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FDA: Antibiotics Sold and Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals Down in 2016

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 Discontinues Food Advisory Committee

The Food Advisory Committee was established on March 6, 1992 (57 FR 8064).  Over the years, the Committee has provided advice to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and other appropriate officials on emerging food and cosmetic safety, food science, nutrition, and other food-related health issues. Today, the FDA announced in the Federal Register (82 … Continue Reading

EU/Japan Trade Agreement Preserves GIs Despite U.S. Concerns

The European Commission (EC) announced on December 8, 2017, that discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement had concluded. Among other things, the agreement ensures the protection in Japan of more than 200 Geographical Indications (GIs) for European agricultural products. In a press release on the agreement, EU commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil … Continue Reading

FDA Publishes Draft Guidance Concerning “Refusal of Inspection”

Section 807(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, added by section 306 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) authorizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to refuse imported food from being admitted into the United States if the Agency is not permitted to inspect the foreign establishment that produced the food. … Continue Reading

IFSAC Publishes Paper on How to Categorize Foods Linked to Foodborne Disease Outbreaks

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 Takes New Approach to Produce Safety

FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce, meaning fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.  Our detailed summary of the rule is available here. When the Produce Safety Rule became final in November 2015, FDA began building the Produce Safety … Continue Reading

USDA Announces Changes To The U.S. Beef Grade Standards

USDA quality grades are used by companies to provide information to consumers about meat’s tenderness, juiciness, and flavor and are a key factor in determining the value of beef and live cattle.  Last summer, USDA requested stakeholder feedback on a petition asking to amend standards for beef carcass grades.  That petition requested that the standards … Continue Reading

California Egg Law Challenged in U.S. Supreme Court

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that 12 states have joined Missouri in a lawsuit challenging a California law requiring any eggs sold in the state to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages. The lawsuit was filed on December 4 to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2008, Californians approved, … Continue Reading

Canada Moving Forward on Front-of-Pack Labeling

Pursuant to its mandate under the Food and Drugs Act, Health Canada is responsible for setting safety and nutritional quality standards for all foods sold in Canada.  Health Canada achieves this goal by setting standards under the Food and Drug Regulations which are enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. On October 24, 2016, Canada’s … Continue Reading

GMO Labeling Law Update: CFS Drops USDA Lawsuit Regarding Consumer Study

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, entitled the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, 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 … Continue Reading

USDA Publishes Updated School Meal Rules

Enacted in 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) set rigid nutrition standards for schools and paved the way for the subsequent implementation of school meal rules that many in the industry argue have limited the flexibility of school foodservice providers, led to increased food waste in school cafeterias, and resulted in declining participation in the National … Continue Reading

Russia Set to Ban Brazilian Pork Starting December 1

Last week, Russia’s Rosselkhoznador, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, announced that it would temporarily ban pork imports from Brazil beginning on December 1, 2017.  This announcement comes after the feed additive ractopamine was identified in some shipments. Brazilian authorities have promised to conduct an internal investigation into the matter, and Brazilian and … Continue Reading

FSMA For Cotton Ginners?

Are cotton farmers and ginners subject to FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)?  If you are a cotton ginner that is not a farm the answer is currently yes. FDA is currently exploring the extent to which cotton ginners should be covered by FSMA. Cotton farmers and ginners, of course, produce the fabrics that we use … Continue Reading

China to Lower Tariff on Certain Food and Other Items

China announced tariff cuts on 187 products—including baby powdered milk, avocados and mineral water—effective December 1, 2017. (See Financial Times (subscription required) and S. News.) The import tariffs will average 7.7%, down from the current 17.3%. In addition to foods, the reduced tariffs will impact selected health supplements, pharmaceuticals, clothing items, shoes and other consumer … Continue Reading

FDA Releases Small Entity Compliance Guide for FSMA 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

Washington State Senator Considering Ban on Atlantic Salmon Farming

Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) plans on proposing legislation in the upcoming session to ban Atlantic salmon net-pen farming, reports the Seattle Times. The legislation is in response to an August 2017 incident where 100,000 fish escaped into Puget Sound from a net-pen farm. The Washington Department of Ecology defines Net-Pen finfish aquaculture … Continue Reading

GMO Labeling Update: Some Senators Calling for On-Package Text to disclose the presence of GM Ingredients

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, entitled the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, 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 … Continue Reading

USDA Audit Shows Deficiencies in Brazil’s Meat Inspection System

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 Issues Long Awaited Guidance on GRAS Panels and the GRAS Regulatory Framework

Date: November 15, 2017 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released two guidance documents regarding “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) substances:  (1) Guidance for Industry: Regulatory Framework for Substances Intended for Use in Human Food or Animal Food on the Basis of the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Provision of the Federal Food, Drug, … Continue Reading

Global Study Shows Confusion Concerning Whole Grains

A global study of over 16,000 people revealed that consumers are confused about the amount of whole grains they should consume daily and which foods contain whole grains. Of those surveyed, 83% did not know how many grams they should eat daily and less than half (47%) think that they eat enough whole grains. In … Continue Reading

WHO Urges End to Routine Antibiotic Use in Food-Producing Animals

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

USDA Further Delays Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule

As previously covered on this blog, on January 19, 2017, USDA published a controversial final rule on organic livestock and poultry which establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for chickens as a function of type of production and stage of life, as well as adds new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter. 82 FR 7042.  The effective date for … Continue Reading

USDA Withdraws Biotech Regulation Proposal

As previously covered on this blog, on January 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)published a proposed rule to update its regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms in response to advances in genetic engineering and the Agency’s understanding of the plant … Continue Reading

Menu Labeling Update: FDA Releases Supplemental Draft Guidance

Over the past several years, FDA has been in the process of implementing menu labeling provisions added to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by the Affordable Care Act. Under the new requirements, restaurants or similar retail food establishments (in chains of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and selling substantially similar … Continue Reading
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