January 16, 2020
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Bug Blocker Doors & Screens

The U.S. Senate this morning passed the USMCA trade deal on a 89-10 vote.

The bill garnered the same kind of broad bipartisan support the trade measure received when USMCA passed the House last month by a 385-41 vote.

President Trump can now sign it into law. But the deal will not fully enter into force until Canada ratifies the USMCA. Mexico has already passed the revised deal, and Canada is expected to hold a vote in the House of Commons once it reconvenes in late January.

MWFPA President Jason Culotta made the following statement relative to the Senate action today:

“Today is a major step forward for the food manufacturing industry and American agriculture. Trade with Canada and Mexico is tremendously important to our members totaling more than $3.6 billion in 2018.

Passage of the trade act by Congress brings much needed certainty and stability on trade. USMCA is a terrific deal for U.S. food manufacturers, the producers who support us, and our industry’s partners in Canada and Mexico.”
The MWFPA News Bulletin is underwritten in part by Alliant Energy

An accident investigation is an "after the fact" response. It is a process that uncovers hazards or problems that can be eliminated so that similar events will not happen in the future.

This seminar provides practical information about investigating workplace accidents by emphasizing how to find the root cause(s), conduct an investigation, and record keeping requirements.

The target audience for this course is safety committee members, safety managers, human resource managers, supervisors and others who may be involved in accident investigation.

Topics for this seminar include:
 
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Denied vs. Compensable
  • Causation
  • OSHA Record Keeping
  • Adjustor Tools

Watch this Bulletin and the MWFPA website for further details and registration information. The seminar will be held on March 18, 2020 at the Wilderness Resort, 511 E Adams St, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $95 per person. The presentation will be provided by MWFPA associate member Cottingham & Butler.
U.S. House Passes PFAS Legislation

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation aimed at imposing restrictions on new and existing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), including a five-year moratorium on bringing new PFASs to market.

The PFAS Action Act (HR 535) passed on a vote of 247-159. Read more about this legislation here.
Bipartisan Bill Would Clear Path For CBD Supplements

A bipartisan group of representatives has introduced a bill that would provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate CBD as a dietary supplement in the wake of calls for the federal agency to provide clarity regarding regulation of the hemp-derived product. Read more .
FDA, USDA, & EPA Launch Joint Website On Biotechnology Regulation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation on January 9, 2020.

According to the FDA News Release, this new website is part of President Trump’s Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products (“EO”) and its release was timed in recognition of January 2020 as National Biotechnology Month .

The new joint biotechnology website does not alter the existing federal review process for biotechnology products. The website will serve mainly as a useful repository of links to background documents and the biotechnology programs at each agency. 

The website also contains responses to a long list of “Frequently Asked Questions” and has a “Contact Us” feature that will allow users to submit additional questions to the three agencies.
Reducing Water & Chemical Use In Food Processing

Researchers from Purdue University, supported by the Agriculture Department, have found a way to simplify the process of cleaning and sanitizing food processing equipment, without requiring chemicals.

This is achieved by creating microscopic bubbles in water, which reduce the need for both chemicals and copious amounts of water. The microbubbles can be used for cleaning, as well as foams used in foods, rapid DNA and protein assessments, destroying dangerous bacteria and more.   Read more from Food Processing.

The WI Department of Natural Resources Board is set to vote this month on whether to allow the agency (DNR) to begin drafting new water quality standards for a host of pollutants including PFAS and the insecticide Imidacloprid.

The DNR Board is scheduled to meet on January 22 to consider three scope statements (broad summaries of rule proposals) that would regulate PFAS chemicals at the state level. Scope statements are the first step in the Wisconsin rulemaking process. The scope statements would:

  • Adopt groundwater standards. (SS 090-19). Under this scope statement, DNR would likely promulgate the Department of Health Services’s (DHS) recommended standards of 20 ppt combined for PFOA and PFOS and a 2 ppt preventive action limit. This rule would apply to all regulated facilities that may impact groundwater. The scope statement also includes a proposed standard for Imidacloprid (an insecticide). The recommended standard is too low and will negatively food producers. MWFPA and associated stakeholders will be submitting a statement to the DNR Board relative to this matter.
  • Adopt surface water quality standards for PFAS. (SS 091-19). Under the scope statement, DNR could also change Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit implementation procedures related to PFAS chemicals, including additional monitoring and new effluent limitations. Currently, DNR can address PFAS discharges in WPDES permits on a case-by-case basis. The proposed rule would set a uniform standard and procedures.

  • Adopt maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for drinking water. (SS 089-19). MCLs for drinking water would mostly affect municipal water systems.

Once the board approves the scope statements, DNR can begin work on drafting the rules and economic impact analyses before sending the rule to the Legislature for review.

MWFPA and the Water Quality Coalition (of which MWFPA is a member) intend to continue advocating for balanced, science-based regulation of PFAS chemicals in Wisconsin. 

According to the Water Quality Coalition, the scope statements lack the required detail and specificity to comply with the administrative rulemaking requirements under Wisconsin law. Furthermore, proposed rules seeking to regulate such a wide variety of compounds would make it unworkable for the public and Legislature to provide meaningful feedback on the practical application of the regulations.

The WI State Senate’s natural resources committee voted 3-2 along party lines to approve a measure ( SB 310) restricting the use of firefighting foam containing certain PFAS compounds.

The bill limits where firefighters and others could test or train with foams containing highly fluorinated compounds. It would allow the use of such foam only in emergency fire response or in testing areas that the Department of Natural Resources determines have “appropriate containment, treatment, and disposal measures.”

Major industry groups — including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the American Chemistry Council, and the Fluorocouncil, a trade group for companies that manufacture fluorinated compounds — all support the proposal, which now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
WI Water Quality Task Force Releases Legislative Recommendations

The Wisconsin Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality has released more than a dozen new bills related to the state’s water policy. The proposals call for the state to spend $10 million on a range of initiatives including: :

  • Create a $1 million “nitrogen optimization pilot program” that would give grants to farmers and universities to work on projects that reduce the amount of manure used when growing crops.
  • Create a new Office of Water Policy within the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
  • Require the UW Board of Regents to create a three-year project position for a hydrogeologist within the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.
  • Create a grant program for county groundwater and well testing, as well as assessments of water quality, geology and well construction.
  • Require local governments to inform their residents of the importance of regular well testing.
  • Require the state agriculture department to coordinate with the state Department of Natural Resources on a program to collect and store or dispose of firefighting foam that contains PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that have seeped into some Wisconsin groundwater and are alleged to have caused health problems.
  • Bar the sale of coal tar-based sealant products, which are used to maintain and protect driveway and parking lot asphalt pavement, and high PAH sealant products, which have been linked to health problems, beginning January 1, 2021.

MWFPA is reviewing the proposals to determine what, if any impact, they may have on food manufacturing. 

The measures have a short time to make their way through the legislative process if they are to become law this year. Lawmakers are expected to end the current legislative session for the year soon, adjourning perhaps by the end of February.

Published each fall, MWFPA's annual report summarizes the previous year's accomplishments and provides an overview of our financial status. It describes the work MWFPA has carried out over the preceding year and outlines some of the association's most significant achievements, challenges and programs.

MWFPA's 2019 Annual Report is now available for download. Find out more about the many ways in which the association is working to improve public policy in the Midwest for its members and assist the food manufacturing industry to grow and prosper. Click here.
Welcome Our New Member!

Fairchild Equipment - Provides warehouse equipment, including racks and rack systems, forklifts, forklift parts, and certified training and maintenance. Fairchild Equipment offers comprehensive solutions and services in materials handling.

MWFPA President Jason Culotta (R in photo) recently caught up with past MWFPA Board chairman, Jim Knetsch, and presented him with an award for his service to the association. Jim served as chairman of the MWFPA Board of Directors for part of 2019.

We all recognize how much effort Jim and our board members put into our association, so this honor is well deserved. 
In Memoriam - Gary Veitenheimer

MWFPA was saddened to learn of the passing of former Stokely USA vice-president and chief operating officer of Pureline Seeds for 17 years, Gary Veitenheimer, who passed away on January 4, 2020. He was 71.

Gary was born on February 10, 1948 in Contra Costa, California. He attended Oklahoma State University for 5 years where he earned a degree in Agriculture Engineering. Gary was a tribal member of the Citizens Pottawatomie Nation of Oklahoma.

MWFPA extends it’s condolences to Gary's family and friends. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the 4-corners Gobblers- Seminole Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation at 11535 NS 3620 Seminole, Oklahoma 74868 in memory of Gary.
Mark Your Calendar: MWFPA Events You Won't Want To Miss
January 29, 2020: MWFPA Human Resources Committee meeting. MWFPA offices, 4600 American Pkwy., Suite 210, 10 a.m. - Noon.

January 30, 2020 : MWFPA AMO & Convention Committee meeting . MWFPA offices, 4600 American Pkwy., Suite 210, 10 a.m. - Noon.

February 12, 2020: MWFPA Raw Products Committee meeting. MWFPA offices, 4600 American Pkwy., Suite 210, 10 a.m. - Noon.

March 18, 2020: MWFPA Accident Investigation Seminar, Wilderness Resort, 511 E Adams St, Wisconsin Dells, WI, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $95 per person.

May 27-28, 2020: MWFPA Spring Summit & Scramble, Trappers Turn Golf Club, 2955 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI

December 1-3, 2020:   MWFPA 116th Annual Convention and 93rd Processing Crops Conference . Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Other Educational Opportunities
February 8, 2020 : Industrial refrigeration systems: strategies to improve energy efficiency , WPPI Energy, Sun Prairie, WI. Learn how to run your industrial refrigerated systems better with simple changes to reduce energy consumption while meeting refrigeration load. This half-day workshop is geared for customers with custom refrigerated systems including cold storage and refrigerated warehouses. Register here . MWFPA members are invited to a $20 discount to attend. The training includes a light breakfast and continuing education credits. Please use the promo code WPPI20 to be eligible for the discount.

March 4 - 6, 2020 : Introduction to Ammonia Refrigeration Systems , Pyle Center , 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI. Anhydrous ammonia is a "natural refrigerant" that does not harm the ozone layer, has no global warming potential, and is popular because of its environmental friendliness and unmatched thermodynamic properties. This course will help you understand the benefits of ammonia through an exploration and comparison of other refrigerants, thermodynamics, refrigeration cycles, and related equipment. For more information, click here .

April 28-30, 2020: FDA/USDA Better Process Control School. Pyle Center , 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to support food and beverage manufacturers in the upper Midwest and across the nation by offering the FDA/USDA Better Process Control School. The Better Process Control School provides the food and beverage industry with qualified personnel in accordance with FDA and USDA regulations. All thermally processed low-acid or acidified foods which are packaged in hermetically-sealed containers must have certain critical operations supervised by a qualified person. Better Process Control School trains individuals to supervise these critical operations.
 
Arrangements have been made for content experts to support the industry via in-person, interactive lectures.
 
To facilitate travel, the training will be completed in 3 days. A full program schedule is here: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/BPCS_2020.pdf
 
A link to online registration and more information is here: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/
Brian Elliott | Midwest Food Products Association | Ph: (608) 255-9946 | Fax: (608) 255-9838
Web: www.mwfpa.org