On Jan. 19, 2016, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a new proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise the minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the U.S. The proposed rule would:
- eliminate the maximum amount of foreign material incoming peanuts may contain;
- relax the amount of damage allowed under outgoing quality requirements;
- modify positive lot identification requirements, record-keeping procedures, and reporting requirements; and
- update language throughout the standards to reflect current industry practices.
In other words, says Evans Plowden, general counsel for the American Peanut Shellers Association, these proposed rules don’t have anything to do with food safety. They simply raise the maximum cosmetic damages allowed, and bring the rules in line with 21st century technologies and management protocols.
Plowden explains that the rules were put into place some 50 years ago to assist in indemnification of peanut growers who had unknowingly shipped peanuts with aflatoxin. Today, however, peanut shelling is now packed with superior machinery, better management oversight, and electronic eyes that remove any damaged kernels.
“Today, the supply chain has completely eliminated aflatoxin in edible chain of peanuts,” Plowden says. “Through risk management and technology, the industry has removed all risk from the food supply chain.”| | | Next → | Single Page
About Joanna Schroeder
Joanna Schroeder is the editor of DomesticFuel.com as well as a freelance energy and agriculture reporter for other publications including Biofuels Journal, AgWired.com, Biofuels International, Denver Post, Agri-Marketing Magazine, Industrial Biotechnology, Academics Review, and more. She serves as an energy expert for other national media outlets and has been featured in several documentaries. Each month, Schroeder reviews energy and agriculture books with the reviews featured on DomesticFuel.com and syndicated to other news sites. She has a BS in Environmental Science and MS in Technical Communications from Iowa State University. Reach her at email@example.com.