FSMA implementation, ASF virus-linked biosecurity measures and feed ingredient approval will remain top of mind for NGFA as Biden gets ready to move into the White House

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/mrdoomits
© GettyImages/mrdoomits

Related tags NGFA Afia rural broadband pandemic FSMA

Earlier this week we heard about the wish-list of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) as the Biden administration prepares the transition to power. Now it is the turn of the US National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) to lay out its priorities for the coming year.

The trade body told us it anticipates that farm and agricultural policy, under Biden, will focus more on food and nutrition issues, on how agriculture can contribute to addressing climate change, and on organic, locally grown and small-farm issues. 

On trade, NGFA believes there will be a return to a more multilateral approach to address trade irritants with countries that the Trump administration tended to negotiate mostly bilaterally, including China, as well as on much-needed World Trade Organization (WTO) reform. 

“We do anticipate that the China Phase One Agreement will remain in force, which includes significant purchase commitments of US agricultural products and feed ingredients.”

Transportation, rural broadband 

The NGFA also anticipates a significant proposed legislative initiative focused on infrastructure, including transportation and rural broadband, as well as COVID-19 relief legislation with more emphasis on unemployment insurance, education assistance, and relief for state and local governments than might have occurred under a second Trump administration.

“Controlling the pandemic is likely to preoccupy the new administration, rightfully so, during its first few months in office.”

The new administration may revisit the corporate tax rate and the Republican-led Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, as well as initiate additional health insurance legislation, although if Republicans control the Senate, that will be much more difficult, said the association.

The NGFA said it expects more of a regulatory/enforcement-first approach to workplace safety and environmental issues.

When it comes to legislative priorities for 2021, the trade group said it will continue to focus on infrastructure and trade policy.

“Specifically, NGFA will be urging Congress to invest in a long-term highway bill reauthorization with policies that increase trucking capacity; pursue policies to reform rail rates and clarify the common carrier obligation of railroads to provide service on reasonable request; and reduce the backlog of inland waterways navigations projects to modernize America’s aging locks and dams, especially those on the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway.”

Because the 117th​ Congress will not be sworn in until January, 2021, the NGFA outlined how it will continue to urge the current lame-duck post-election session of Congress to renew the US Grain Standards Act, under which official grain inspection and weighing activities are conducted, and approve a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) to continue momentum to improve America’s inland waterways and ports.

“If the lame-duck session of Congress is unable to reauthorize these two significant pieces of legislation, the legislative process unfortunately would need to start from scratch when the new Congress is sworn into office in January.”

What is on the agenda for 2021?

NGFA’s feed industry priorities in the coming year include:

FSMA Implementation: ​NGFA said it will actively advocate industry positions to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pertaining to its on-going implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This includes communicating with FDA on issues related to its inspectional activity, and responding to rulemakings associated with additional traceability requirements, amending the food facility registration regulations, and revising the preventive controls rule for animal food.

ASF Virus: ​The NGFA said it will engage with other industry stakeholders and regulatory agencies to address the potential introduction of foreign animal diseases, including African swine fever (ASF), into the US through grain and feed products. The association said it will advocate for a science-based approach to evaluate risk and prudent research to address information gaps concerning the possible role feed and grain products may play in transmitting viruses.

Feed Ingredient Approval/Recognition Processes: ​The NGFA said it will advocate greater efficiencies within the feed ingredient approval/recognition processes administered by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and FDA so that new feed ingredients can be brought to the marketplace in a timelier and less costly manner. In addition, the NGFA said it will work with other stakeholders on a potential framework that could provide regulatory officials greater assurances about the safety of independently concluded generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredients. 

Get the AFIA's perspective on the Biden presidency and what the US feed sector is hoping to get out of the new administration here​.

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