The landmark Food Safety Modernization Act became law, but questions concerning fees coupled with parallel efforts of the Produce Traceability Initiative left many taking a “wait and see” approach to implementation.
Roadblocks stall FDA food safety rules
By Scott Christie, Special to The Packer
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Now more than a year old, the Food Safety Modernization Act brought a focus on preventing foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls.
Some of the provisions in the act became effective immediately, including giving the Food and Drug Administration mandatory recall authority, and increased inspections and records access, said Steve Kluting, partner and co-chairman of the Food Law Group of Varnum Law Firm.
Food Law Group offered a seminar on the FSMA Feb. 15 to growers and processors in the Grand Rapids area.
Kluting said the FDA’s produce safety rules and guidances are completed and are expected soon. The agency has reportedly submitted documents to the White House Office of Management and Budget.
GAO report urges FDA to clarify recall protocol
By Tom Karst, National Editor
When it comes to the Food and Drug Administration’s new power to force a food recall, the agency isn’t saying how and when it plans to use that authority — or if it will even share that information with the food industry.
According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, the FDA believes the Food Safety Modernization Act doesn’t even require the agency to release information on what would trigger a mandatory recall or how it would be handled.
The GAO report recommends that the FDA issue regulations or industry guidance to clarify the new recall process. The Food Safety Modernization Act gives the FDA the power to recall food and medical products. Before, and used only in rare cases, the FDA could shut a company down for food safety violations but not force a product recall.
FDA officials say agency ‘embraces change’
By Coral Beach, Staff Writer
Many are frustrated that the produce rule from the Food and Drug Administration has been stuck in the Office of Management and Budget for months, but the agency has taken other action related to requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The agency published eight new guidance documents and three rules in the Federal Register in the past year and a half.
The FSMA includes 90 so-called deliverables in the form of rules, notices, reports to Congress and other actions.