For the Week Ending September 14, 2018

September 14, 2018

PRODUCERS TALK PORK PRIORITIES WITH CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

NPPC this week held its fall Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C., with nearly 100 pork producers attending the biannual fly-in to meet with their congressional representatives. During dozens of visits this week, producers addressed NPPC’s top priorities, including funding for a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank and other initiatives to prevent and contain animal disease, visa reform to address a farm labor shortage and proper regulatory oversight of laboratory-produced cultured protein and gene editing in livestock production. Of course, NPPC members also stressed with their representatives the importance of ending current trade disputes and expanding exports opportunities for U.S. pork. This video highlights NPPC’s ongoing efforts to build awareness for the importance of trade for U.S. pork producers and their families. The event concluded with the ever-popular NPPC Congressional “Bacon Fest,” which drew another large crowd of pork producers, members of Congress and staffers eager to enjoy the world’s No. 1 protein. Click here for more information on NPPC’s Pork Priorities.

 

PORK GROUPS AND USDA COLLABORATE TO PREVENT AFS SPREAD TO U.S.

Following a meeting it hosted with the USDA last week, NPPC – along with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Pork Board and the Swine Health Information Center – published a report summarizing the current status of efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever to the United States. You can review the summary here.   

 

NORTH CAROLINA PORK HURRICANE PREPARATION

Hog farmers throughout North Carolina moved quickly this week to protect animals, manage lagoon levels and otherwise prepare for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to result in historic flooding. Click here for an overview of hurricane preparation efforts.

 

SENATORS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF TRADE TO U.S. PORK PRODUCERS DURING HEARING

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry this week held a hearing, Perspectives on U.S. Agricultural Trade, that included testimony from USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and USDA Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson. Multiple senators during the hearing discussed the critical importance of exports to the agriculture industry, including the pork sector of their respective states. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, specifically cited the concerns of Iowa pork producers, who visited her office this week as part of NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference: “I was on the production floor of a pork processor in Iowa a few weeks ago and they are currently throwing away some very valuable organs that are normally exported to China. Because of the tariffs all of that is going to rendering. Very unfortunate situation for those producers.” NPPC supports expanding export markets for U.S. pork while ending current trade disputes with China and Mexico.

 

PERDUE PUSHES FOR H-2A FARMWORKER PROGRAM OVERHAUL

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week expressed his support for legislation to expand the H-2A visa program for both seasonal and year-round labor needs and rebrand it as the H2-C program. The current H-2A program covers seasonal farm workers, and Perdue sees the expansion as the best way for agriculture to remedy the persistent labor shortage. NPPC is supportive of visa system reform that establishes a legal workforce without burdening employers.

 

 

WHAT’S AHEAD

 

USDA, FDA TO HOLD JOINT MEETING ON USE OF ANIMAL CELL CULTURE TECHNOLOGY

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that a joint hearing will be hosted by the two agencies Oct. 23-24 to discuss the use of animal cell culture technology to develop products derived from livestock. The conference will focus on:

  • Potential hazards that need to be controlled for safe production.
  • Oversight considerations by regulatory agencies.
  • Labeling considerations for the products.

To ensure a level playing field, NPPC supports regulatory oversight of laboratory-produced cultured protein (L-PCP) by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services. FSIS has an existing regulatory framework to provide inspections of facilities producing L-PCP and to ensure product names and label claims are transparent, fact-based and appropriate.