Key Dairy Policy Issues

Below you'll find detailed information about the various legislative, economic and regulatory developments NMPF staff work on every day.

Animal Health & Food Safety

The key to a healthy dairy farm business starts with the best practices followed by farmers to maintain the health of their herds. This ultimately provides healthy, safe and wholesome milk and other dairy products to consumers around the world. NMPF is the dairy industry leader on animal well-being issues, as well as related policy areas affecting animal health and food safety.

Animal Well-Being Programs

NMPF manages the national dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program, open to all dairy farmers, co-ops and processors across the U.S., that sets the highest standards when it comes to animal care. Third-party verification ensures the validity and the integrity of the program to our customers and consumers.  For more, visit www.nationaldairyfarm.com:

July 13, 2016 - NMPF Comments on USDA Proposed Changes to the National Organic Program, Livestock and Poultry Practices

May 16, 2016 - NMPF Comments on Proposed Changes to the Bovine TB and Brucellosis Eradication Programs

March 9, 2016 - NMPF Board of Directors Approves Changes in FARM Program Version 3.0

October 26, 2015 - NMPF Board Advances Phase-Out of Tail Docking

 

Animal Identification

NMPF supports:

  • the establishment of mandatory animal disease traceability at the earliest possible date for reporting livestock movements in the U.S.
  • adoption of International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-compliant radio frequency identification device ear tags for the cattle industry; and
  • one centrally-managed national database, which facilitates ready access to essential tracking data by all state and federal animal health authorities on a real-time basis, while safeguarding producer confidentiality.

December 9, 2011 - NMPF Comments on Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate

 

Raw Milk

Due to the significant public health risks associated with the consumption of raw milk, NMPF opposes legislation at the state and national level that expands the availability of the product.

May 2, 2016 - NMPF Comments Opposing Senate Bill No. 29 Easing Regulations of the State-Wide Sale of Raw Milk

April 18, 2016 - NMPF Comments on Senate Bill No. 29 Easing Regulations of the State-wide Sale of Raw Milk

February 24, 2016 - NMPF Letter to West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Vetoing Senate Bill No. 387 Easing Regulations of the State-wide Sale of Raw Milk

January 29, 2016 - NMPF Comments Opposing Maryland House Bill No. 0079 Exempting the distribution of Raw Milk and Raw Milk Products From Milk Producers Directly to the Final Consumer From Regulation

January 14, 2016 - NMPF Comments Opposing Virginia House Bill 619 Exempting Dairy Foods Processed in Private Homes or Farms From Regulation

December 25, 2015 - NMPF Comments Opposing Virginia House Bill 62 Exempting Milk Producers From Production Requirements

November 2, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Understanding Potential Intervention Measures To Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness From Consumption of Cheese Manufactured From Unpasteurized Milk

 

Antibiotic Use

Antiobiotics are important for both humans and cows, and must be used properly to ensure their continued effectiveness. NMPF is engaged in educational efforts in the dairy industry to ensure that health treatments for dairy cattle are used judiciously.

June 22, 2016 - NMPF Comments on Request for Information by the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

December 24, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Management of Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

November 30, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Collecting On-Farm Antimicrobial Use and Resistance Data

November 16, 2015 - New 2016 FARM Residue Prevention Manual Focuses on Antimicrobial Stewardship

August 18, 2015 - NMPF Comments on the Proposed Rule of Antimicrobial Animal Drug Sales and Distribution Reporting

July 29, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Multicriteria-Based Ranking Model for Risk Management of Animal Drug Residues in Milk and Milk Products

 

Food Safety Regulations

The Food and Drug Administration, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, develop and enforce a variety of regulations designed to ensure that consumers receive safe dairy products. NMPF works to ensure that federal food safety regulations are science-based and effective.

March 29, 2016 - NMPF Comments on the National Residue Program: Monitoring Chemical Hazards

February 17, 2015 - NMPF Comments on the Exemption of Organic Products from Assessment under a Commodity Promotion Law

December 15, 2014 - NMPF Comments on Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food

July 29, 2014 - NMPF Comments on the FSMA Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Proposed Rule

June 30, 2014 - NMPF Comments on Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration

May 31, 2014 - NMPF Comments on the Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals

May 22, 2014 - NMPF Comments on the Designation of High-Risk Foods for Tracing

 

Trade Policy

In the 21st century, the U.S. dairy sector has become a major player in world dairy trade. American dairy farmers export approximately 1 in 7 gallons of milk they produce. NMPF works to expand opportunities for farmers and cooperatives to reach foreign markets, while balancing the flow of milk products into this country.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

NMPF is urging Congress to pass the agreement in 2016 because the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a net win for U.S. dairy farmers.

