USDA Releases GMO Electronic Disclosure Study

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a study identifying potential challenges to implementation of electronic disclosure of genetically modified organism (GMO) content on food labels.

The study considered whether consumers or retailers would have sufficient access to smartphones or broadband internet to easily obtain ingredient information and found there are notable challenges in using digital disclosure, but concludes “most consumers would be able to access this information given the proper education and tools to do so.”  Read more.

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USDA Sued For Not Releasing GM Labeling Study On Time

The Center for Food Safety, a consumer activist group which uses lawsuits to pressure the federal government, has filed one against USDA for missing a congressional deadline for releasing a study mandated by the new law on labeling GMO ingredients in food.

The study to examine electronic and digital on-label disclosure methods was supposed to be published for public comment in July, and USDA has yet to release it.  The study is a major component of how the department will make accessible to consumers information on whether a particular food is the product of biotechnology or includes an ingredient developed using biotechnology.

The labeling law is due to be fully implemented by July, 2018.

On-Line Registration For MWFPA 2017 Convention & Processing Crops Conference Now Available!

Online registration for MWFPA’s 113th Annual Convention & 90th Processing Crops Conference slated for November 28-30, 2017 is now open! Our premier event of the year draws over 900 attendees and presents the latest products, innovative ideas and technological advances of importance to the food processing industry.

You can also register offline by:  1)  Mailing a completed registration form to MWFPA, 4600 American Pkwy., Suite 210, Madison, WI 53718, or: FAX a completed registration form to 608-255-9838. You may also email the completed form to:  brian.deschane@mwfpa.org.

Get Involved.  Become a convention sponsor.  Sponsorships are available for as low as $1,000!

Go to the MWFPA convention website to find additional details regarding our distinguished speakers, lodging, convention schedule, and the silent auction.  Also, keep up with the convention conversation on Twitter at #mwfpa17. 

FDA Releases Guidance Docs On FSMA Exemptions

If you are a food producer covered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for low-acid canned foods, juice HACCP, or seafood HACCP, how do the rules that implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) affect you? To answer this question, the FDA has published three guidance documents to help producers of food commodities covered by these earlier regulations understand which parts of the FSMA rules apply to them and how the FSMA rules may affect their operations.

The FDA’s HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and low-acid canned foods (LACF) regulations were in place long before the FSMA rules became final. The FDA’s HACCP regulations for juice and seafood processors require processors to perform a hazard analysis and develop a HACCP plan to address biological, chemical, and physical hazards; monitor the conditions and practices; and make corrections as needed. The FDA’s LACF regulation addresses biological hazards such as Clostridium botulinum unique to such foods, which include canned vegetables.

The FSMA recognizes that the FDA has previously established regulations that are specific to seafood, juice, and LACF, and so some exemptions have been made in the FSMA rules for these products. However, there are still some requirements in the FSMA regulations that apply to processors of the seafood, juice, and LACF products.

The new guidance documents aim to help industry identify these exemptions and understand the juice, seafood, and LACF regulations in connection with some of the new FSMA requirements.  Read the guidance documents by clicking below.

Press release

Register Now For MWFPA’s Sporting Clay Challenge

Registration is now open for MWFPA’s annual Sporting Clay Challenge. Last year’s event raised $6,000 enabling us to provide $18,000 in scholarships to the children of association members pursuing their post-secondary education.
This year’s event will take place at the Milford Hills Hunt Club in Johnson Creek, WI on October 5, 2017.  Following is the day’s itinerary:
10:00 a.m.
Registration/Shooter Warm-Up (warm-up is optional & paid by participant)
11:45 a.m.
Lunch
12:45 p.m.
Safety Review
1:00 p.m.
Clay Shoot
 3:30 p.m.
Reception/Awards
Register now! To view the event brochure and a listing of sponsorship opportunities, click here.  See you at the Milford Hills Hunt Club!

MWFPA, Great Lakes Legal Foundation Files Brief In Tetra Tech Case

The Great Lakes Legal Foundation (GLLF) has filed an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Tetra Tech Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). The brief was filed on behalf of MWFPA and 10 other Wisconsin associations, including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

The Supreme Court specifically requested parties brief the constitutionality of courts providing deference to state agencies on questions of law. GLLF’s amicus brief argues that Wisconsin courts afford regulatory agencies too much deference to interpret statues that define agencies’ own power and reach. Under the Wisconsin and federal constitution, it is exclusively the duty of judges, not unelected agency officials, to say what the law is. When courts grant deference to an agency’s interpretation of the law, the predisposed bias of agencies poses unconstitutional, systematic disadvantage to the other party in the dispute.

In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required several paper companies to remediate the environmental impact of harmful chemicals into the Fox River. The collective group of paper companies formed Fox River Remediation, which hired Tetra Tech to perform the remediation. Tetra Tech subsequently hired Stuyvesant Dredging, Inc. (SDI) as a subcontractor. DOR audited the entities and found that Tetra Tech owed sales tax on the portion of its sale for services to Fox River Remediation on SDI’s activities, and Fox River Remediation owed use tax on the purchase of remediation services from Tetra Tech on SDI’s activities.

The entities filed petitions for redetermination with DOR, then with the Tax Appeals Commission. A Wisconsin circuit court, then appeals court upheld the commission’s ruling, giving great weight deference to DOR’s interpretation of tax statutes. The case is now being appealed again at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.