The objective of NASDA's 2014 Winter Policy Conference is to provide information on current and emerging feed and food safety issues impacting agriculture, and to build consensus among the states on regulatory approaches to these issues. The plenary speakers will give state regulators an opportunity to hear a national perspective on feed and food safety, something to which they may not be exposed in their respective states. NASDA has two membership meetings a year. One is the annual meeting in the state of the current president;the other is the Winter Policy Conference held in the Washington, DC area. The focus of the meetings is legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the members. These two occasions and one additional meeting, held regionally, are the opportunities for NASDA members to converse on issues, make contacts with each other and other leaders, set priorities and goals for the coming year and meet face-to-face with NASDA staff and FDA officials. At recent meetings NASDA members have stressed the fact that there must be continuous efforts made on the part of FDA and NASDA members to collaborate and cooperate in discussions on emerging FDA topics that directly and indirectly affect agriculture. The states and FDA share similar authorities, missions and responsibilities, and the partners have been working to improve communications. The passage of the Food Safety and Modernization Act has created a plethora of issues to be discussed and resolved as we seek to establish an integrated federal-state food and feed safety system. The need for conversation about the proposed rules and the importance of getting the language in the proposed rules right the first time cannot be overstated. The 2014 Winter Policy Conference presents the perfect opportunity for these NASDA members to get acquainted with NASDA staff and key FDA leaders that are dealing with feed and food safety and regulatory issues in their state, and promote partnerships to ensure program success. The meeting this February is three-and a-half-days long, and the agenda includes committee meetings and plenary sessions and speakers. NASDA has a Food Regulation &Nutrition Committee that meets during this time to discuss topics focusing on FDA program areas such as the Produce Safety Alliance, Milk Residue project, and the Food Safety and Modernization Act. In addition, NASDA Members and key FDA leadership find time during the meeting for mini-conferences on issues of interest and concern. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia from February 2-5, 2014. The number of participants is anticipated to be approximately 175 - 200 people. Given the current budget situation, the close proximity of the conference to Washington, DC makes it easier for federal officials to attend the meeting and be present during important discussions with NASDA members during the week of the Winter Policy Conference. The meeting attendees consist of US representatives of state and federal regulatory agencies charged with feed and food safety responsibilities, the regulated industries, and university and research institution professionals.
The objective of the 2014 NASDA Winter Policy Conference is to provide information on current and emerging feed and food safety issues impacting agriculture, and to build consensus among the states on regulatory approaches to these issues. The plenary speakers will give state regulators an opportunity to hear a national perspective on feed and food safety, something to which they may not be exposed in their respective states.