June 14, 2016 - NMPF Chairman Calls for Strict Trade Agreement Enforcement; Expresses Strong Concerns with Future of TTIP Negotiations

May 19, 2016 - USDEC, NMPF Respond to International Trade Commission’s Economic Impact Analysis of Trans-Pacific Partnership

April 21, 2016 - Members of Congress Urge Obama Administration to Ensure Trans-Pacific Partnership Benefits are Not Undermined

April 11, 2016 - Dairy Organizations Seek Congressional Support for Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

March 8, 2016 - NMPF Board Endorses Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

January 14, 2016 - Dairy industry voices pros and cons to TPP in front of U.S. International Trade Commission

November 5, 2015 - Statement from NMPF and USDEC on Release of Full Text of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

October 5, 2015 - Long-Running Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Conclude: Dairy Industry to Analyze Details

 

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

As the U.S. and EU continue to work in 2016 on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, NMPF is focused on ensuring that any potential agreement address the trade barriers confronting U.S. dairy exporters in attempting to access the European market.

NMPF is opposed to any further advancement of the TTIP negotiations that does not include fully addressing U.S. dairy export concerns related to sanitary and phytosanitary standards, technical barriers to trade, and common food names issues.

June 14, 2016 - NMPF Chairman Calls for Strict Trade Agreement Enforcement; Expresses Strong Concerns with Future of TTIP Negotiations

April 25, 2016 - Dairy Groups Thank Senators for Urging Action on Agricultural Issues in Trade Agreement with Europe

March 8, 2016 - NMPF Board opposes any further advancement of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations

 

Geographic Indications

Geographical indications limit who can use certain product terms or names to those in a particular geographic area. GIs have been widely abused in recent years by European interests seeking to restrict competition from the United States and other non-European countries.

NMPF is a member of the Consortium for Common Food Names, which is an independent, international non-profit alliance whose goal is to work with leaders in agriculture, trade, and intellectual property rights to foster the adoption of high standards and model geographical indication guidelines throughout the world.

April 27, 2016 - Dairy Industry Urges Continued U.S. Focus on Defending Common Names Rights

 

Foreign Market Access

May 9, 2016 - White House Asked to Challenge WHO Proposal Discouraging Dairy for Children up to Age 3

April 13, 2016 - NMPF, IDFA Urge Congress to Challenge WHO Proposal Prohibiting Promotion of Milk & Milk Products to Young Children

February 23, 2016 - NMPF Comments on the World Health Organization’s Proposed Guidance on Ending the Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children

Nutrition & Health

By supporting federal programs that assure an adequate supply of milk products for Americans, NMPF has long championed science-based nutrition policy. As research continues to demonstrate the valuable contribution to American’s diets of milk, cheese, yogurt and other products, NMPF works at the national level to educate policy makers about the importance of daily consumption of dairy foods.

Dietary Guidelines

The federal government reassesses dietary science every five years to assemble a set of recommendations about the healthiest eating habits.  In 2016, the most recent Dietary Guidelines for America were released, once again affirming the pivotal role played by dairy foods.

February 8, 2016 - NMPF Comments on FDA Document Titled "Questions and Answers on FDA’s Fortification Policy: Guidance for Industry"

January 7, 2016 - Government’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines Affirms Role of Dairy Foods in Healthy Eating Patterns

April 15, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

 

Flavored Milk

Milk flavored with chocolate is an often popular choice in the national school lunch program. Studies indicate that when flavored milk is not available, not only does milk consumption decline, overall participation in school lunch programs drops as well.  NMPF supports making available a range of milk choices in schools that are consistent with federal dietary guidelines.

May 18, 2016 - Dairy Industry Applauds School Milk Support

January 20, 2016 - IDFA and NMPF Commend Senate Action on Child Nutrition Legislation

May 19, 2015 - NMPF and IDFA Commend Introduction of School Milk Nutrition Act

 

Raw Milk

Due to the significant public health risks associated with the consumption of raw milk, NMPF opposes legislation at the state and national level that expands the availability of the product. 

May 2, 2016 - NMPF Comments Opposing Senate Bill No. 29 Easing Regulations of the State-Wide Sale of Raw Milk

April 18, 2016 - NMPF Comments on Senate Bill No. 29 Easing Regulations of the State-wide Sale of Raw Milk

February 24, 2016 - NMPF Letter to West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Vetoing Senate Bill No. 387 Easing Regulations of the State-wide Sale of Raw Milk

January 29, 2016 - NMPF Comments Opposing Maryland House Bill No. 0079 Exempting the distribution of Raw Milk and Raw Milk Products From Milk Producers Directly to the Final Consumer From Regulation

January 14, 2016 - NMPF Comments Opposing Virginia House Bill 619 Exempting Dairy Foods Processed in Private Homes or Farms From Regulation

December 25, 2015 - NMPF Comments Opposing Virginia House Bill 62 Exempting Milk Producers From Production Requirements

November 2, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Understanding Potential Intervention Measures To Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness From Consumption of Cheese Manufactured From Unpasteurized Milk

Dairy Foods Standards and Labeling

Defending real dairy products against imitators has been an ongoing focus of NMPF since early in the 20th century. Many imitation products skirt the regulations on how they can label themselves using dairy terminology. NMPF defends dairy standards of identity that exist to maintain the integrity of food products.

