Legislative & Regulatory Leadership Actions
3/11/2015
Richard Sellers, senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
by: Richard Sellers, senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs

Section: Spring 2015




 


Accomplishment
 


Member Value
 
February 2015 TRADE: In a letter to Congress, AFIA and 70 additional organizations expressed support for the much needed introduction and enactment of Trade Promotion Authority legislation. Extension of TPA would mean when the administration brings a final negotiated trade agreement to Congress, Congress can only give it an up or down vote, thereby giving U.S. negotiators the ability to extract the best trade deals possible from other countries. Trade agreements such as those being negotiated with 11 other countries under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and with the European Union under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will be significantly more difficult to secure without TPA.
January 2015 Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015: AFIA expressed strong support of H.R. 185 despite a veto threat from the Obama administration.
H.R. 185 would achieve a fair regulatory process and review, while improving transparency, and holding government agencies more accountable to ensure regulations are needed and cost effective. 
January 2015
CFTC: AFIA with15 other associations submitted comments to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to support its proposal to revise the time futures commission merchants perform their residual interest calculation to remain at 6 p.m. the day following a futures trade (known as T+1).
The proposed change, rather than an eventual move of the residual interest time to the morning of T+1 as currently scheduled to occur at the end of 2018, strikes an appropriate balance between customer protection and recognizing the burdens the earlier calculation time would place on customers.
Jan. 2015 & Oct. 2014 COOL: The COOL Reform Coalition expressed strong disagreement with the rule lacking compliance to the World Trade Organization to Congress and asked for immediate action by Congress in January to prevent serious damage to U.S. exports upon validity of a Compliance Panel’s findings. AFIA is a member of the Coalition. A WTO panel ruled against the U.S. on COOL on challenges brought by Canada and Mexico. Canada has already issued a preliminary retaliation list targeting a broad spectrum of commodities and manufactured products that would affect every state. Mexico has not yet announced a preliminary retaliation list, but has implemented previous retaliatory tariffs, which may be indicative of future tariff actions. AFIA asked Congress to act to assure compliance with international trade obligations to prevent years of lost sales.
December 2014 SALMONELLA: AFIA submitted comments to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on the World Organisation for Animal Health’s recent draft proposal on potential Salmonella contamination from swine feed.  
 
The comments applauded OIE’s feed definitions, derived from Codex, but stated the draft proposal’s suggestions of Salmonella in swine feed was not based on scientific evidence. AFIA included information on FDA studies and compliance guidelines for safety to prevent the spread of Salmonella.
Sept. - Dec. 2014 CANADA PET FOOD IMPORT POLICY: In a letter to the Canadian and U.S. government agencies, AFIA and three other associations requested all necessary resources be devoted to avoid serious trade disruption to U.S. exports of pet food to Canada and offered industry assistance in input to help resolve the issue.  Current import requirements stipulate Canadian Food Inspection Agency issue imports for U.S. imports of finished pet food. CFIA’s new regulation would require that all U.S. pet food imports be accompanied by a health certificate. The issuance of these additional health certificates—which could number in the hundreds of thousands annually—would create huge delays in trade. Moreover, such changes would have no impact on the safety of U.S. pet food.
Sept. - Dec. 2014 FSMA: AFIA submitted comments on the supplemental animal food proposed rule—“Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals.” The rule was re-proposed on Sept. 29, 2014. AFIA also made oral comments at an FDA public meeting on behalf of its membership.
AFIA reiterated its original comments, urging FDA to assess the costs to benefit ratio of this rule. Comments also brought attention to the remaining continued food-based biases present in the rule, the failure of the supplemental proposed rule to mirror the 40-year-old medicated feed CGMPs.
Sept. & Dec. 2014 FSMA: AFIA submitted comments on the supplemental proposed Foreign Supplier Verification Program Rule. The rule was re-proposed on Sept. 29, 2014. Comments stated the importance of FSVP aligning with the proposed domestic risk-based supplier program under the preventive controls supplemental rule and also addressed the ongoing language issues of the FSMA rules.
Sept. - Nov. 2014 OSHA: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in AFIA’s challenge to the OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard final rule. The industry is now not required to determine Kst values for its various ingredients and products; and bulk and bagged feeds and feed ingredients are not subject to any Hazard Communication Standard labeling requirements because they are already subject to FDA labeling requirements.
September 2014 TRADE: AFIA and 40 other industry groups addressed U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in thanks for his refusal to cave to demands by India to reopen agreements reached at the WTO Ministerial in Bali in 2013. Those are part of the WTO and will soon have the benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which will reduce trade costs by streamlining and harmonizing custom’s rules/procedures in all countries (particularly developing countries). 
September 2014 NANOTECHNOLOGY: AFIA and two other trade associations provided comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on this emerging technology in food and feed.
 
The comments generally supported FDA’s view on several items. Of special note, was the acceptance by FDA of naturally occurring ingredients at the nano-level and FDA’s decision not to regulate those products. FDA was urged to layout data requirements for GRAS notice use and clear guidance on label requirements where warranted but not to deviate from current federal feed label requirements.
September 2014 FEED INGREDIENT APPROVALS: AFIA has requested FDA to extend its memorandum of understanding with the Association of American Feed Control Officials regarding approval of ingredients by FDA and listing of those ingredients in the AAFCO annual Official Publication. FDA has agreed to extend the MOU. Since 2007, the 35 year-old ingredient approval process with FDA and AAFCO has been in a state of flux and there is increasing anxiety in the feed industry regarding the long-term future of ingredient approval. Firms must have some comfort zone in order to commit the resources required to get an ingredient approved. AFIA has asked FDA to at least provide the industry with a year’s notice on the MOU status with AAFCO. The agency has agreed to do so.
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