AFFI Blasts Rep. Everett's Bill to Require Front-Panel Country of Origin Marking for Frozen Produce.In letters to all 435 members of the House of Representatives, AFFI urged opposition to legislation by Rep. Terry Everett Robert Terry Everett (b. February 15 1937) is an American politician, who has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1993, representing Alabama's At-large congressional district. (R-Ala.) which would amend current law and overturn longstanding precedent by requiring the country of origin marking on frozen produce packages with imported content to be moved to the front panel of such packages.
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
(1930) U.S. legislation that raised import duties by as much as 50%, adding considerable strain to the worldwide economic climate of the Great Depression. Despite a petition from 1,000 economists urging Pres. of 1930 already requires imported food products, including frozen produce, to bear a country of origin marking. The law states clearly that the country of origin marking must be conspicuous and "legible, indelible, and permanent." Everett's proposal would amend the Tariff Act to require frozen produce with imported content to indicate the country of origin on the front panel, or most conspicuous place on the package.
"Despite Mr. Everett's assertion that this bill is merely a clarification of current law, his proposal actually would establish a major, precedent-setting change in law that could have broad ramifications ramifications npl → Auswirkungen pl for marking of all imported foods and other goods," wrote Steven C. Anderson, AFFI's president and chief executive officer.
AFFI believes Everett's legislation would codify codify to arrange and label a system of laws. a regulatory proposal currently under consideration by the U.S. Customs Service. The pending Customs Service proposal was the subject of a comment period which closed on September 23, 1996. More than 400 comments were filed in opposition to the proposed regulation. Only one supported it.
In a move which AFFI criticized as evidence of bias, Customs reopened the comment period on August 18, 1997. The second comment period closed October 17, 1997.
Anderson continued, "Changing the law arbitrarily to mandate front panel marking for one product category would not enhance Customs' enforcement practices, but instead would impose additional burdens on U.S. firms while providing no new consumer benefit."
Furthermore, AFFI believes such requirements could invite significant retaliation against U.S. exports.
"Importantly, the Everett bill would impose a well-recognized non-tariff trade barrier on imported frozen produce that could result in disastrous retaliatory actions against U.S. exports of frozen produce and other food and agricultural products," Anderson wrote.
AFFI Presents Public Policy Leadership Award To Sen. Cochran
AFFI presented its Public Policy Leadership Award recently to Sen. Thad Cochran William Thad Cochran (born December 7, 1937) is the senior United States Senator from Mississippi. He is a Republican. Early life
He was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi to William Holmes Cochran and Emma Grace (nee Berry), (R-Miss.), chairman of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee In the United States government, the Appropriations Committee can refer to either:
Elizabeth Dole visited with AFFI members during the event at which Cochran was honored, and noted her appreciation for his work in the Senate.
In presenting the award, George A. Franklin of Kellogg Company For other uses, see Kellogg.
Kellogg Company (often referred to as simply Kellogg or Kellogg's) is an American multinational producer of breakfast foods, snack foods, cookies, and crackers, with corporate headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA. , AFFI's Chairman of the Board, said Cochran has been a "key ally of the frozen food industry." Franklin noted Cochran's work to prevent the imposition of new user fee taxes on the food industry and in favor of policies which enhance the ability of domestic frozen food companies to compete in global markets.
During his remarks, Cochran commended AFFI members for communicating first-hand their positions on public policy issues which impact the frozen food industry.
Speaking at other events during AFFI's Government Action Summit were Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), whose job performance as a member of the House of Representatives Member of the House of Representatives member n (US) → membre m de la Chambre des représentants Judiciary Committee has received national acclaim, and Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), who, as chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture, is a leader on policies impacting frozen meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetable processors.
During the Summit, AFFI members met with Senators, members of Congress, and Congressional staff members from their states and districts. A vital component of AFFI's government relations program, the Government Action Summit presents companies in the frozen food industry an opportunity to build relationships with their representatives in Congress and to advance the frozen food industry's public policy goals.
AFFI Seeks to Remove Frozen Juice Ingredients From Trade Battle
In comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR USTR United States Trade Representative
USTR United States Transuranium Registry (Richmond, Washington)
USTR Underground Storage Tank Regulation ), AFFI cautioned the agency against including grape juice and "imported fruit juice" among the items targeted for a proposed a 100 percent tariff in retaliation for the European Union's (EU) ban on hormone-treated U.S. beef.
