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News & Media: Staff Columns

Letter from Leadership

Monday, July 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tim Trotter, executive director
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As this summer has been heating up, our federal policy agenda has been, too. In this newsletter, you’ll read about the fast-and-furious activity on the farm bill, trade and immigration.

It has been a struggle at times to communicate on these items as the news changes by the hour. The political dynamics are volatile, hard to predict and sometimes can be downright confusing. We are actively engaged in Washington, D.C., to make sure your voice — the voice of milk — is heard and to create positive outcomes for dairy.  

Another item that is getting more attention is animal cell culture technology or cultured meat (or as some of us call it, “test tube” meat). This technology poses a direct threat to the animal protein community. The Food and Drug Administration has already issued guidance on how to assess the effects of significant manufacturing process changes on the safety of a food ingredient and is seeking comments on the production of foods using this technology.

It’s scary to think we will be relying on an agency that has a factual definition established for milk but fails to enforce it. Cultured meat will only further complicate and confuse the public. We all know how reliant the beef market is on dairy and how frustrated farmers are with label confusion and misinformation.

Farmers must state the obvious facts and defend ourselves against labels claiming to be something they’re not. Edge will be assertive on this issue by providing written comments, working with other animal ag groups to coordinate a strategy and meeting directly with representatives at FDA. We are already engaged on this issue and will keep you posted on our progress.

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