For The Week Ending June 29, 2012
COMPLY WITH MCOOL RULING, HARMONIZE NORTH AMERICAN HOG MARKET, SAYS NPPC
NPPC urges the Obama administration to comply with a World Trade Organization decision against the U.S. Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (MCOOL) law and will work to promote harmonization of the North American hog market. The WTO Appellate Body today upheld a previous WTO dispute settlement panel ruling that the meat labeling law violates U.S. trade obligations under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. NPPC opposed MCOOL when it was under consideration in the U.S. Congress. NPPC warned that the U.S. pork industry risks retaliation from Canada and Mexico, both of which filed complaints with the WTO over the U.S. labeling law, if it refuses to comply with the MCOOL ruling. Canada complained that MCOOL hurt Canadian livestock producers. NPPC’s position on MCOOL is consistent with its longstanding support for harmonization of North American meat and livestock policies with regard to product labeling, food safety, animal health and subsidy programs. On the latter two issues, NPPC has asked the Canadian government to recognize the U.S. swine herd health status as equivalent to Canada’s – recognition that will facilitate pork trade between the countries – and to reform its hog subsidy programs, which distort the North American hog and pork market, limiting the growth of U.S. pork production, employment and profitability. Ontario’s Risk Management Program, for example, which over five years would boost Canadian hog production by more than 606,000 animals, would cut U.S. pork production by more than 430,000 hogs worth more than $73 million and cost nearly 600 U.S. pork industry jobs, according to an estimate by Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
HOUSE HEARS FROM EPA ON CERCLA MANURE REGULATION
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing earlier this week to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of manure as a hazardous material under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). CERCLA, also known as the Superfund law, was approved to clean sites contaminated with hazardous substances that endanger the public health or environment. The House is considering H.R. 2997, the “Superfund Common Sense Act,” which would prohibit EPA’s regulation of manure as a hazardous material. EPA testified that it has no plans to introduce regulations and does not consider manure a hazardous material. Still the agency is continuing to review data from a National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS) of emissions from farms, including data on ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions from manure.
NPPC SUBMITS COMMENTS ON FSIS DRAFT COMPLIANCE GUIDE FOR RESIDUE PREVENTION
NPPC submitted comments this week on a draft compliance policy guide for meat residues issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Preventing violative residues is a high priority for the U.S. pork industry. Compliance with domestic, as well as international, maximum residue limits is vital to maintaining consumer confidence and growing the domestic and international pork markets while protecting animal health and public health. NPPC is largely supportive of the steps outlined in the guide that establishments should take to prevent residues but recommends that FSIS remove the requirement that establishments communicate findings of non-violative residues to producers. Click here to read NPPC’s comments.
HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES ENVIRONMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL
The House Appropriations Committee Thursday approved the fiscal 2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill, which funds the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service and related agencies. The bill allocates $28 billion, which is a reduction of $1.2 billion from the fiscal 2012 level and $1.7 billion below the president’s budget request. Included in the bill are legislative provisions that tackle the overreach of federal agencies, including EPA, that mandate troublesome regulations, which deter job creation and restrain the ability of American farms and small businesses to develop and prosper. Click here to read more.
CONGRESS TO TAKE INDEPENDENCE DAY RECESS
With Congress on recess next week for Independence Day, the next edition of Capital Update will be issued July 13.
NPPC ATTENDING MEEETING OF THE CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION
NPPC will attend the 35th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a U.N. intergovernmental body tasked with developing and coordinating international food standards and codes of practice. The Codex Commission will meet July 2-7 in Rome and is expected to revisit, for the fifth time, the decision to approve a standard-setting maximum residue limit for ractopamine, a feed additive used to promote leanness in pork and beef.
NPPC PARTICIPATING IN TPP NEGOTIATIONS
NPPC will participate in the 13th round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, taking place in San Diego, Calif., July 2-10. The TPP is an Asia-Pacific regional trade pact that currently includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Last week, the TPP member countries invited Mexico and Canada to join the trade talks.
HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE TO BEGIN WRITING FARM BILL
The House Agriculture Committee is set to begin marking up its version of the 2012 Farm Bill July 11.
For questions, comments and suggestions or to unsubscribe, contact: Dave Warner, Director of Communications, NPPC, at 202-347-3600. To read previous issues of Capital Update, visit NPPC’s Web site at www.nppc.org.