Tag Archives: CONGRESS

GM Labeling: Competing Federal Proposals

New mandatory GM labeling bill introduced in Senate. We have seen significant activity on the Hill this week related to the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  On March 1, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill that would establish a voluntary, USDA-administered GM labeling regime and preempt state requirements in this area (including those slated … Continue Reading

GM Labeling Bill Clears Committee

GM labeling bill clears Senate Agriculture Committee. As the July 1 deadline for compliance with Vermont’s labeling requirements for genetically modified (GM) foods draws nearer, many continue to hope for a federal legislative fix.  In February, Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) introduced legislation to establish a national voluntary labeling standard for GM foods.  Significantly, this bill … Continue Reading

Menu Labeling in the House

House passes bill to increase flexibility in FDA’s menu labeling requirements. As previously covered on this blog, FDA has issued a final rule to implement the menu labeling provisions added to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by the Affordable Care Act.  Under the new requirements, restaurants or similar retail food establishments … Continue Reading

Nicotine News

CPSC likely to gain new authority over packaging of some nicotine-containing e-liquid products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) currently implements the Poison Packaging Prevention Act of 1970 (PPPA), which requires certain household substances to have packaging that makes it significantly difficult for children under five years old to open within a reasonable amount of … Continue Reading

Oversight on Outbreak

GAO report critical of USDA’s response to disease outbreaks USDA has the authority to implement response measures to animal disease outbreaks to limit economic, animal health, and food security consequences. On January 14, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the independent investigative arm of Congress, publically released a report critical of the USDA’s response to … Continue Reading

Microbead Mortality

Federal government bans microbeads. Microbeads are tiny beads of plastic added to cosmetics and personal care products to serve an abrasive or exfoliating function.  For years, environmental groups have expressed concerns that microbeads pollute waterways and pose harm to aquatic life because their small size allows them to pass through wastewater treatment systems in significant quantities.  In … Continue Reading

Omnibus Edition

Omnibus bill does not include federal GM labeling fix. For months, the food industry has been hopeful that Congress would act to develop a legislative solution to establish federal regulatory control over the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  The industry-supported bill would block inconsistent state requirements, such as the mandatory GM labeling law set to take effect in … Continue Reading

Federal Food Waste Foray

Federal legislation proposed to curb food waste. As previously covered on this blog, food waste is a major issue in the United States.  Government estimates indicate that Americans waste between 30 and 40% of the overall food supply on an annual basis. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has introduced a bill that proposes a sweeping and … Continue Reading

Congress Critiques Calorie Counts

House panel approves bill to loosen FDA’s menu labeling requirements for food retail establishments. As previously covered on this blog, starting on December 1, 2016, FDA will require restaurants or similar retail food establishments (in chains of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and selling substantially similar menu items) to provide calorie … Continue Reading

GMA on GMO

GMA continues its fight in the GM labeling arena. The effective date for Vermont’s GM labeling law is July 1, 2016.  Absent a federal legislative solution or a victory in the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) challenge to the Vermont law in federal court, the food industry must decide how to comply with the new GM … Continue Reading

Understanding Untitled Letters

FDA responds to Congressional inquiry regarding the Agency’s policies on Untitled Letters. As previously covered on this blog, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested information from FDA regarding the Agency’s policies on the issuance and publication of Untitled Letters.  Congress seemed concerned that FDA may be using Untitled Letters to advance new … Continue Reading

COOL by Choice

Senate introduces voluntary COOL bill. As previously covered on this blog, Congress has been working to resolve the controversy surrounding country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for meat products.  In the wake of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that mandatory COOL requirements unfairly discriminate against meat imports — and the WTO’s subsequent rejection of … Continue Reading

House Passes GM Bill

U.S. House of Representatives passes Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. As covered recently on this blog, the House of Representatives was set to vote on a bill that would — among other elements — establish federal regulatory control over the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  Crucially, the bill would block inconsistent state … Continue Reading

FSMA Funding Fail

Senate Appropriations Committee nixes amendment that would have increased funding allotted to FSMA implementation. Congress has been considering the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016.  Among the issues under discussion has been the adequacy of funding available to FDA to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). On July 16, 2015, the Senate … Continue Reading

Federal GM Bill Advances

House Committee on Agriculture approves Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. As previously covered on this blog, Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G. Butterfield (D-NC) co-sponsored the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which would prohibit states from mandating the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  The bill also would create … Continue Reading

PHO Protections

House Appropriations Committee approves bill amendment aimed at protecting food industry from PHO-related litigation until 2018. As recently covered on this blog, FDA issued a final determination stating that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) under any conditions of use in food. … Continue Reading

Untitled

Congress questions FDA policy regarding the publication of Untitled Letters. FDA has the authority to issue two types of letters to regulated entities:  Warning Letters and Untitled Letters.  FDA issues Warning Letters to highlight alleged violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that — if not appropriately resolved by the entity — may trigger … Continue Reading

Friday Follow-Up

House Agricultural Committee votes to repeal COOL requirements. As covered on this blog earlier this week, the World Trade Organization (WTO) rejected the U.S. appeal of a ruling regarding the propriety of its country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for meat products.  The WTO’s latest action means that its earlier ruling against the COOL requirements … Continue Reading

Antibiotic Ask

FDA proposes to expand collection of data on animal drug usage to include major food-producing species. For years, FDA and the animal feed industry have grappled with how to address concerns about the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth or feed efficiency in food-producing animals.  In 2013, FDA asked animal pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily … Continue Reading

Beauty and the Bill

Bipartisan bill introduced to expand FDA’s authority over cosmetic products. Although FDA currently has authority to regulate cosmetic products marketed in the United States, regulatory action in this space has been dormant for decades.  Unlike with other product categories, FDA lacks mandatory recall authority for cosmetics and manufacturers are not required to disclose adverse health effects … Continue Reading

Mr. Schneiderman Goes to Washington

State AGs ask Congress to crack down on dietary supplements. Earlier this year, New York’s Attorney General (AG) launched a probe into the dietary supplement industry, targeting major retailers for marketing allegedly misbranded products.  One major retailer, GNC, entered into a landmark settlement agreement with the NY AG, committing to implement stringent controls throughout its … Continue Reading

Federal GM Bill Reintroduced

Bill to prohibit states from requiring GM labeling reintroduced in Congress. (subscription to Law 360 required) In recent years, we have seen a variety of federal, state, and local initiatives regarding the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  Vermont is the only state with a GM labeling law in effect (although it is currently being challenged). … Continue Reading

Anti-Antibiotics

Bill introduced in Senate to combat overuse of antibiotics in food-producing animals. For years, FDA and various stakeholders have grappled with how best to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics to promote growth or feed efficiency in food-producing animals.  In 2013, FDA asked animal pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily revise the FDA-approved conditions of use … Continue Reading
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