- DTN Headline News
Agencies Target Food Waste
Monday, October 22, 2018 2:35PM CDT
By Jerry Hagstrom
DTN Political Correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C. (DTN) -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Thursday signed a joint agency agreement aimed at educating Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.

The signing took place in a ceremony at USDA headquarters.

The three-agency agreement commits USDA, EPA and FDA "to increasing collaboration and coordination in our existing federal programs in areas of mutual interest relating to the reduction of food loss and waste" for two years, but does not involve any financial obligations.

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30 percent to 40 percent of the food supply, the three agency heads noted in a news release. Food waste is the largest category of material that ends up in landfills at more than 75 billion pounds a year.

"An unacceptable percentage of our food supply is lost or wasted," Perdue said. "As the world's population continues to grow and the food systems continue to evolve, now is the time for action to educate consumers and businesses alike on the need for food waste reduction."

USDA states the department is taking on several efforts to reduce food waste, which includes educating consumers about the problem of waste and improved food storage. Looking at post-harvest waste, USDA expanded a farm storage loan program in 2015 and expanded the commodities eligible for the loans. Since 2000, $2 billion in such loans have increased storage capacity by enough to store 1 billion bushels of grain.

The federal agencies' effort comes as cities have made their own initiatives to reduce food waste in different ways. New York, San Francisco and Austin, Texas, are among cities that have passed ordinances to reduce food waste from restaurants through composting programs, according to a recent Newsweek article. https://www.newsweek.com/…

Under the formal agreement, each agency will work to align its strategies on food waste to better work together. USDA and EPA already had programs called the Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions but the agencies stated more work is needed.

"Redirecting excess food to people, animals, or energy production has tremendous economic and social benefits," Wheeler said, "and that is why the Trump administration is working closely with businesses and consumers to prevent food loss and maximize the inherent value of food."

Gottlieb said steps taken to deal with obstacles in food donation and recovery programs should offer more opportunities to resell or donate foods.

"By taking steps to address obstacles that food donation and recovery programs may face in giving unsold foods a second opportunity and helping food producers find ways to recondition their products so that they can be safely sold or donated, our aim is to both reduce food waste and nourish Americans in need," Gottlieb said.

In a separate move on Friday, FDA also announced new efforts to help producer farmers and processors deal with regulatory requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act. FDA released two new, draft guidance documents, both of which are extensive in detail, that FDA sees as helping farmers better understand the range of steps they can take to comply with the Produce Safety Rule. The other will help processors better understand the relevant provisions of the Preventive Controls Rule for fresh-cut produce that apply to their practices. To simplify some of the guidelines, FDA also released summary "at-a-glance" points for the new documents. More details on the FDA guidance can be found at https://www.fda.gov/…

Details on USDA's activities on food-loss prevention: https://www.usda.gov/…

EPA's Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions: https://www.epa.gov/…

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton contributed to this report.

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.com

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport

(CC\SK)


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Editorial Staff
Monday, October 15, 2018 11:02AM CDT
Friday, October 12, 2018 11:16AM CDT
Friday, October 12, 2018 6:56AM CDT
Technically Speaking
Editorial Staff
Monday, October 22, 2018 9:35AM CDT
Monday, October 15, 2018 2:31PM CDT
Monday, October 8, 2018 8:47AM CDT
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:14PM CDT
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:14PM CDT
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:14PM CDT
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Monday, October 22, 2018 2:42PM CDT
Monday, October 22, 2018 9:30AM CDT
Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:36AM CDT
Minding Ag's Business
Katie Behlinger
Farm Business Editor
Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:08PM CDT
Thursday, October 11, 2018 10:05AM CDT
Monday, October 1, 2018 9:34AM CDT
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 4:01PM CDT
Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:42PM CDT
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 4:36PM CDT
DTN Ethanol Blog
Editorial Staff
Thursday, October 18, 2018 11:16AM CDT
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:55AM CDT
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:33PM CDT
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Monday, October 8, 2018 7:04PM CDT
Friday, August 31, 2018 10:30AM CDT
Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:47PM CDT
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Monday, October 22, 2018 9:57AM CDT
Monday, September 17, 2018 11:55AM CDT
Thursday, August 30, 2018 4:06PM CDT
South America Calling
Editorial Staff
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:10PM CDT
Friday, September 28, 2018 2:15PM CDT
Friday, June 22, 2018 12:16PM CDT
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:43AM CDT
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 12:30PM CDT
Monday, October 1, 2018 4:13PM CDT
Machinery Chatter
Dan Miller
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:53AM CDT
Friday, October 5, 2018 10:16AM CDT
Friday, September 7, 2018 12:40PM CDT
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 3:30PM CDT
Monday, October 22, 2018 4:30PM CDT
Friday, October 19, 2018 4:02PM CDT
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Friday, August 24, 2018 5:53PM CDT
Friday, August 17, 2018 5:12PM CDT
Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:00AM CDT
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN