At the same time, we have concerns about the treatment of very small importers (as defined in § 1.500) and very small foreign suppliers (as defined in § 1.512). As proposed in § 1.512, modified FSVP requirements would only mandate written assurance of compliance rather than hazard-analysis and verification. FDA already estimates that 59 percent of processed food suppliers and 93 percent of raw produce suppliers would fall under this category, which would leave a large amount of imported foods outside the program.
TK: The issue of “fairness” reltative to how domestic and foreign suppliers are treated under food safety regulations is a critical test for the FDA. As the comment suggests, any regulation that is too severe on foreign suppliers invites a WTO challenge. Yet any lax treatment of foreign suppliers could put U.S. producers are a competitive disadvantage in their own domestic markets. Here is the comment from the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas about the FSVP.
That document, submitted by the FPAA’s Lance Jungmeyer, will take you much deeper into the weeds of what the FDA’s proposed rule expects from importers and foreign suppliers.
Other links of interest today: