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“USDA Leaning Toward Full Deregulation of Dow’s Enlist Seeds”

According to a draft Environmental Impact Statement from USDA – full deregulation is the preferred alternative for corn and soybean traits from Dow AgroSciences that are resistant to 2,4-D herbicide. Dow’s Enlist corn and soybeans are the first developed with 2,4-D resistance. They have been under USDA review for several years. According to Dow – growers need new tools now to address the growing challenge of herbicide-resistant and hard-to-control weeds. But groups like the Center for Food Safety are opposed to USDA’s recommendation. Executive Director Andrew Kimbrell says the decision – if finalized – would launch American agriculture into a new era of vastly increased dependence on more toxic pesticides. Kimbrell wants the Obama Administration to overturn the proposal – which he calls dangerous and misguided. The draft EIS will be open for public comment for 45 days once it is published in the Federal Register – which is expected in the next week. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing the safety of Dow’s Enlist 2,4-D herbicide and is expected to issue its proposed regulatory decision in the next few months.


“USDA Making National School Lunch Program Flexibility for Meat and Grain Permanent”

The current flexibility allowing schools to serve larger portions of lean protein and whole grains at mealtime will be made permanent according to USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon. He says USDA made the commitment to provide needed stability for long-term planning by making the flexibility permanent earlier this school year. This additional flexibility – given in response to public feedback on the updates to school meal standards made by USDA – has been available on a temporary basis since 2012. USDA has worked closely with schools and parents during the transition to healthier breakfasts, lunches and snack – and data show the vast majority of schools around the country are successfully meeting the new meal standards.

“Monthly Webinar Series Offered by United Fresh”

United Fresh is offering a new, complimentary webinar series this year to its members this year. The series is hosted by United’s Market Segment Boards and Expert Councils. The volunteer leader groups of United Fresh will tackle a new topic on key issues impacting the industry each month. The United Fresh Grower-Shipper Board will host the first in the webinar series – addressing Strategies for Limiting Your Legal Exposure in Recalls – Thursday, January 16th at one o’clock Central time. The one-hour webinar will help produce companies understand the legal consequences from foodborne illness outbreaks and recall events – and identify strategies that companies can use to avoid staggering financial losses and criminal charges in the future. Two attorneys will examine the scope of the nation’s food safety laws, review real-world case studies showing successful legal strategies and address the most critical civil and criminal liability issues facing fresh produce companies today. Again – United Fresh members can participate in the webinar for free. The charge for non-members is 50-dollars. Pre-registration is required and registration is limited. For more information – visit www dot unitedfresh dot org slash webinar1 (

The second webinar is scheduled for Friday, February 21st. It will address how to use the Food and Drug Administration’s Quantitative Risk Assessment to validate alternative food safety limits to those published in the proposed Produce Safety Rule.


“Angus Foundation Sponsoring Trip to YCC”

The Angus Foundation sponsors one individual to attend the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Young Cattlemen’s Conference each year. YCC allows young leaders the chance to see first-hand and further understand all aspects of the beef industry. Attendees take a nationwide tour of the beef production chain from ranch to feedlot to packing plant, through marketing and regulatory affairs and finally ending at consumer foodservice. Angus Foundation President Milford Jenkins says it’s an experience all Angus breeders should consider when broadening their industry awareness. Because education is such an important part of the Angus Foundation – Jenkins says they’re pleased to be able to continue the support of an angus breeder to the Young Cattlemen’s Conference. The sponsorship covers flight costs and registration fees for an NCBA member between the ages of 25 and 50. The application is due Friday (January 10) and can be found at www dot angusfoundation dot org (

SOURCE: NAFB News Service