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01/06/2022

Industry Orgs Urge Prioritization of COVID Tests for Critical Infrastructure Workers

FMI, NGA among those signing on to letters to President Biden, U.S. governors
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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In letters to the Biden administration and U.S. governors, CISCC urged accelerated efforts to ensure COVID-19 test kit and supply availability for vital industries.

FMI – The Food Industry Organization and the National Grocers Association (NGA) were among the signers of letters sent Jan. 5 by the Critical Infrastructure Supply Chain Council (CISCC) to President Joe Biden and the National Governors Association calling for the prioritization of COVID tests for critical infrastructure employees. CISCC is a coordinated effort of various trade organizations committed to addressing both long- and short-term supply chain challenges and weaknesses, including those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Arlington, Va.-based FMI is the chair of the council’s Workforce Task Force. 

“Critical for sustaining this supply chain is the [availability] of accurate, readily available testing supplies to slow the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the letters noted. “The undersigned organizations urge your administration to accelerate efforts to ensure test kit and supply availability and recognize the essential role of the industries represented below, by taking steps that would prioritize testing availability and access to tests for our nation’s critical infrastructure. Doing so would prevent interruption to critical goods and services at a time when Americans need them the most and would help to protect those workers who remain on the front lines of the pandemic.”

The other signers of the letters were the Agriculture Retailers Association, American Bakers Association, American Building Materials Alliance, American Cleaning Institute, American Feed Industry Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Consumer Brands Association, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Corn Refiners Association, Crop Life America, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., Fragrance Creators Association, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, International Bottled Water Association, National Aquaculture Association, National Association of Beverage Importers Inc., National Automatic Merchandising Association, National Confectioners Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Restaurant Association, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Institute, North American Millers’ Association, North American Renderers Association, Pet Food Institute, Responsible Industry for Sound Environment, The Fertilizer Institute and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

In December, Washington, D.C.-based NGA, the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, wrote a letter to the Biden administration, requesting that the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) think about exempting businesses in the food supply chain from the COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Mandate, following the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to lift the stay on the Emergency Temporary Standard, while FMI, along with other association partners representing a broad range of retail, wholesale, warehousing, transportation, travel, logistics and commercial interests, filed an emergency application for an immediate stay in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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