March 26 2018 10:44 AM

Key provisions include DAIRY PRIDE Act language, recreation of Section 199, and relief from potential CERCLA law regulation

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative applauds the approval of the congressional omnibus spending bill, receiving both approval by the Senate and the president’s signature today. Among the provisions included in the spending bill, FarmFirst is very pleased to see language of the DAIRY PRIDE Act, as well as the recreation of the Section 199 DPAD tax provision and relief from potential regulation under CERCLA law.

Members of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative have strongly advocated on behalf of the DAIRY PRIDE Act, and as such, are very pleased to see this language included in the congressional spending bill, directing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action against mislabeled imitation dairy foods. This language builds upon the DAIRY PRIDE Act, originally introduced last year as a means for Congress to compel the FDA to act against misbranded imitations and follow the federal standards of identity.

“America’s dairy farmers provide one of the most wholesome products families can put on their dinner tables. For any other imitation product to claim the same nutritional package as milk is a drastic oversight by the FDA and an insult to the hard work of U.S. dairy farmers,” says Jeff Lyon, general manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “It is time for the FDA to enforce their own Federal Standards of Identity as it defines dairy products including ‘milk,’ ‘yogurt,’ and ‘cheese’.”

The congressional spending measure also includes a provision to recreate the Section 199 Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD) tax provision that was repealed by last year’s tax reform bill. The measure largely refashions the DPAD to help preserve the competitive position of farmer-owned cooperatives in the marketplace.

FarmFirst also applauds the work done to relieve dairy and other livestock producers from having to report manure-related air emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). As part of a coalition of farm groups, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative urged Congress to clarify that the measure – aimed at monitoring emissions from hazardous waste sites – was never intended to generate reports on low levels of emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from farms.

“Meaningless reports otherwise would have been generated, only bogging down the valuable time of regulatory agencies and more importantly, our farmers,” says Lyon. “Fortunately, common-sense prevailed with the bi-partisan support that came forward for this legislation.”

FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative was established in 2013 and is based in Madison, Wis. The cooperative represents farms in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana through policy bargaining, dairy marketing services, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion.