NMPF Priorities Advance in Appropriations Process
September 2, 2021
NMPF saw several policy improvements and funding priorities included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture-FDA Appropriations bill (H.R. 4356) at the House Appropriations Committee level. Since then, NMPF has seen even more key issues incorporated into legislation as appropriations moves forward.
During floor consideration of the House bill, Reps. Jim Baird (R-IN) and Angie Craig (D-MN) secured an amendment to provide $5 million for FDA to develop solutions on how ingredient claims on animal feed additives can be regulated as foods, not drugs. The amendment builds on the report language NMPF successfully worked to include at the Committee level to direct FDA to update its Policy and Procedures Manual to achieve this goal.
FDA’s current process raises an obstacle for dairy’s use of numerous feed additives that can reduce enteric methane emissions by 30 percent because it currently treats these food additives as drugs. Combined, the Baird/Craig amendment and report language could help address the problematic process.
The House also adopted an amendment by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Fred Upton (R-MI) to direct FDA to ensure that pending guidance on Labeling of Plant-based Milk Alternatives takes the approach of consistently enforcing against violations of the existing dairy standards of identity. Following adoption of these and other amendments, the House passed this bill on July 29.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its own version of the Agriculture-FDA Appropriations bill on Aug. 4. The Senate bill differed from the House measure while funding NMPF program priorities including:
- $25 million for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives program, which provides direct technical assistance and grants to dairy businesses to further the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products
- $700 million for the ReConnect program, the USDA Rural Development program working to provide broadband service to eligible rural areas;
- $3 million for the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill to create pilot programs to increase milk consumption among SNAP households;
- Nearly $105.83 billion for SNAP.
Also, in addition to mandatory funding for nutrition programs:
- $6.278 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
- $332 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program;
- $90 million for TEFAP transportation, storage, and program integrity;
- $10 million for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, a USDA program aimed at connecting those working in agriculture to stress assistance and support programs.
The Senate version also includes a provision to allowing 1% flavored milk to continue to be served in school nutrition programs through the 2022-23 school year. The Senate measure also includes feed additive provisions similar to the House’s as well as report language similar to House language addressing FDA’s lack of enforcement of dairy standards of identity. The Senate legislation additionally provides $7.030 billion in emergency funding to support farmers and ranchers impacted by various natural disasters through 2023. Under this bill, milk would be eligible for the emergency funding and dairy cooperatives would be eligible to deliver funds directly to their producers.
Appropriations legislation may become final this fall, once Congress and the White House agree on spending numbers.