For The Week Ending Jan. 25, 2013
SWINE VETS LEARN ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRADE
NPPC Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom led NPPC’s Swine Veterinarian Public Policy Advocacy Program in Miami, Fla., Jan. 14-15. A group of ten swine vets toured the Miami Foreign Mail Facility and Miami International Airport’s Passenger Baggage, Canine and Compliance Inspections. The vets learned about the role of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in pork trade, the importance of international trade standards, and about comprehensive surveillance and swine influenza reporting. The final session will be held in Spring 2013 during NPPC’s bi-annual Legislative Action Conference. To view photos, click here.
NPPC TRAVELS TO HONDURAS
NPPC Vice President and Counsel for International Affairs Nick Giordano traveled to Honduras this week to meet with U.S. and foreign government officials, producers, and industry representatives. Honduras is part of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with four other Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic. The U.S. pork industry was a crucial supporter of the agreement’s passage in 2005 and has proved to be an enormous success for the industry. Since implementation in 2006, U.S. pork exports have increased 226 percent by volume, reaching nearly 50,000 metric tons (MT) in 2011 — a value of $119 million. Accounting for $47 million of U.S. pork exports is Honduras, now the eleventh largest export destination for U.S. pork. These levels of exports to DR-CAFTA have exceeded Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes’ projections that after 15 years, U.S. pork exports to the region would increase by 20,000 MT. However, additional exports have already reached 35,000 MT.
CFTC COMMISSIONER SOMMERS TO RESIGN
After five years of serving as a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner, Jill Sommers announced her plans to resign after the first quarter of 2013. The CFTC has spent more than two years writing Dodd-Frank Act rules to strengthen oversight of the $639 trillion swaps market and the futures industry after a loss of customer funds at failed brokerage MF Global. After CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler recused himself from the MF Global investigation, Sommers was appointed to oversee the investigation. NPPC considered Sommers a friend of American pork producers and will keep members updated on Sommer’s selected successor.
NPPC PREPARES TO HELP FINALIZE INTERNATIONAL FOOD SAFETY STANDARD
The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week held a public meeting to discuss a draft document on Principles and Guidelines of National Food Control Systems for the upcoming meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS). CCFICS is a committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and its World Health Organization to promote food safety and coordinate international food standards. As a member of the U.S. CCFICS delegation, NPPC has provided significant input to the draft standard over the past several years and will travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand, for a meeting in February where the standard will likely be finalized. The draft Principles and Guidelines of National Food Control Systems will further support the concept of equivalence – a fundamental discipline in the WTO Sanitary-phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement – and provide guidelines for how competent authorities should establish food safety systems, as well as the role of the food industry to ensure safe food for both domestic and international consumers.
HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE APPROVES RULES, ANNOUNCES SUBCOMMITTEES
The House Agriculture Committee Wednesday met to organize and adopt the Committee’s rules for the 113th Congress. The Committee also announced members of the five Subcommittees. Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., serve as ex officio members of all subcommittees. For a full list of members, click here.
NPPC TO PARTICIPATE AT INTERNATIONAL MEAT EXPO
NPPC will participate in a panel on the veterinary drug ractopamine next week at the International Meat Expo in Atlanta, Ga. The International Meat Expo is sponsored by the American Meat Institute and brings together processors, packers and producers to discuss issues of interest for the meat industry.
2013 PORK FORUM SET FOR MARCH 7-9
The 2013 National Pork Industry Forum will be held March 7-9, at The Peabody Orlando Hotel in Orlando, Fla. For more information on media registration, click here.