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NCA Business News: Policy & Regulation

June 6, 2014


June 6, 2014


Sugar loan limits defeated; favorable labeling language added to House bill
An amendment to the 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration spending bill, introduced by Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA-15), would have denied loans to large-scale sugar processors that generate more than $300 million per year. The amendment was rejected by the House Appropriations Committee late last month by a 32-18 vote. NCA is disappointed with the decision to continue funding wealthy sugar processors to the detriment of U.S. candy companies.

However, Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS-1) was successful in adding language to the bill that recommends against mandatory calorie labeling on vending machines if the products sold use a front-of-pack labeling system. “To meet the requirements of the law, FDA should accept a clear, visible display of calories on the front of the package of articles of food sold from a vending machine or on the front of the vending machine as meeting such requirements,” reads the language, which will be added to the committee report. Contact Liz Clark.
Commerce delays findings in Mexican dumping case
Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will postpone until August 25 its determination in the anti-dumping and countervailing suit against Mexico filed by American sugar processors. The complexity of the case and the potential trade implications led to the delay. U.S. sugar producers accuse Mexico of unfairly selling low-cost sugar in the U.S. market. Contact Liz Clark.
Nutrition Facts panel comment deadline extended by 60 days
FDA has extended to August 1 the deadline for comments on its proposed rules revising the Nutrition Facts panel for food and beverages, as well as proposed serving sizes, following NCA’s request for an extension. NCA member companies have identified a number of areas of concern, including the need for more than two years to comply with the final rule; elimination of the panel format that fits on very small packages; and recordkeeping and FDA record access for compliance with the added sugars labeling portion of the proposed rule. Contact Laura Shumow.
Comments on high risk designation submitted
Last week NCA submitted comments to FDA on the designation of foods as high risk under the Food Safety Modernization Act. NCA advocated that cocoa beans should be considered a raw agricultural commodity, which would exempt beans from additional recordkeeping requirements. In addition, NCA argued that allergens should be evaluated individually and that the type of reactions associated with the allergen should be taken into account. Contact Zara Khaleeli.
NCA meets with White House on partially hydrogenated oils decision
NCA anticipates that FDA will move forward with a final determination on the GRAS status of partially hydrogenated oils before the end of 2014. Last week NCA and a food industry coalition met with the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to advocate for withdrawal of FDA’s current tentative determination of partially hydrogenated oils as unsafe and to instead release a proposed rule including a complete economic impact assessment. Additionally, NCA requested that a sufficiently lengthy compliance timeline be provided if FDA’s decision is finalized. The coalition highlighted significant concerns with FDA’s tentative determination such as the removal of minor use ingredients that do not contribute to trans fat exposure, the impact on small businesses, limitations in the scientific evidence FDA relied upon to justify their decision and alternative regulatory approaches that would be more effective.

Meanwhile, some member companies note that retailers are requesting that products be reformulated to remove hydrogenated oils. While NCA is trying to learn more about specific retailer requests the association has no plans to conduct retailer outreach at this time. Contact Laura Shumow.
Mars Inc.'s Shannon Campagna and Rep. Webster
Campagna and Rep. Webster
NCA Mars, Inc., hosts Rep. Webster at M&M's World
Mars, Incorporated, hosted Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL-10) at the M&M’s World in Orlando’s Florida Mall earlier this month. The legislator spoke with associates and toured the recently renovated store with Shannon Campagna, director of federal government affairs. Contact Liz Clark.
Topps's Tony Jacobs and Michael Brandstaedter with Rep. Cartwright
Topps's Tony Jacobs, vice president, global confectionery, and Michael Brandstaedter, president and COO, with Rep. Cartwright
NCA Rep. Cartwright tours Topps in Pennsylvania
On June 3, Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) visited with senior executives at the Topps Company, Inc. manufacturing facility in Scranton, Penn., to discuss issues of importance to the company and broader industry including renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences program, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the importance of sugar reform and positive outcome in the USITC and Department of Commerce investigations into Mexican sugar dumping claims. While there, Rep. Cartwright also met the more than 80 employees working at the Scranton plant, toured the facility and discussed ways to improve the Pennsylvania economy and business climate for confectionery companies. Contact Kelsey Freeman.
Member News
  • NCA's Labeling Basics and Beyond on July 8-9 in Washington, D.C., will cover current mandatory label requirements, proposed label changes, class-action lawsuits and other external threats, front-of-pack labeling, genetically engineered ingredient labeling and more. Register by Friday, June 13 to receive a discounted hotel rate at the Loews Madison.

  • On May 12, the European Union published Regulation (EU) No 488/2014 which amends the maximum levels of cadmium permitted on many food products. The Commission has proposed a 5 year transition period for these to come into effect to allow producers adequate time to take necessary measures to comply. Contact Laura Shumow.

  • Earlier this month FDA approved the use of advantame as a general-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer.

  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a vocal consumer group, held the National Soda Summit 2014 June 4-5 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the latest science on sugar drinks and health and how to lower the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. 

  • Health and wellness was a focus at NCA’s 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo. In addition to Treat Right moderation guides and research summaries, staff was available at the NCA Connection to answer questions about the Treat Right program or about how candy fits into a healthy lifestyle. 

  • FDA has relaunched its Nutrition Facts panel youth outreach campaign. “Read the Label” is a grassroots education initiative aimed at children aged 9-13 to encourage them to make smart and healthful food choices.


National Confectioners Association

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