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Industry anticipates environmental focus with new Administration, 103rd Congress.

Industry Anticipates Environmental Focus with New Administration, 103rd Congress

AFFI Members Get First Look at Labeling Regulations

In light of the recent nutrition labeling developments, AFFI hosted a two-day seminar to bring frozen food executives up to date on the labeling regulations. The seminar, held January 7 and 8 in Chicago, gave participants a first look at the new regulations within 24 hours after they were published.

New EPA Administrator Faces Confirmation Hearing

Carol M. Browner, President Clinton's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), faced a Senate confirmation hearing early January. She attempted to ease the concerns of the business community by emphasizing her intent to not be driven by environmental extremists. Throughout the hearing, Browner stressed her commitment to building effective lines of communication between business and environmental interests. Environmental protection and economic growth are compatible, she said.

AFFI President Steven C. Anderson said that AFFI will be watching closely Browner's actions at EPA. Her association with Vice President Al Gore has created concern by many in the AFFI membership.

Browner previously served as the director of transition for Vice President Gore. Before joining the transition team, she headed the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation.

103rd Congress to Explore Carbon Tax

With the convening of the 103rd Congress in January, industry can expect to see activity on many environmental issues including the Clean Water Act, Superfund and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Also up for discussion will be the carbon tax debate. If enacted, the law would tax the carbon content of emissions in an attempt to combat global warming.

AFFI Files Amicus Brief to Reverse Court Pesticide Decision

AFFI and other food groups filed an amicus curiae brief to reverse a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that invalidates the de minimis policy adopted by EPA.

According to the brief, absence of such a policy which permitted the establishment of tolerances for pesticide residues in processed foods found to pose a negligible, or de minimis, risk of cancer, jeopardizes many pesticides necessary for the production of a safe, wholesome and abundant food supply. The food groups are concerned that if the court decision stands, food producers will be deprived of providing consumers a safe, economical, and varied diet.

AFFI also urged the Clinton transition team to rescind EPA's pesticide policy of denying or revoking a raw product tolerance for a pesticide that may concentrate in a processed food. Since EPA will need to respond to the court's decision, AFFI encouraged the transition team to consider the implications of the current EPA policy on the food industry and the consumer.

AFFI Creates Environmental Council

To address upcoming issues in the environmental arena, the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) created the Food Industry Environment Council. Along with over 30 food industry groups, AFFI's Leslie Sarasin, executive vice president of public policy and staff counsel, will direct efforts to influence environmental legislation affecting the food industry through this council.

As EPA and other agencies continuously develop new regulations and procedures in the Clinton Administration, the council will monitor and communicate these complex issues on behalf of the industry.

Also, AFFI's Bob Garfield, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs, is serving as 1993 chairman of the Environmental Forum. Through this forum, AFFI is joining forces with other food industry groups to represent the interests of the industry on the technical aspects of environmental laws and regulations.

EPA Continues Pesticide Activity

In early December EPA established expiration dates for the cancellation of zineb with the exception of grapes (used for wine) and potatoes. The rule was made in conjunction with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. For more information, contact EPA's David H. Chen at (703) 308-8017.

EPA also received registrant requests to voluntarily cancel several other pesticide registrations. Companies concerned about the loss of pesticide registrations for the production of "minor crops" should review the list to assess the impact on company operations. To obtain a list, call EPA's Joanne Miller at (703) 305-7850 or James Hollins at (703) 305-5761. EPA also announced its intent to cancel 2,375 pesticide registrations because registrants failed to pay maintenance fees. Cancellation was delayed for 63 other registrations to provide agricultural producers time to comment. The EPA reported that 75 percent of the registrations are no longer being manufactured and that most others are obsolete. For more information on the future of these pesticides, contact AFFI's Howard Weatherspoon, assistant vice president of research and technical services, at (206) 943-3090.

EPA Announces Final Sewage Sludge Use, Disposal Rule

EPA announced its final rule concerning sewage sludge. The rule focuses on sewage that is applied to land, distributed and marketed, placed in a landfill or surface impoundment, or incinerated. Companies involved with crop production can expect local sewage treatment facilities to contact farm managers and plant personnel for permission to apply their sewage sludges to company-owned land. Companies should develop company-wide policies focusing on the use of municipal sewage sludge on company-owned property and the production of crops that are marketed under the firm's name.

EPA Proposes Recycling Rules for Refrigeration Equipment

EPA proposed to establish a recycling program for ozone depleting refrigerants recovered during the servicing and disposal of air conditioning and refrigeration, including retail food and cold storage warehouses, industrial process refrigeration, and refrigerated transport. For more information, contact EPA's Debbie Ottinger at (202) 233-9200.
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Title Annotation:frozen food industry, Clinton Administration
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Feb 1, 1993
Previous Article:Time to take the industry's temperature.
Next Article:Trends in fruit and nut acreage.

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