USSA in The Grocer

The U.S. Sustainability Alliance (USSA), a Global Broad-based Initiative (GBI) which NAEGA participates, has been featured in the magazine The Grocer, the UK’s largest food retailer and processor publication with nearly 112,000 reported readers. The USSA article “A Century and Counting of American Sustainability” highlights efforts made by the U.S. food and agriculture industry to promote sustainable practices in food production.

A copy of the article can be found here. More information on the USSA can be found on their website, here.

USCG Final Rule on TWIC

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued its final rule regarding the installation of electronic machines that can read the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) used by longshoreman, truckers, port employees and others for authorized, unescorted access to secure areas. The final rule provides more flexibility with regard to the purchase, installation and use of electronic readers than the proposed rule so that new systems can be integrated into existing security and access control systems. The rule is primarily designed for facilities that receive vessels that carry or handle Certain Dangerous Cargoes such as chemicals.

A copy of the final rule can be found here.

Philippine Biotech Regulations

NAEGA has learned of updates on the Philippine’s biotechnology regime from FAS Manila. As we understand the current status of biotech trait approvals needed for import in the Philippines remains as reported in NAEGA’s August 15 Outreach. Several GMO traits that may be found in U.S. supplies lack needed regulatory acceptance, they include:

New approval pending:
Soybean - MON 87708 X MON 89788 - RR2Xtend stack
Corn – Syngenta 5307 – Duracade which is in several stacks

Renewed Approval needed:
Soybean - A5547-127 – Bayer Liberty Link
Corn - MON 89034 x NK603 (PowerCore / Smart Stax)
Corn - Mon 88017 - (YieldGuard VT Rootworm)
Corn - Mon 88017 x Mon810 (YieldGuard VT Triple)
Corn - Bt11 x corn DAS59122 x corn MIR604 x corn TC1507 x Corn GA21 (Agrisure Viptera)

However, new developments have occurred related to an August 22 Philippines Supreme Court ruling on the biotechnology regulatory regime. On Monday, August 22 the Supreme Court released a ruling stating that the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Administrative Ruling on biotechnology regulation (AO8) did have appropriate measures to monitor planting trials and did not necessarily lead to uncontrolled planting (as alleged in its previous ruling) – a reversal of its previous ruling. In addition, the ruling notes that the new regulatory regime currently under development by the government will still supersede the old regime (AO8) that was overturned in the Supreme Court’s December 2015 ruling.

Amidst this news, NAEGA is working closely with FAS Manila, FAS Washington and other industry stakeholders to receive certainty about the current state of affairs and how the new Supreme Court ruling will be applied. A copy of the ruling released on August 22 can be found here:

ISAAA vs. Greepeace Southeast Asia – G.R. No. 209271

Further background information on this situation can be found on the NAEGA Members Only website. Please contact Gary and Ryan with any questions.

New NAEGA Address

NAEGA has moved! You can now find NAEGA at its new headquarters in Arlington, VA at:

1400 Crystal Drive
Suite 260
Arlington, VA 22202

NAEGA’s new headquarters are located conveniently off the Crystal City Metro stop. All NAEGA email addresses and phone numbers will remain the same.

DHS Response to Container Scanning

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a response to a multi-industry letter signed by NAEGA regarding DHS’s recent decision to extend the deadline for full scale implementation of the 100 percent container scanning rule. The original letter, which can be found here, offered strong support for the department’s decision and offered support for a legislative reevaluation of the mandate. In the letter, DHS Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer Alan Bersin states his continued support for delaying implementation of the mandate until appropriate technological systems are in place. While he states that the Department is committed to implementing the mandate, he also stated that DHS remains committed to working with industry and other stakeholders to move towards the law’s objectives.

A full copy of the letter can be found here. For more information, please contact Gary or Ryan.

IGTC Newsletter

The newest edition of the IGTC Newsletter is now available! This week’s newsletter includes an update on the IGTC ISPM advocacy strategy, a link to the IGTC poll on electronic documentation, and a new report from the Swiss Academies of Science on plant breeding innovation. A copy of the newsletter can be found on the IGTC intranet at or by clicking here.

GIPSA Comments on Delegated States

Following changes made to the U.S. Grain Standards Act in September 2015, the U.S. Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Administration issued a Request for Comments on the quality of services provided by delegated state agencies carrying out inspection services on behalf of GIPSA. Please let us know if you would like to contribute to any comments.

Comments are due on September 23. A copy of the notice in the Federal Register can be found here.

IGC MCC Meeting – September 8-10

Katy Lee, Acting Secretariat of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) will travel to London, United Kingdom on September 8-10 to participate in the International Grains Council’s (IGC) Market Conditions Committee meeting. The IGC’s MCC is responsible for keeping market conditions and short termed prospects for grains and oilseeds under review between IGC sessions, and the meeting will feature presentations from member governments on their grain situation and policies. As a representative of the IGTC Katy leads representation and engagement with the IGC following its official recognition of the IGTC in December 2015.

A copy of the Notice to Post for this mission is available here. Please contact Gary or Ryan if you would like to provide contributions to Katy’s participation in this meeting.

IGTC Newsletter

The newest edition of the IGTC Newsletter is now available! This week’s newsletter includes coverage of two new policy documents approved this week by the IGTC Management Council, information on an IGTC survey on electronic trade documentation and an opportunity to provide comments on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety’s draft ministerial declaration ahead of its meetings in Cancun.  A copy of the newsletter can be found on the IGTC intranet at or by clicking here.

EU Environmental Footprint Pilot

At the end of July, the European Commission launched its public consultations on Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for feed, food and drink products. The PEFCR is a pilot project to develop an approach to calculate the environmental footprint of different products with the goal of measuring environmental performance of products for future policy making.  The PEFCR is an effort to measure and communicate the EU’s environmental goals under its Building the Single Market for Green Products Initiative.

 The EC has developed draft PEFCRs for each product under consultation from product secretariats formed by representatives of trade associations, companies and supply chain experts. The draft PEFCRs developed by the secretariats are now available for public consultation and comment. The comment period will be open until the first quarter of 2017.

More information on contributing to comments on the draft PEFCRs can be found here. If you are interested in contributing comments to the draft PEFCRs please contact Gary or Ryan.