FDA Announces Public Meeting to Discuss Modernizing Food Standards of Identity

  • This is a very interesting update: the situation has to be strictly monitored by interested parties and trade associations representing food manufacturers and exporters to the US market.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced it will hold a public meeting on September 27, 2019, to give interested parties an opportunity to discuss FDA’s effort to modernize food standards of identity and to provide information about changes the FDA could make to existing standards of identity.  FDA is particularly interested in changes that could be made across categories of standardized foods, often referred to as horizontal changes, to provide flexibility for manufacturers to develop healthier foods. FDA is particularly interested in changes that could be made across categories of standardized foods, often referred to as horizontal changes, to provide flexibility for manufacturers to develop healthier foods and to facilitate innovation.
  • The initiative is part of the agency’s comprehensive, multi-year Nutrition Innovation Strategy (NIS), which is designed to encourage industry innovation to improve the nutrition and healthfulness of food.  As part of the NIS, FDA is seeking to modernize food standards of identity in a manner that will: (1) protect consumers against economic adulteration; (2) maintain the basic nature, essential characteristics and nutritional integrity of food; and (3) promote industry innovation and provide flexibility to encourage manufacturers to produce healthier foods.
  • Because the agency issued many standards of identity decades ago, FDA and many stakeholders are concerned that some standards are out of date and may impede innovation. As consumers continue to seek more nutritious food options, FDA wants to ensure that standards of identity, or requirements outlining the content and production of certain food products, meet these expectations.  During a 2018 public meeting  on FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy, many participants expressed general support for FDA exploring modernization options that could permit changes across all standards of identity, or broad categories of standards, to facilitate innovation and flexibility to reformulate products to produce more nutritious foods. FDA is seeking input about horizontal changes that may provide manufacturers with additional flexibility to use, for example, new technologies and new or novel ingredients without impacting the basic nature and essential characteristics of standardized foods.
  • The September 27th meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The meeting will include introductory presentations, a panel presentation, oral comments by attendees, as well as breakout sessions. Public meeting attendees are encouraged to register online to attend the meeting in person and via live webcast.
  • For questions about registering for the meeting or to register by phone, contact Mark Gifford, SIDEM, 1775 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20006, 240-393-4496, EventSupport@Sidemgroup.com.
  • For general questions about the meeting or to request special accommodations due to a disability, contact Juanita Yates, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-009), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, phone: 240-402-1731, email: Juanita.Yates@fda.hhs.gov.
  • For more information about the meeting, as well as instructions on registration and requesting to make an oral presentation, see the Federal Register Notice announcing the meeting and the  meeting page.
Important Dates to Remember:
  • Request to make an oral comment: September 12, 2019
  • Request special accommodations due to disability: September 12, 2019
  • Advanced registration closing date: September 20, 2019
  • Public meeting: September 27, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Deadline to submit written/electronic comments: November 12, 2019

 

FDA moving down the road of Dietary Fibers definition

On 27th March the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it intends to propose that “cross-linked phosphorylated RS4” – regardless of source – be added to the definition of dietary fiber. The action was taken in response to a citizen petition from MGP Ingredients Inc.
Dietary fiber that can be declared on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels includes certain naturally occurring fibers that are “intrinsic and intact” in plants and added isolated or synthetic non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates that FDA has determined have beneficial physiological effects to human health.
The FDA established a definition for dietary fiber in its Nutrition Facts label final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2016. Based on available evidence, FDA has determined that the scientific evidence suggests that cross-linked phosphorylated RS4 can help reduce insulin levels following a meal containing a carbohydrate that raises blood glucose levels.
Including this current notification, 16 categories of non-digestible carbohydrates (e.g. mixed plant cell wall fibers, a broad category) are either included in the definition of dietary fiber or are non-digestible carbohydrates that FDA intends to propose to be added to the definition of dietary fiber (see Questions and Answers on Dietary Fiber for a list). Seven of these fibers were identified in the Nutrition Facts label final rule as meeting the dietary fiber definition.
Until FDA completes rulemaking regarding adding additional fibers to the regulatory definition of dietary fiber, the agency intends to exercise enforcement discretion to allow manufacturers to include the amount of these additional fibers in the dietary fiber declaration on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. Firms can submit citizen petitions requesting that additional fibers be added to the definition of dietary fiber. Those petitions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
(Source: FDA website)
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