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Arkansas Passes Resolution Calling for Standard for Rice

Over the last year, dairy industry groups have appealed to FDA and Congress to enforce the standard of identity for milk with regard to plant-based beverages labeled as “milk,” for example “soy milk”.  The dairy industry argues that milk is defined as “the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of … Continue Reading

California Considers Regulating Food Packaging under Green Chemistry Initiative

As part of its Green Chemistry Initiative and the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) implementing regulations, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has released its Draft Three Year Priority Product Work Plan (2018-2020).  The Plan indicates that it will “address exposures from harmful chemicals that migrate from consumer products into food.” DTSC identifies as “Candidate Chemicals” … Continue Reading

FDA Guidance States Live Animals Processed Under USDA Regulations Do Not Need to Comply with FSVP Regulations

On March 21, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published guidance that live animals processed under Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations do not need to comply with Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) requirements. In general, live animals imported for use as food are regulated by FDA. However, they are required to be slaughtered … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on “Small Business” under FSMA Preventive Controls Regulations

As previously reported on this blog, FDA published final rules to implement the Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Control (HARPC) provisions for human and animal food under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on September 17, 2015. Small businesses may be eligible for certain exemptions and have later compliance dates than larger businesses covered … Continue Reading

First Amendment constraints on FDA’s regulation of health claims

On February 20, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denied a petition for a health claim for the consumption of cranberry products and the reduction in risk of recurrent urinary tract infection (UTIs) in healthy women and notified Ocean Spray that FDA will instead review the petition as a request for a qualified health … Continue Reading

Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Additives to be held on March 23-30, 2018, Xiamen, China (50th session)

The Codex Alimentarius (Codex al.) is a collection of standards, guidelines, codes of good practices and recommendations adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). The CAC is the central part of the joint FAO/WHO program setting international food standards recognized in country trade disputes.  The Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) is tasked with setting maximum … Continue Reading

Court Grants Injunction in Proposition 65 Glyphosate Warning Case

A California court has granted an injunction enjoining various growers associations from providing Proposition 65 cancer warnings for crops grown with glyphosate.  In a motion for preliminary injunction, National Association of Wheat Growers et al. v. Zeise, the court held that a Proposition 65 warning conveying that glyphosate causes cancer would not be “factually accurate” … Continue Reading

Additional SNAP Requirements Endanger the Future of the Farm Bill

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conway has delayed the release of a draft law renewing farm and nutrition programs due to opposition to cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also colloquially known as the “Food Stamps” Program. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to more than 47 million eligible, low-income individuals and families, and is … Continue Reading

USDA Withdraws Organic Livestock and Poultry Practice (OLPP) Final Rule

As previously reported on this blog, USDA published the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule on January 19, 2017. The rule established minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for chickens based on the type of production and stage of life, as well as added new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter. … Continue Reading

Opposing Views and Uncertain Future for the Philadelphia Soda Tax

15 Months In, Philly Still Plagued With Soda Tax Uncertainties (subscription to Law360 required) As previously covered on this blog, Philadelphia’s 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on distributors of sweetened beverages (including soda and diet soda, non-100% fruit drinks; sports drinks; flavored water; energy drinks; pre-sweetened coffee or tea; and non-alcoholic beverages intended to be mixed into alcoholic drinks) … Continue Reading

FDA Announces Proposed EU Shellfish Equivalence Determination

The United States and the European Union (EU) have not traded live shellfish for nearly eight years. Since 2010, U.S. shellfish imports have not been allowed to enter the EU, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not permitted the import of live, fresh or fresh-frozen molluscan shellfish from the EU since the … Continue Reading

WHO Names South African Listeria Outbreak World’s Largest

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), South Africa is currently in the middle of the largest listeria outbreak ever seen.  As of this week, the outbreak has sickened almost 1,000, with at least 180 fatalities, and has received extensive press coverage globally (see e.g., here and here).  The cause of the outbreak has been … Continue Reading

GAO Report: FDA Can Do More to Achieve Food Safety & Nutrition Goals

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), enacted in January 2011, shifted the FDA’s focus from responding to illnesses to preventing food contamination.  A new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, released on March 5, 2018, examines FDA’s actions on food safety since FSMA became effective. The GAO report, titled “FDA Can Build on Existing Efforts … Continue Reading

Washington Senate Passes Bill to Phase Out Salmon Farming

Current efforts to ban salmon farming in Washington State began shortly after the August 2017 failure of a net pen structure owned by Canadian-based Cooke Aquaculture that resulted in the escape of more than 240,000 invasive Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. On March 2, 2018, the Washington State Senate passed HR 2957 by a vote … Continue Reading

New Study: UV-bacteriophage Combination Found to Improve Salmonella Control in Ground Beef

In a comparison study of microbial interventions, researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno found that a combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and bacteriophages was most effective in reducing Salmonella populations in ground beef. The researchers analyzed the comparative effectiveness of organic acids, bacteriophages and UV light, individually and combined. Highlights of the study’s findings include: Certain organic … Continue Reading

New EFSA Report Finds Antimicrobial Resistance Persists in Humans, Animals and Food

Antimicrobial use in food-producing animals remains a hot button issue. In the United States, 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 European Union (EU), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) … Continue Reading

USDA and HHS Accepting Public Comments on Topics and Scientific Questions for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA)

As our readership is well aware, every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) release the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) — a set of recommendations based on up-to-date nutrition science that is intended to help the U.S. population make healthy food and beverage … Continue Reading

Health Canada Publishes Proposed Front-of-Package Labeling Regulations and Launches Stakeholder Consultation

As previously reported on this blog, Health Canada recently announced revisions to food labeling requirements as a part of the Healthy Eating Strategy for Canada. One of the key initiatives under the Strategy is Front-of-Package (FOP) labeling for foods that are high in nutrients designated by the agency as being of public health concern: saturated … Continue Reading

NTP Releases Draft Report on Bisphenol A for Public Comment

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been the subject of global controversy in recent years, with some jurisdictions restricting its use in children’s products and baby bottles due to concerns about potential exposure risks. FDA’s longstanding position on BPA is that BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods. On February 23, 2018, the National … Continue Reading

Six Month Countdown to New Prop 65 Warning Requirements

New Proposition 65 warning requirements are becoming effective in just six months, on August 30, 2018.   As previously reported on this blog, new regulations regarding “clear and reasonable warnings” were issued on September 2, 2016 In guidance, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), which administers Proposition 65, has advised that consumer products “manufactured … Continue Reading

FDA oversees destruction and recall of kratom products

On February 21, FDA issued a press release announcing the voluntary destruction and recall of a large volume of kratom-containing dietary supplements manufactured and distributed nationwide under the brand names Botany Bay, Enhance Your Life and Divinity The manufacturer of the products, Divinity Products Distribution, has also agreed to stop selling all products containing kratom … Continue Reading

USDA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Rule to “Modernize” Pork Inspection

On January 19, 2018, USDA released a proposed rule called the “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 for pork and to allow for the rapid adoption of new food safety technologies in pork slaughter.  … Continue Reading

FDA Updates Spice Risk Profile

As previously reported on this blog, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft risk profile on the public health risks associated with spices in October 2013. The risk profile identifies the presence of pathogens, such as Salmonella, and filth in spices; describes current efforts to reduce the public health risk posed by … Continue Reading