Vitamin D recommendation may be increased      

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has submitted recommendations to the US government on the roles of vitamin D and calcium in human health. USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are currently revising the dietary guidelines for Americans. IOM recommended 700 to 1300 milligrams daily of calcium consumption. For vitamin D, the IOM recommended daily vitamin D intake of 600 international units (IU) for those between the ages of 1-70 years and 800 IU for those older than 70 years. That’s a significant increase from previous recommendations of 200-600 IU. 

The government’s dietary guidelines committee will consider the IOM recommendations but is not required to incorporate them into the final Dietary Guidelines due for release in the next few weeks.

New trade agreement with South Korea     

Food producers and processors welcomed the announcement by the US government that it had reached agreement with South Korea on a long-awaited trade agreement. Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey said she hoped Congress would quickly approve the deal.

“Exports of food and other household products manufactured in the US have exceeded imports for three straight years, supporting jobs in thousands of communities across the country,” Bailey says. “Expanded access to new export markets for American businesses is vital to the future growth of the US economy.”

As with other trade agreements, the South Korea agreement would remove barriers and create a more favorable trading relationship between the two nations. Essentially negotiated during the Bush Administration, final agreement was held up after the Obama Administration requested some changes.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), in an early December speech to the US Chamber of Commerce, said he believed the house would pass the Korea agreement, as well as trade pacts with Columbia and Panama, in the first six months of the 112th Congress, which begins in January.