March 19, 2015

TO: JPA Members

FROM: Patricia Faison

RE: JPA Regulatory Update

(1) USDA Extends Deadline to Comment on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report
(2) USDA National Organic Program – NOSB Meeting and Organic Program Webinars

USDA Extends Deadline to Comment on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report
In February 2015, JPA notified members of the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report and noted the deadline to submit comments is April 8, 2015. Members were also advised that several members of the House of Representatives had submitted a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell expressing concerns related to the DGAC report and requesting that the comment period be extended from 45 days to 120 days.

According to an article recently published by the High Plains Journal (online), available here, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and his Senate colleagues also submitted a letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and HHS Secretary Burwell requesting a 30-day extension to file comments on the DGAC report. The article notes the USDA has granted the 30-day extension. The deadline will now be extended to May 8, 2015. At this time, the USDA has not issued a Federal Register notice announcing the extension; however, the extension is mentioned on the HHS Dietary Guidelines website here.

JPA previously submitted a letter also requesting an extension to file comments. JPA’s Nutrition Working Group is currently drafting comments requesting that fruit and vegetable concentrates not be identified as “added sugars.”

JPA will continue to monitor and provide updates, as information becomes available.

USDA National Organic Program

National Organic Standards Board Meeting
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published a Federal Register notice (80 FR 12975; March 12, 2015), available here, announcing the next meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will be held April 27 – 30, 2015 in La Jolla, California. The meeting agenda can be accessed here. In part, the NOSB will consider substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (the National List) that will sunset (i.e., their use will expire) in 2016 and 2017. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) requires that all substances on the National List be reviewed every five years by the NOSB. If not reviewed by the NOSB, the substances must be removed from the List. JPA has previously submitted numerous comments to the USDA requesting that the Agency maintain certain substances used in the production of organic juice and juice products on the National List.

A detailed communication highlighting those substances of interest to the juice industry will be provided in the near future. The deadline to submit written comments to the NOSB is April 7, 2015.

USDA Organic Webinars
The USDA has announced that the Agency will be hosting a webinar on March 24, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. on Organic Market Price Reports. The presenters will cover the available organic price and movement data, how USDA collects information, and how to use Market News reports.

The Agency will also host a webinar on March 26, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. to provide an overview of USDA’s Organic Transitions Program (ORG) and Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) Request for Applications. The purpose of the OREI program “is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products.” The goal of the ORG program is “to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.”

Details regarding both webinars including registration are available here.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.

Patricia Faison

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