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“[Proposition 37] an unnecessary, costly and ill-conceived ballot proposition. ... This is a poorly written measure that would mandate that food producers provide misleading and confusing information to consumers. "
— Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, GMA
Food Safety, Facts Up Front
Besides the defeat of the California initiative, Bailey cited two other priorities for GMA this year: the implementation of both the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Facts Up Front nutritional labeling initiative.
“The FDA is in the process of developing approximately 50 regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act,” she said, “and GMA is playing an important role in that process by sharing industry insights and best practices in an effort to help shape those regulations, which will strengthen our nation’s food safety net and better serve consumers.”
The Facts Up Front program — formerly called Nutrition Keys — was developed in partnership with Food Marketing Institute in response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s challenge for the industry to provide consumers with more nutritional information.
“The program provides busy consumers, especially parents, with the information they need to make informed decisions when they shop,” Bailey explained.
Read more: Nutrition Keys Is Now Facts Up Front
The Facts Up Front icon already appears on thousands of products, she noted, “and we are making plans to launch the consumer education component of the program in 2013, which will build awareness and help consumers build healthier diets.”
The Executive Conference, which is scheduled to start Saturday, will be the last independent GMA Executive Conference. The meeting will become part of FMI’s Midwinter Conference in January.
According to Bailey, interest among members to attend this year’s conference is “as strong as ever, and the registration numbers reflect that.”
Although GMA will combine its meeting with FMI, several elements of the Executive Conference will remain, she pointed out, including the chairman’s lecture, the Hall of Achievement Award presentation and the Chairman’s Dinner with retail executives — all scheduled for the Saturday before FMI Midwinter kicks off.
GMA will also hold its Trading Partner Alliance meeting at the midwinter event, along with its board, council and committee meetings, she noted. TPA is a joint industry leadership group formed by GMA and FMI in 2009 to develop a shared agenda on policy, growth and supply-chain issues of mutual concern.
“To expand and build on our strong foundation of manufacturer and retail collaboration, we have also created the GMA Executive Leadership series, which will begin next July in Washington, D.C., and feature a joint public policy conference and advocacy fly-in with FMI and other industry partners,” Bailey said.
GMA will also sponsor a new conference, beginning in the fall of 2013, called Collaborating for Growth “to advance our shared public policy and growth agenda,” she added.