The U.S. Canola Association (USCA), Northern Canola Growers Association, Minnesota Canola Council, Great Plains Canola Association and more than 350 other members of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food signed a letter urging all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The bill, introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), called for voluntary biotech food labeling to prevent patchwork state-based labeling requirements.
After months of public comment, the Vermont attorney general’s office formally adopted regulations to implement the state’s biotech food labeling law. Act 120, signed into law in 2014, will require mandatory labeling of food produced with modern biotechnology beginning in July 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced its timeline for setting the Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements. The volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 through 2017 will be released in a Proposed Rule by June 1, 2015 and finalized by Nov. 30, 2015. For 2014, the agency has said it will propose requirements that “reflect the volumes of renewable fuel that were actually used in 2014.” Over 1 billion pounds of canola oil were used in U.S. biodiesel production in 2014.
The USCA submitted comments in April to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency regarding the evaluation of prevented planting (PP) coverage. The USCA agreed with the agency’s concern over the high incidence of PP indemnity payments in the Northern Plains, however, it disagreed with the recommendation to reduce canola PP coverage level from 60 to 45 percent for the base policy. Instead, the USCA recommended eliminating the option for producers to buy up the additional 10 percent coverage for canola; reducing base policy PP coverage for canola from 60 to 55 percent based on the cost of pre-applied nitrogen application; and harmonizing canola final planting dates with other competing crops so canola is not the first crop targeted for PP in wet years.
The USCA also submitted comments to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, supporting its recommendations for consumers to: 1) reduce intake of saturated fats to 10 percent of total daily calories; 2) consume non-partially hydrogenated vegetable oils relatively low in saturated fats instead of tropical oils or animal fats; and 3) increase consumption of foods rich in vitamin E. The USCA also supported the committee’s call for further research into the effects of replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats verses monounsaturated fats on cardiovascular disease risk.