt” and “cheddar cheese” have long been recognized by the American public as identifying the dairy foods described in the standards. More recently, these names have appeared in the labeling of plant-based products as part of the name of the product. Some examples include “soy milk” or “almond milk” and “vegan mozzarella cheese.” These plant-based products are sometimes packaged very similarly to those used for milk or yogurt, for example, and sold in the dairy section of grocery stores. However, these plant-based products may not be satisfactory substitutes for all uses of dairy. And some may not be nutritionally equivalent.
Eight days ago, Gebarten Acres, a large dairy farm on East DeKalb Road, was forced to lay off 17 farm workers from Guatemala and Mexico after an investigation by federal officials showed the immigrant farm workers lacked documentation to legally work in the United States. Greg J. Coller, co-owner of the 2,800-cow farm, said Friday that three other immigrant workers were allowed to stay, but they decided to leave with the other 17. Some had worked and lived at the farm for the past seven years, handling milking and other chores.“They gave us a few days warning so we had time to contact family and friends to help us out,” Mr. Coller said. “Many of us have been working 17-hour days to get the cows milked.”He said he believes many of his former farmhands are already working at other farms, creating a situation where the dairy farm owners suffer the most harm.“I guarantee they’re working. To make them leave is crazy, as we’re the only ones who suffer,” Mr. Coller said.Echoing a problem faced by many other north country dairy farmers, Mr. Coller said it’s increasingly difficult to find Americans who are willing to put in the hard work to keep a farm running.
“This doesn’t fix the problems of American oversupply,” said Holtmann, a third generation dairy farmer in Rosser, Manitoba, who will spend the winter reviewing the impact of the deal and whether his expansion plans still make sense. “It’s a slap in the face to Canadian producers who work very hard at managing supply.”Canadian dairy farmers say they’re on the losing end of the new deal, which will give the U.S. greater access to Canada’s protected dairy market and eliminate its new milk pricing system, one that’s been repeatedly attacked by President Donald Trump. Dairy was one of the core remaining hurdles to striking a renewed North American Free Trade Agreement and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had vowed to defend the nation’s restricted sector. On Monday, Trudeau pledged to compensate farmers to cushion the blow.As part of the deal, Canada will eliminate its Class 7 milk policy that makes it cheaper for processors to buy domestic supplies of ultra-filtered milk, a concentrated ingredient used to boost protein content in cheese and yogurt. While the system helped support a wave of new processing capacity that’s being built across Canada, U.S. farmers complained it effectively blocked imports and dragged down world prices.The U.S. is grappling with an oversupply of milk and Trump said in April that Canada has made business for American dairy farmers “very difficult.”
An endangered frog has raised the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court of whether an area that is uninhabitable for a species can nonetheless be considered its “critical habitat.”Justices from the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to have differing opinions on whether “critical habitat” for an endangered species can be designated in an area it can’t inhabit without significant changes.The oral arguments held on Oct. 1 centered on potential dusky gopher frog habitat in a Louisiana forest, but agriculture and property rights advocates believe the case may have broader Endangered Species Act implications for landowners.In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated critical habitat for the amphibian on 1,500 acres of forest owned by Weyerhaeuser and other landowners, which they fear reduces property values and inhibits housing development.“The immediate effect of this overlay of a critical habitat on this 1,500 acres is a diminution in value of tens of millions of dollars. That is what it says in the agency’s economic analysis, that there is an immediate loss in value,” said Timothy Bishop, attorney for Weyerhaeuser.
Some U.S. commodities will gain additional access to Canadian markets, and others will retain existing zero-tariff access to Canada and Mexico. The trilateral agreement barely came in under a midnight deadline imposed by the U.S., at which point the U.S. would have moved forward with the trade deal reached with Mexico a month earlier.The renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement will move ahead as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.A major sticking point with Canada was granting more access to U.S. dairy products and the elimination of Canada’s Class 7 milk-ingredient pricing program implemented last year.That program artificially lowered prices for Canada’s domestic milk ingredients for domestic processors to discourage the purchase of U.S. ingredients. It also undercut competitors’ dairy product prices in the international market, according to the U.S. and other dairy-exporting countries.The agreement also gives additional access to Canadian markets to U.S. poultry and eggs and addresses issues with Canada’s grain-grading system. For other commodities, it was a matter of safeguarding existing market access.“However, the true measure of success will be when U.S. markets regain full trading status, and that is why FFT will continue to urge the immediate removal of tariffs, she said.Americans for Farmers and Families said the significance of the agreement cannot be overstated.NAFTA “has brought unprecedented economic success to the U.S. — not only through strong job growth, higher wages and low consumer prices — but also by allowing America’s food and agricultural industry to thrive,” Casey Guemsey, an AFF spokesman, said.
