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agency issued many standards of identity decades ago, FDA and many stakeholders are concerned that some standards are out of date and may impede innovation.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

 

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 42)

Here’s my article’s selection of the week:

EU

– EU project seeks to improve GM food safety testing, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+, on bakeryandsnacks.com: an EU-funded project that aims to improve safety testing for genetically modified (GM) foods has published its first results.

UK

– FSA promises probe after sheep’s milk protein found in UK goats’ cheese, by Mark Astley+ , on dairyreporter.com: the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has promised an investigation after several samples of goats’ cheese sold in Britain were found to contain up to 80% sheep’s cheese.

– Venomous spider strikes again, in Waitrose bananas, by Rod Addy+, on foodmanufacture.co.uk: a Waitrose shopper got the shock of his life when he uncovered the world’s deadliest spider in a bunch of bananas just delivered by the upmarket supermarket chain.

USA

– Are Recalls an Effective Element of Food Safety?, by James Andrews, on foodsafetynews.com: given that recalls are often not issued until after the damage has been done, the question has regularly been raised in the food industry as to whether or not recalls are an effective tool in food safety. The question was the topic of a debate at this year’s International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) conference in Indianapolis.

– FDA to hold public meeting on key FSMA proposed rules, by Heidi Parsons, on foodproductiondaily.com: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced it will hold a public meeting Nov. 13 to discuss potential changes to four proposed rules associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

WTO Rules Against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat in U.S., by James Andrews, on foodsafetynews.com: the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the United States over country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat.

– Making Sense of Seals of Approval, by Michele Simon, on foodlawfirm.com: “These days health-conscious consumers are increasingly seeking out food products not only with fewer ingredients and a “clean label”, but also foods produced in a manner that minimizes harm to the environment, among other ethical business practices. And it’s not enough to claim your product is healthy or sustainable with just words; to get that much-needed boost in a highly competitive marketplace, many food companies are spending the extra money to obtain third-party certification for various claims. But before jumping on the “seal of approval” bandwagon, it’s important to understand the legal implications of various types of certification. For example, some seals are legally defined and require third-party certification while others are just voluntary.”