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Seafood Traceability Rule to Remain in Place, Says Court

As reported previously on this blog, concerns about illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) seafood fraud, led to a proposed rule to establish a traceability program for certain seafood species. The final rule establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program was published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Department of … Continue Reading

New “Natural” Lawsuit Targets Sanderson Farms’ “100 Percent Natural” Chicken

A leading poultry producer has been sued over “natural” claims on its chicken products.  (subscription to Law360 required) Americans’ increasing appetite for clean label, ethically-raised foods has resulted in the continued proliferation of consumer advocacy litigation targeting “natural” claims for products containing synthetic ingredients or preservatives.  Adding fuel to the continued uptick in “natural” litigation … Continue Reading

USDA Halts Brazilian Fresh Beef Imports Amid Safety Concerns

As previously covered on this blog, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers earlier this year for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella.  Following the bribery scandal, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) instituted 100% point-of-entry re-inspection of all Brazilian meat products imported into the United … Continue Reading

FDA Launches Accredited Third-Party Certification Website

As previously covered on this blog, in November 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification that established a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies to conduct food safety audits and to certify that foreign food facilities and food produced by such … Continue Reading

FDA: No Plans to Reopen Nutrition Facts Label Rule

In May 2016, FDA issued final rules to implement changes to the nutrition labeling and serving size regulations. Mandatory compliance with the new nutrition labeling requirements for food products was initially slated for July 26, 2018 (or July 26, 2019 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales).  As covered on this blog last … Continue Reading

Dairy Terms Cannot be Used to Market Plant-Based Products Under EU Law, Says Court

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that purely plant-based products cannot be marketed with designations such as “milk,” “cream,” “butter,” “cheese” or “yogurt,” unless an exemption is listed in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013. The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by a German association that combats unfair competition against TofuTown, a German … Continue Reading

USDA Advances “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” Rule

Earlier this Spring, we reported that USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service intends to move forward with plans to modernize swine slaughter inspections by way of a “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” rule. The new rule – which has garnered significant industry support – aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal inspection process … Continue Reading

USDA Releases Proposed Rule to Facilitate Cooked Chinese Chicken Imports

As part of a deal to resume U.S. Beef exports to China, the U.S. recently pledged that it would remove obstacles to importing cooked Chinese poultry meat. (See previous blog coverage here.) Currently, China is only eligible to export poultry products to the U.S. that have been processed from birds slaughtered in U.S. establishments or at slaughter … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Philly Soda Tax

As previously covered on this blog, on June 16, 2016, the Philadelphia city council voted 13-4 to approve a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.  The tax – which took effect on January 1, 2017 – is levied on distributors and covers a variety of beverages, including soda and diet soda, non-100% fruit drinks; sports drinks; flavored … Continue Reading

FDA to Extend Compliance Dates for Nutrition Facts Label Changes

As previously covered on this blog, in May 2016, FDA issued final rules to implement changes to the nutrition and dietary supplement labeling and serving size regulations. Mandatory compliance with the new nutrition labeling requirements for food products that are initially introduced into interstate commerce is currently slated for July 26, 2018 (or July 26, 2019 for manufacturers … Continue Reading

USDA Continues to Make Progress on GMO Labeling Rules

As previously reported on this blog, a new federal law requiring labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients was signed into law on July 29, 2016.  This law directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop regulations and standards to create mandatory disclosure requirements for bio-engineered foods by July 2018.  Under the new law, food companies would … Continue Reading

Consumer Groups Sue FDA for Delaying Menu Labeling Rule

As previously covered on this blog, on May 4, 2017, FDA published an interim final rule that delays the compliance date for menu labeling requirements from May 5, 2017, until May 8, 2018 and invites comments for 60 days on the implementation of the menu labeling requirements. Yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public … Continue Reading

FDA Slated to Extend Compliance Dates for Agricultural Water Standards

Agricultural water can be a major conduit of pathogens that can contaminate produce. FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), establishes agricultural water standards.  In particular, the Produce Safety Rule sets microbial quality standards for agricultural water, including irrigation water that comes into contact with produce.  In March 2017, the … Continue Reading

Healthy Offerings Among Current Snack Food Trends

“Healthy Snacking” was identified as a leading trend by Convenience Store News at the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Show, held May 23-25 in Chicago with Asparagus Chips and Brussel Sprouts Puffs noted as prime examples of new healthy offerings. The National Confectioner Association’s (NCA) pick for the top salty snack at the show was Gouda … Continue Reading

Another State Bans Routine Antibiotic Use in Food-Producing Animals

As previously covered on this blog here and here, for years, FDA, USDA, and various industry stakeholders have sought to tackle public health concerns associated with the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth or feed efficiency in food-producing animals.  In the U.S., FDA is working with industry to gradually phase out the use of medically important … Continue Reading

Kraft Motion to Dismiss ‘All Natural’ Lawsuit

Kraft seeks to end ‘all-natural’ sour cream labeling suit (subscription to Law360 required) Kraft Heinz Foods Co. (Kraft) asked the court (the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York) to dismiss a putative class action over claims the “All Natural” label on its Breakstone’s sour cream is misleading because the sour cream … Continue Reading

More Than 99.5% of ‘Gluten-Free’ Products Tested by FDA in Compliance

As previously reported on this blog, in August 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule on “gluten-free” food labeling. After the final compliance date of August 5, 2014, FDA measured the gluten level of more than 250 different products labeled “gluten-free.” More than 99.5% of the food products labeled “gluten-free” … Continue Reading

Questions (and Answers) on FSVP

As previously covered on this blog, the general compliance date for the foreign supplier verification program (FSVP), under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is May 30, 2017 (for a summary of which importers are covered by the general compliance date, see here). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued additional guidance for importers on … Continue Reading

USA Rice Questions Whether Riced Vegetables Can Use Rice In Their Name

USA Rice, in a recent blog post indicated that it is considering asking FDA and other regulatory agencies to “look into” the use of “rice” or “riced” in the name of vegetables that have gone through a ricer.  USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward states “Vegetables that have gone through a ricer are still … Continue Reading

Petition to Supreme Court Denied for DeCosters (Strict Criminal Liability)

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case of two executives from Quality Egg who were sentenced to prison under the Park Doctrine, also known as the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, after a 2010 salmonellosis outbreak which may have sickened as many as 56,000 consumers.  Austin “Jack” DeCoster, the principal operator, and his son, … Continue Reading

New FSIS Directive Indicates Expanded Testing of Brazilian Beef and Veal

As previously covered on this blog, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers earlier this year for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella.  Following the bribery scandal, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) instituted 100% point-of-entry re-inspection of all Brazilian meat products imported into the United … Continue Reading
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