The Institute wrote, "AFFI strongly endorses USTR's goal of ensuring the European Commission's compliance with the World Trade Organization's (WTO See World Trade Organization. ) recommendations regarding meat hormones, but urges that imported grape juice and `other fruit juice' be deleted from the proposed Section 301 retaliation list. AFFI member companies source these juices primarily from domestic sources, but rely on imports from the European Communities as an important, and sometimes only, secondary source for these products when domestic production cannot meet demand."
"AFFI is concerned that prohibitive Section 301 duties would have to be paid by our member companies, thereby driving up the price and shrinking the available supply of grape juice and `other fruit juice' ingredients, and would be extremely disruptive for the U.S. frozen juice industry."
Products on a list proposed by USTR would be subject to the 100 percent tariff in retaliation for the EU's noncompliance noncompliance
failure of the owner to follow instructions, particularly in administering medication as prescribed; a cause of a less than expected response to treatment.
noncompliance with WTO rulings which require the EU to end its ban on imports of U.S. beef treated with any of six hormones.
The EU's ban on U.S. beef from animals treated with certain hormones became effective January 1, 1989. On February 13, 1998, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) makes decisions on trade disputes between governments that are adjudicated by the Organization. adopted reports which found that the ban was not based on scientific evidence, a risk assessment, or relevant international standards. The WTO Arbitrator instructed the EU to lift the ban by May 13, 1999.
AFFI Advises Agency On Frozen Onion Standards
AFFI submitted comments recently to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS AMS - Andrew Message System ) regarding the agency's preparation of a grade standard for frozen onions.
In its comments, AFFI provided the agency guidance as to how to alter the draft standard in order to be inclusive of all frozen onion products. Among its recommendations, AFFI commented on how the agency should grade product description, color and style classification, uniformity, and defects.
AFFI also raised concerns about AMS's preparation of a draft standard based on the "score point" method rather than the "attribute" method which has been used to revise grade standards in recent years.
AMS is expected to publish the final draft standard for grades of frozen onions in the Federal Register later this year.
Rep. Pombo Introduces FQPA FQPA Food Quality Protection Act Legislation
In an attempt to correct some of the problems that have arisen as a result of the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) introduced legislation recently which would amend the FQPA to address many of the agriculture industry's concerns.
Since the FQPA was enacted in 1996, the industry has been highly critical of the role the Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ) has played in the implementation process, particularly in the area of pesticide regulation.
AFFI did not support the FQPA when it was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.
Among its provisions, Rep. Pombo's bill would require EPA to undergo a more stringent process in making pesticide decisions, including conducting a full risk assessment based on scientific data. In addition, the bill would require EPA to make more of its decisions regarding pesticide registrations in the public domain.
EPA Issues Interim Stay for RMP RMP right mentoposterior (position of the fetus). Rule for Flammable Hydrocarbons
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an interim stay of the effective date of the Clean Air Act (CAA Caa
See CCC. ) section 112(r) Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule as it applies to flammable hydrocarbon fuels such as propane, butane butane (by`tān), C4H10, gaseous alkane, a hydrocarbon that is obtained from natural gas or by refining petroleum. , ethane ethane (ĕth`ān), CH3CH3, gaseous hydrocarbon. It is a continuous-chain alkane. As a constituent of natural gas, it is used for fuel. It can be prepared by cracking and fractional distillation of petroleum. , propylene propylene /pro·pyl·ene/ (pro´pi-len) a gaseous hydrocarbon, CH3CHdbondCH2.
propylene glycol a colorless viscous liquid used as a humectant and solvent in pharmaceutical preparations. and methane.
The interim stay applies to storage of these chemicals in quantities no greater than 67,000 pounds in a process. Previously, facilities with more than 10,000 pounds of any listed flammable substance in a process were required to submit an RMP to EPA by June 21, 1999.
EPA plans to propose an exemption from the RMP rule for flammable hydrocarbon fuels that are stored in separate tanks that are no larger than 18,000 gallons (approximately 67,000 pounds).
However, frozen food processors should note that the general duty clause of CAA 112(r) requires owners and operators of stationary sources of hazardous chemicals to identify those hazards, design and maintain a safe facility and minimize consequences of accidental release.