Bottom Line

•HEALTHCARE. A group that wants more funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is making a big splash on K Street. ACT for the NIH officially registered its president, Pat White, to lobby on its behalf, according to recently filed disclosure forms. White knows the agency well, having previously served as associate director for legislative policy and analysis at the NIH. ACT for NIH also has Cornerstone Government Affairs, which has a team of all-star appropriations lobbyists, on retainer — paying the firm $90,000 during the third quarter. Lobbying registrations say the group will be advocating for “advancing biomedical research” and “immediate restoration of funding for NIH.” Sequestration caused a dip in the NIH’s funding, which advocates say is dangerous for public health.

• AGRICULTURE. The Grocery Manufacturers Association is stepping up opposition to a push for rules that would require companies to label foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The organization hired the Russell Group, specialized in food and agriculture policy, to throw support behind the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. Introduced by Reps. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), the bill would prohibit states from requiring labeling for foods containing GMOs. The bill says the Food and Drug Administration could craft labeling regulations for those foods “if they are ever found to be unsafe or materially different from foods produced without GMO ingredients.”


• FOREIGN POLICY. Mark Alsalih filed paperwork with the Justice Department to represent the Iraq Stability and Security Program (ISSP), composed of Iraqi citizens and tribal sheikhs. Alsalih will oversee PR and advocacy to “raise awareness … to the severe challenges that Iraq is facing and offer Policy makers Strategic ideas and options that the Iraqis feel are desperately needed to help bring Peace and stability to Iraq,” according to the forms filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. “The Program is very comprehensive and will portray a very liberal and moderate approach that is needed for National Unity and to eliminate all forms of extremism — religious and political.” Anyone working on behalf of a foreign government to influence policy in the United States must register under the act, created during World War II to thwart Nazi propaganda.