The U.S. FDA releases guidance to make the importation of certain live animals less burdensome. The guidance explains that the agency intends to exercise enforcement discretion regarding the application of the FSVP rule to importers of live animals that must be slaughtered and processed at establishments regulated by USDA and subject to HACCP requirements (or at state-inspected establishments subject to requirements equivalent to the federal standards). This means the agency doesn’t intend to enforce the FSVP requirements that these importers would otherwise have to meet. This intent to exercise enforcement discretion accounts for the role of another federal agency with regards to these animals. This is also consistent with the exemption in the FSVP rule for certain USDA-regulated products.
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FDA has also created a new web page on the www.FDA.gov site that provides a central source of information for scientists and other stakeholders interested in Foods and Veterinary Medicine’s (FVM) research priorities, activities, reporting, and tracking. Human and animal food safety, animal health, and nutritional science are primary drivers of FVM’s research efforts. The new page includes information about the Science and Research Steering Committee, an inter-center body that coordinates FVM’s activities to maximize resources and impact and avoid duplication of effort. This encompasses a wide range of food and feed research objectives across the scientific disciplines of chemistry, microbiology, toxicology, and nanotechnology.
USDA Wants to Eliminate Redundant Hog Carcass Cleaning Regulation
The USDA FSIS proposes to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to repeal a redundant regulatory requirement for hog slaughter establishments. The proposed rule would remove a redundant requirement that requires these establishments to clean hog carcasses before incising. Establishments are required to have a HACCP system that identifies potential biological, chemical, or physical hazards, and the controls to prevent, reduce, or eliminate those hazards at specific points in the process. Because establishments are required to operate under HACCP regulations and apply HACCP principles, this command-and-control regulatory requirement is no longer necessary to ensure food safety; its objectives are met by other regulations, including HACCP regulations. Comments are due July 16 via www.Regulations.gov.
Delayed Calorie Disclosure Rule Takes Effect for U.S. Food Sellers
As reported by Reuters, many restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, and movie theaters across the U.S. are now required to clearly display food calorie counts as part of a push to trim expanding American waistlines and control healthcare costs. The rule—part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, popularly known as Obamacare—affects food sellers with 20 or more locations that sell ready-to-eat foods. The rule also requires calorie labeling on more than 99% of the nation’s 5 million to 6 million vending machines. Opponents to the rule include companies like Domino’s Pizza and industry groups such as the Food Marketing Institute, which represents food retailers and wholesalers. Opponents argue that the rule piles additional costs and liability risks on businesses.
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Insights and Takeaways from GFSI Conference
The Executive Summary now available from this year’s GFSI Conference in Tokyo includes insights and practical nuggets shared by industry leaders, experts, and innovators. The summary offers actionable takeaways to share with colleagues and implement in operations. Access the summary here. The next GFSI Conference is scheduled to take place next year in Nice, France on February 25-28 under the theme: Emerging Challenges & The Future of Food Safety.