Imitation Products

Imitation dairy products, made from everything from soybeans to rice to hemp, don’t have any milk in them, but you’d be hard-pressed to know that from many of the labels these products use. While federal law says that milk, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream and cheese must be made from real dairy, there’s a growing list of items in grocery stores that use these terms, even though they’re made from plants and nuts.

These products can be sold, but they should be renamed so that consumers better understand the differences between these imitations and real dairy products. The term "milk" (or "cheese", "yogurt", "ice cream") should be used for foods that come from cows. Visit the REAL® Seal for more information.

 

Labeling Regulations

In addition to the proper labeling of imitation dairy foods, NMPF supports food labels that are truthful and not misleading.  We endorse a federal solution to the issue of whether states should mandate the disclosure of certain GMO ingredients or processes on food packages, as a national approach is the only way to avoid confusion in the marketplace if each state generates its own policies.

July 14, 2016 - NMPF Comment on Passage of Biotech Labeling Bill in House of Representatives

July 7, 2016 - NMPF Statement on Senate Passage of Roberts-Stabenow Biotech Food Labeling Legislation

July 6, 2016 - NMPF Commends Senate for Moving Roberts-Stabenow Biotech Labeling Amendment Toward Final Vote

June 28, 2016 - NMPF Joins More Than 1,000 Food and Farm Groups in Letter to Senate Leaders Urging Passage of Roberts-Stabenow Biotech Food Labeling Legislation

June 23, 2016 - NMPF Statement on Roberts-Stabenow Agreement on Food Biotech Legislation

June 8, 2016 - NMPF Board Adopts Resolution Urging Congress to Pass Federal Biotech Labeling Standard

March 16, 2016 - NMPF Statement on Senate Vote on GMO Legislation

October 13, 2015 - NMPF Comments on Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels

Energy & Environment

Throughout the last decade, concerns about agriculture’s effect on the environment became increasingly vocal. NMPF supports the use of safe and efficient environmental practices – such as anaerobic digesters and nutrient recovery – to help dairy operations remain stewards of a healthy ecosystem.

July 19, 2016 - NMPF Provides Input on FDA’s Assessment of Human Health Risks Associated with the Use of Raw Manure as Fertilizer in Crop Production

July 11, 2016 - NMPF Endorses Legislation Protecting Dairy Farms from Litigation Under Solid Waste Law

Nutrient Recovery

We are dedicated to developing a commercial marketplace for nutrient trading agriculture as a way of improving the environment. We've been involved in the startup of Newtrient LLC as a platform for commercializing the nutrient recovery industry.

July 20, 2016 - NMPF Supports Senate Legislation to Create Tax Incentive for Investments in Biogas and Nutrient Recovery

June 16, 2016 - NMPF Endorses New Legislation Creating Tax Incentive for Investments in Biogas and Nutrient Recovery

January 27, 2016 - NMPF Comments on the Proposal to Adopt Agricultural Nutrient and Sediment Credit Certification Program Regulations

 

Air Quality

The National Air Emissions Study (NAEMS) is a multi-year research effort to assess the levels of air pollutant emissions from chicken, pork, egg, and dairy animal operations. Over a continuous 24-month period, researchers at Purdue University and seven other universities around the country collected actual on-farm air emissions data from animal operations of varying sizes, locations, and management practices. With respect to dairies – at this point – NMPF does not expect the results of the study to result in broadly-applied remediation requirements on farms. It is possible that large operations may face additional reporting requirements, but it is too early to speculate on how exactly EPA will treat these farms. View a summary of the NAEMS process.

 

Water Quality

October 9, 2015 - NMPF Commends U.S. Court Decision to Halt Implementation of Waters of the U.S. Final Rule

 

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans

NMPF has completed the development of a self-certification template tool to assist dairy producers in developing Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans that covers all fuel and oil storage on the farm.

The goal of the SPCC program is to prevent oil spills into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. A key element of the program calls for farmers and other facilities to have an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC plan. A copy of the plan template can be downloaded here.

Labor & Immigration

Dairy farming is a very labor-intensive endeavor, as cows need to be milked two or three times daily, every single day of the year. Thus, the availability of workers to help harvest milk is an ongoing concern for NMPF’s members. National Milk educates policymakers about the realities of work on U.S. dairy farms, and pursues federal policies that ensure agricultural businesses can stay in business, thanks to the contributions made by dairy workers, many of whom are immigrants.

Immigration Reform Legislation

NMPF has worked with other farm and agriculture groups in the Ag Workforce Coalition to present a legislative framework that provides actionable solutions for agriculture’s labor needs. This solution includes:

  • An opportunity to obtain legal status
  • A program to ensure an adequate, productive and competitive arm workforce in the future

This visa program needs to be market-based and have the flexibility to meet the needs of producers, including those with year-round labor needs, such as dairy and livestock.

 

Dairy Farm Immigration Survey

September 9, 2015 - Losing Immigrant Workers on Dairy Farms Would Nearly Double Retail Milk Prices and Cost the Economy More than $32 Billion, New Report Finds

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