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Philly Sweetened Beverage Tax Under Fire

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 water; energy drinks; … Continue Reading

GM Labeling Update: Ingredient Disclosure Debate

As previously reported on this blog, legislation 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. On June 28, 2017, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted a … Continue Reading

USDA Announces Comment Period on NCC Petition to Lift Poultry Line Speeds

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products. In 2014, FSIS published a final rule called the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection” (79 FR 49566, Aug. 21, 2014) which amended the poultry regulations to establish an additional inspection system, called the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS), for young chicken and … Continue Reading

San Francisco Ordinance Requires Grocery Chains to Disclose Antibiotic Use in Meat

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 antimicrobials in food animals for production … Continue Reading

FDA Announces November 2017 Public Meetings Concerning Its Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative

On April 18, 2017, as the House Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY 2017 agriculture spending bill, more than 65 agriculture and food industry groups sent a letter to Congress urging Congress to appropriate $3 million to FDA to fund a joint FDA/USDA consumer outreach program to educate consumers about foods produced with genetically … Continue Reading

FDA Warns Bakery to Fix cGMP Violations and Remove the “Love”

On September 22, 2017, following an inspection of the company’s manufacturing facility, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to Nashoba Brook Bakery regarding significant current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) violations.  cGMPs describe the methods, equipment, facilities, and controls for producing food.  cGMPs prescribe the minimum sanitary and processing requirements for … Continue Reading

Cook County, IL Likely to Repeal Soda Tax

As previously reported on this blog, a Cook County Ordinance that imposes a $0.01 per ounce tax on the retail sale of sweetened beverages became effective August 2. The unpopular tax applies to bottled sweetened beverages and makes soda sold in Chicago among the most expensive in the country. Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison announced on … Continue Reading

IFSAC to Host Webinar on Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates

Created in 2011, the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) is a partnership of three federal agencies—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (FSIS). IFSAC aims to enhance the coordination of federal food safety analytic … Continue Reading

FDA Hints at Marijuana Health Claim Crackdown

As many of our readers may know, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance under federal law.  However, individual state laws do not always conform to the federal standard.  In eight states, the sale and possession of marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use, and twenty-three states and the District of Columbia … Continue Reading

FDA Pushes for Sharing Whole Genome Sequencing to Promote Food Safety

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides insight into the genetic fingerprint of a pathogen by sequencing the chemical building blocks that make up its DNA and is increasingly being employed in food safety efforts.  Since 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regularly turned to WGS to better understand foodborne pathogens, including identifying the … Continue Reading

Geographical Indicators Create Trade Barriers, Says Dairy Industry

In a recent letter to Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, several dairy industry associations urged Japan to respect current trade relationships with respect to geographical indicators (GIs). Noting that Japan and the European Union (EU) are in the final stages of negotiating a free trade agreement, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the … Continue Reading

OIG: “Challenges Remain in FDA’s Inspections of Domestic Food Facilities”

A recently released Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report has found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making steady progress on its implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) with specific regard to inspections of domestic food facilities, but challenges remain. In particular, the OIG found, in part, that: Although … Continue Reading

FDA Proposes Rule to Extend Nutrition Labeling Compliance Date 1.5 Years

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 set for July 26, 2018 (or July 26, 2019 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales).  As previously covered on this blog, however, FDA announced … Continue Reading

FSIS to Host Meeting on Whole Genome Sequencing

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides insight into the genetic fingerprint of a pathogen by sequencing the chemical building blocks that make up its DNA and is increasingly being employed in food safety efforts.  Since 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regularly turned to WGS to better understand foodborne pathogens, including identifying the … Continue Reading

FMI Funds Allergen Recalls Research

For years, undeclared food allergens have been the leading cause of food recalls in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.  Earlier this year, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) reported that the prevalence of reported food allergies has significantly increased, with an … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Senate Bill to Increase Ag Export Funding Praised by Farmers

Legislation that would increase funding for two U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week. Sponsored by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Susan Collins (R-ME), the “Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act” (S. 1839) would increase funding for … Continue Reading

CA Court Upholds Foie Gras Ban

Foie gras is a culinary delicacy made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose.  It can be produced through a process called gavage in which the birds are force-fed through tubes inserted into their esophagus.  Foie gras sales derived from this method were prohibited in California following the passage of a bill in … Continue Reading

USDA: HACCP Reviews Required in Hurricane-Hit Areas

On September 19, 2017, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a notice requiring inspection personnel to notify establishments in hurricane-affected areas to reassess their hazard plans to ensure products are unadulterated. Under FSIS requirements, every establishment must reassess the adequacy of its HACCP plan whenever any changes occur that could affect the hazard analysis or … Continue Reading

FDA Releases Training Module for Carriers Subject to the Sanitary Transportation Rule

As previously covered on this blog, on April 6, 2016, FDA published a final rule to implement sanitary food transportation requirements under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Click here for a complete copy of the final rule.  Click here for an FDA fact sheet summarizing the final rule, and click here for our summary of the rule and its implications … Continue Reading

Court Blocks San Francisco Law Requiring Warnings on Soft Drink Ads

As previously covered on this blog, the City of San Francisco passed legislation in June 2015 that required health warnings to be placed on advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e., nonalcoholic beverages with caloric sweeteners that contain more than 25 calories per 12 oz.).  Specifically, the warning would have read:  “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes … Continue Reading

Lawsuit Over FDA Delaying Menu Labeling Rule on Hold for Now

As previously reported on this blog, on June 7, 2017,  two nongovernment organizations (NGOs)—the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumer League—filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. against FDA for delaying implementation of the menu labeling rule. By way of background, the menu labeling provisions were added to the … Continue Reading

Gottlieb Tweets New Nutrition Labeling Compliance Date Extension “Closer to 18 Months”

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 previously covered on this blog, however, FDA announced … Continue Reading

Nielsen: Plant-Based Foods on the Rise

The plant-based eating trend continues.  On September 13, 2017, the Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute released new data commissioned from Nielsen reporting that retail sales of plant-based foods intended to replace animal products rose 8.1 percent since last year, topping $3.1 billion in sales. In particular, Nielsen found that: plant-based “meats” grew at 6 percent … Continue Reading

National Chicken Council Petitions USDA to Lift Poultry Line Speed Limits

As our readership is well aware, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products. To help achieve its enumerated food safety goals, FSIS is continuously seeking to develop and promote best practices at slaughter that may be used to prevent, eliminate, or reduce levels of potential microbiological contamination … Continue Reading
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