Anti-obesity efforts and biosecurity rules top the list of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) priorities for the current fiscal year. In March FDA introduced its "Calories Count" initiative, and CFSAN said it will follow up with additional anti-obesity actions, including the launch of the rulemaking process on changes to the nutrition facts panel. In addition, the new rulemaking could cover changes on food packages regarding what could "reasonably be consumed on a single eating occasion." That action is intended to give more prominence to caloric content and the percent of Daily Value (DV) for calories. The International Dairy Foods Association said it was disappointed that rulemaking on the dairy industry's long-standing petitions for the use of liquid filtered milk in cheesemaking dropped in CFSAN's list of priorities. The petition was filed four years ago, but is at a lower point on the priority list than it was last year. "We're extremely concerned by CFSAN's downgrading the priority of this matter," said IDFA Senior Vice President Clay Hough. "It is still a top priority for us, and we will continue to press for action."
Washington Watch: Prices Up, Production Still Down
Rising milk prices have coincided with declines in milk production, a trend that has accelerated in the first three months of 2004, according to a USDA report.
Rising milk prices have coincided with declines in milk production, a trend that has accelerated in the first three months of 2004, according to a USDA report. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports milk production fell 1.8% in March, with production in 20 dairy-producing states totaling 12.8 billion pounds. Milk production in the United States during the January-March quarter totaled 42.7 billion pounds, down 0.9% from the January-March quarter last year. The average number of milk cows in the U.S. during the quarter was 8.99 million head, 153,000 head less than the same period last year. Jerry Kozak, CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, says milk production has declined due to two years of depressed prices. He says U.S. production has fallen to the point that it has not kept pace with demand.