Current Progressive Dairy digital edition
Advertisement

USDA implementing ‘bioengineered’ food standard

Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke Published on 17 January 2020

You’re busy milking cows, attending your co-op’s annual meeting and wondering how hemp fits in your 2020 cropping plans. With that in mind, Progressive Dairy looks at issues in the news impacting you and your dairy business.

In recognition of your time, we’ll attempt to summarize recent events or actions making dairy headlines and reported in our weekly digital newsletter, Progressive Dairy Extra. Then we’ll try to put that news into perspective and briefly describe how it might affect you.

advertisement

advertisement

BIOENGINEERED FOODS

What happened?

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard on Dec. 20, 2018. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, passed by Congress in July of 2016, directed the USDA to establish this national mandatory standard for disclosing foods that are or may be bioengineered.

What’s next?

The implementation date of the standard is Jan. 1, 2020, except for small food manufacturers, whose implementation date is Jan. 1, 2021. The mandatory compliance date is Jan. 1, 2022. Regulated entities may voluntarily comply with the standard until Dec. 31, 2021.

The standard requires food manufacturers, importers and certain retailers to ensure bioengineered foods are appropriately disclosed. Regulated entities have several disclosure options, including USDA-approved symbols (see graphics above and left).

advertisement

A bioengineered food disclosure is a marketing label and does not convey any information about the health, safety or environmental attributes of bioengineered food as compared to non-bioengineered counterparts.

Bottom line

The standard states that food produced from an animal fed bioengineered feed is not considered a bioengineered food solely because the animal ate a bioengineered feed. For example, the milk from a cow that ate bioengineered alfalfa is not considered a bioengineered food just because the cow ate bioengineered alfalfa.

The standard defines bioengineered foods as those that contain detectable genetic material which has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.

CWT AND DAIRY EXPORTS

What happened?

The National Milk Producers Federation announced that Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) member cooperatives assisted in exporting dairy products equivalent to nearly 1 billion pounds of milk in 2019.

advertisement

What’s next?

The amounts of dairy products and related milk volumes reflect current contracts for delivery, not completed export volumes. CWT pays export assistance to the bidders only when export and delivery of the product is verified by required documentation.

Bottom line

Contracted sales under CWT in 2019 were estimated at 48.9 million pounds of American-type cheese, 123,458 pounds of anhydrous milkfat, 5 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat), 6.8 million pounds of cream cheese and 46.1 million pounds of whole milk powder, the products equivalent of 956.3 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

UF MILK IN CHEESE

What happened?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reopened the comment period on a proposed rule that would allow the use of fluid ultrafiltered (UF) milk in the manufacture of certain cheeses and related cheese products.

The proposed rule, which was issued in 2005, would amend the definitions of “milk” and “nonfat milk” for cheeses and related cheese products in the FDA’s regulations on food standards (often referred to as standards of identity).

Twelve years later, in 2017, the FDA announced it would exercise enforcement discretion regarding the use and ingredient labeling of UF milk in the manufacture of standardized cheeses and related cheese products while it considers rule-making.

What’s next?

The FDA said the comment period was reopened to solicit any new information on current industry practices regarding the use and labeling of products utilizing UF milk as an ingredient. The 90-day comment period closes March 20, 2020.

Bottom line

Ultrafiltered milk is raw or pasteurized milk mechanically filtered to concentrate the proteins in milk. In the process, some of the lactose, minerals and water-soluble vitamins are lost, along with water. Proponents say the resulting protein concentrate is easier and more cost-effective to ship. end mark

Dave Natzke
  • Dave Natzke

  • Editor
  • Progressive Dairy
  • Email Dave Natzke

LATEST BLOG

LATEST NEWS