Recent news articles have discussed USDA’s trade aid package, as well as the potential impacts of ongoing trade tariffs on U.S. farm goods. Today’s update provides an overview of several of these articles. Wall Street Journal writer Jesse Newman reported late last week that, “The Trump administration has started compensating U.S. farmers for damage tariffs are doing to their business.“Many farmers say the payments won’t make up for lost sales to China and other foreign markets they were counting on to buy the huge amounts of crops and meat being produced across the Farm Belt.“Bumper corn and soybean harvests and record pork production have pushed down prices for agricultural commodities. U.S. farm income is expected to drop 13% this year to $66 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture, extending a yearslong slump in the agricultural economy.” Beth Ford, chief executive officer of Minnesota-based agriculture cooperative Land O’Lakes Inc.] said the Trump administration’s compensation package falls short of the losses being incurred by producers, many of whom can’t simply wait for tariffs to be lifted.
Consumers should be able to know at a quick glance what type of product they’re purchasing for themselves and their families. Implementing clear and transparent food labels and claims is an issue I’ve made a high priority. We’ve outlined these goals in a new, multi-year Nutrition Innovation Strategy released earlier this year. As part of this plan, we promised to address issues related to modernizing the outdated framework for food standards to allow industry flexibility for innovation, for example to produce more healthful foods, while maintaining the basic nature, essential characteristics and nutritional integrity of key food products. The wide variety of plant-based foods that are being positioned in the marketplace as substitutes for standardized dairy products has been the subject of much discussion in our initial work on the Nutrition Innovation Strategy. The rising demand for plant-based products, like soy-based alternatives to cheese and nut-based alternatives to milk, has created a growing number of new food choices in supermarket aisles. However, these products are not foods that have been standardized under names like “milk” and “cheese.” The FDA has concerns that the labeling of some plant-based products may lead consumers to believe that those products have the same key nutritional attributes as dairy products, even though these products can vary widely in their nutritional content. It is important that we better understand consumers’ expectations of these plant-based products compared to dairy products.
The strained farm bill negotiations have erupted in partisan bickering amid darkening prospects for reaching an agreement by the end of the year to replace the 2014 law, which expired Sunday, Sept. 30.Conaway issued a statement on Friday blaming Senate negotiators for the impasse. “Right now, I don’t get the sense that getting something done has quite the sense of urgency with my Senate colleagues as it does with me,” he said.But a committee Democrat, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, laid the blame on House Republicans, who she said “refused to compromise, even with senators from their own party.”The lead negotiators say there is a wide range of issues on which they have yet to reach agreement and they have failed to close out any of the 12 titles that would be in the new bill.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in the Federal Register today the fiscal year 2019 rates and payment procedures for animal drugs subject to user fees under the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018 (ADUFA IV) and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018 (AGDUFA III). ADUFA, originally signed into law in 2003 and reauthorized in 2008, 2013 and 2018, amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and authorizes the FDA to collect fees for certain animal drug applications and supplements, products, establishments, and sponsors of animal drug applications and/or investigational animal drug submissions. These resources support the FDA’s responsibilities to ensure that new animal drug products are safe and effective for animals, as well as ensuring the safety of food from treated animals. ADUFA IV reauthorizes the FDA to collect user fees through FY 2023.
The Department of Homeland Security announced a proposal to sharply tighten immigration rules today. Some immigrants who use welfare programs that they are legally entitled to use, like food assistance and housing vouchers, could be denied green cards because they use those programs. It's already been a rule that, in order to get a green card, an applicant can't be what is known as a public charge.It's a phrase that goes all the way back into the 19th century in our immigration laws. Basically, it means an immigrant who relies primarily on the federal government. It has been interpreted traditionally to mean cash benefits, like welfare. But this is the first time that an administration has really proposed extending the notion of a public charge to noncash benefits - the housing, the health insurance, the nutrition assistance. And it's something that the administrations have not done before, perhaps because Congress has decided that immigrants should be entitled to use these programs. We're talking, of course, about legal immigrants.