For the Week Ending May 11, 2018
NPPC SUPPORTS NEW PORK INSPECTION PROGRAM, SUGGESTS CHANGES TO RULE
NPPC last week submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS) rule, which would give packing plant personnel greater responsibility for food safety tasks and allow USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) employees to do more focused inspection. In its comments, NPPC expressed support for expansion and improvement of the current Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)-based Inspection Models Project pilot program that has been in place at five pork plants for almost 20 years. The NSIS, said NPPC, will enhance food safety, humane handling and better utilize FSIS and industry resources. The organization did recommend some technical changes to the rule, and that plants operating under NSIS be exempt from current line speed limits. Plants should have flexibility with line speeds and plant layouts as they relate to sorting and inspection practices, said NPPC. That will allow facilities to better utilize their resources. The NSIS rule is expected to be finalized later this year.
HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ADVANCES AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS BILL
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture this week convened to markup the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019, allocating to the federal government $23.27 billion in discretionary spending for agricultural programs. The bill provides funding for key programs and services, including $3.1 billion for agriculture research programs and $1.92 billion for international programs designed to promote U.S. agricultural exports overseas. The legislation also provides $255 million in funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an agency that works to ensure that the derivatives markets operate effectively and helps deter and prevent fraud and manipulation in the futures markets. NPPC, along with other commodity groups this week, urged subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., and Ranking Member Sandford Bishop, D-Ga., to grant the CFTC’s budget request of $281.5 million for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The appropriations bill will now advance to the full committee for consideration.
HOUSE COMMITTEE REAUTHORIZES ANIMAL DRUG APPROVAL LAWS
The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved legislation reauthorizing the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act (AGDUFA), which authorize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to collect from animal health companies fees for reviewing animal drug applications and allow the agency to supplement its budget for the rigorous appraisal of animal drugs. The measure includes a new provision that expands FDA authority for conditional approval of new animal drugs, addressing serious and life-threatening unmet medical needs for major animal species. Conditional approval allows an animal drug to be available for use before all necessary data for approval is collected, but after the drug is deemed safe for use, so long as it is expected to be effective. The provision expands FDA’s authority to conditionally approve new animal drugs from minor use and minor species to major use and major species. With the laws set to expire Sept. 30, renewal of ADUFA and AGDUFA will avoid disruption in the availability of new animal drugs to the livestock production industry.
NPPC URGES LEGISLATORS TO ADVANCE THE MULTILATERAL AID REVIEW ACT
NPPC joined a letter with the National Association of Manufacturers this week in which it commended Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Tod Yoho (R-Florida), members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for their sponsorship of the Multilateral Aid Review Act of 2017 (MARA) (H.R. 4502). Introduced by the House last November, the legislation is designed to strengthen the oversight role of Congress – in addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Appropriations – in assessing and ensuring the effectiveness of U.S. investments in multilateral entities. NPPC, along with other undersigning organizations, expressed its support for strengthening the United States’ international engagement and ensuring that initiatives fostered at global institutions encourage accountability, transparency, and uphold the economic and foreign policy interests of the U.S. NPPC supports the continued role of the U.S. in serving as a global leader and is urging Congress to advance the legislation.
WORLD PORK EXPO JUNE 6-8
NPPC’s annual World Pork Expo, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be held June 6-8 at the Iowa State fairgrounds in Des Moines. For more information about, and media registration for, the world’s largest pork industry trade show and exhibition, click here.