Subsidy for SNAP Produce Program Increases Purchasing
In 2015 and 2016, as part of a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program, a dollar-matching program in Michigan provided SNAP participants with a subsidy on fresh produce purchases. Using data on millions of individual transactions from thirty-two stores, the study published in Health Affairs found that SNAP participants’ spending on fresh produce was significantly higher at stores that implemented the subsidy than at control stores during both intervention periods (7.4 percent and 2.2 percent higher in 2015 and 2016, respectively).
FDA Makes Available Testing Method for PFAS in Foods and Final Results from Recent Surveys
FDA has made available a scientifically validated method for testing for 16 types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a variety of food groups. FDA also shared final results from the agency’s limited food sample testing in three surveys released in June, based on the application of the validated method, which established a method detection limit (MDL) for each food group tested. More information may be found here.
FDA Issues FSMA Lab Accreditation Proposed Rule
Under the proposed rule, only laboratories accredited by an Accreditation Body (AB) recognized by the FDA will be able to conduct food testing in certain circumstances. Further, the results will be required to be sent directly to the FDA by the accredited laboratories.
The following are circumstances that would require use of a laboratory accredited under this proposed rule:
Testing conducted to comply with specific FDA testing requirements applied to address an identified or suspected food safety problem (including certain tests of shell eggs, bottled water, and sprouts);
Testing conducted to provide evidence to support the admissibility of imported food into U.S. commerce (e.g., testing conducted for a food that has been detained due to an appearance of adulteration);
Testing conducted to support the removal of a food from an import alert through successful consecutive testing;
Testing conducted to address an identified or suspected food safety problem and presented to FDA as part of evidence for an informal hearing before a mandatory recall order, as part of a corrective action plan submitted after an order suspending the registration of a food facility, or as part of evidence submitted for an appeal of an administrative detention order;
Testing conducted in response to a food testing order, a new procedure proposed by this rule to address an identified or suspected food safety problem.
AMS Issues Final Rule on Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Modification of Handling Regulations
The final rule implements a recommendation from the Florida Tomato Committee to change the handling regulations under the marketing order regulating the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. The rule removes the standard weight requirements for tomato containers under the handling regulations.
FSIS Announces Final Determinations of Equivalence for the Siluriformes Fish Inspection Systems of China, Thailand and Vietnam
FSIS has made final determinations that the Siluriformes fish (i.e. catfish) inspection systems of China, Thailand and Vietnam are equivalent to the system established by the United States under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and its implementing regulations.
FSIS October FOIA Request List Released; Requests of Consumer Groups
The list is available here and shows the requests of consumer groups for information on establishments that are switching to the less stringent regulatory standards issued recently by FSIS for processing meat and poultry among other things.
FDA Statement on Testing Results of Zantac (Ranitidine) Contamination
FSIS Denies Petition on Creating New Standard of Identity for Heritage Chicken
FSIS’s response to the petition is available here.
FDA Continues Enforcement Discretion Policy Relevant to Certain Co-Manufacturers under FSMA
In November 2017, the FDA announced an enforcement discretion policy until November 6, 2019 for compliance with certain supply-chain program requirements related to supplier approval and supplier verification. The enforcement discretion was intended to give brand owners more time to work with suppliers to adjust contracts so that supply-chain related information could be shared with co-manufacturers. FDA is extending the enforcement discretion period.
Disclaimer: This material is provided as a service to clients and friends of U.S. Food Imports LLC and does not constitute legal advice. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and laws and regulations are frequently changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.