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Italy: CSO releases 2016-17 pear forecast

O.I. Pera president Gianni Amidei says the lower volumes should be easily absorbed by the market. 

Provisional estimates from Italy’s predominant pear-growing region show production is likely to be down this year, but growers are choosing to focus on the positives of taking less weight off a European market still struggling with the impacts of the Russian ban. peras_88084450 npanorama

In a release, the country’s Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli (CSO) highlighted the estimates stemming from an O.I. Pera Coordination Committee meeting in Ferrara on July 14.

In Emilia-Romagna, which accounts for 70% of Italian pear cultivation, provisional estimates stand at 448,000 metric tons (MT), representing a 13% fall year-on-year.

From a production standpoint, the leading variety Abate Fetel is in for a 14% reduction at 220,000MT, while other key varieties are set for less fruit including Williams (-11%) and Conference (-13%).

The expected drops are greater still for Santa Maria (-25%), Kaiser (-19%) and Decana (-17%).

“The new business year, given the estimates, is definitely positive,” said O.I. Pera president Gianni Amidei.

“It is believed this production can be easily absorbed by the market, given the extent of product demand in recent years.

During the meeting, the majority of participants also highlighted a need to set strict sizing standards for Conference pears in order to safeguard quality.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

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Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News

Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News

Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News

Environmental Working Group Releases First ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Food Additives

The Environmental Working Group – famous for its list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – has now released a “Dirty Dozen” guide for food additives.

There are more than 10,000 additives in food distributed in the U.S., and EWG is trying to highlight “some of the worst failures of the regulatory system,” it says.

The list includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites
  2. Potassium bromate
  3. Propyl paraben
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  6. Propyl gallate
  7. Theobromine
  8. Secret flavor incredients
  9. Artificial colors
  10. Diacetyl
  11. Phosphates
  12. Aluminum additives

The report goes into detail about the concerns surrounding each additive. Some of them are known or possible carcinogens and some can have reproductive and developmental effects.

EWG recommends that consumers avoid or consider avoiding the Dirty Dozen. Not only could this mean avoiding risky chemicals, but it could also mean improving overall diet, says the group, since food additives are most often found in highly processed, unhealthy foods. For the additives without definitive links to health concerns, EWG recommends limiting consumption until more information is available.

The other aim of the list is to draw attention to problems surrounding food regulation, particularly those with “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups like EWG claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

“There are some additives that are classified generally recognized as safe and we really question that classification because they’re not free of health concerns,” said Johanna Congleton, EWG senior scientist.

For example, propyl paraben is an endocrine-disrupting chemical but is considered GRAS. The report references studies that found that rats fed with the FDA’s Acceptable Daily Intake of propyl paraben had decreased sperm counts and decreases in testosterone.

EWG argues that companies shouldn’t be allowed to certify the safety of their own ingredients and wants consumers to urge FDA to strengthen its regulatory system for food additives.

Congleton says she finds nitrates and nitrites — often used as preservatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs — to be the most alarming additives. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines, forming nitrosamines, which are known cancer-causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract, EWG says.

In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen.

The Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives is based on scientific studies of hundreds of additives and data gathered from EWG’s Food Scores database, launched on Oct. 27, which includes information on more than 80,000 foods. The database scores foods based on nutrition, ingredients of concern (including food additives), contaminants (such as the likely levels of pesticide residue) and how processed the foods are.

Food Safety News

Food Policy Action Releases Scorecard for 113th Congress

The latest Legislative Scorecard calculated by Food Policy Action (FPA) gives 71 members of Congress perfect scores and 35 a score of zero when it comes to food issues.

“The National Food Policy Scorecard is a tool that helps Americans see how our elected leaders vote on food and farm issues,” said Tom Colicchio, FPA co-founder.

Senators were graded on how they voted on six bills and whether they supported another eight that never came to a vote. House members were graded on 18 votes and their support of an additional 12 proposed bills.

The co-sponsorships were a new addition this year, favorably weighting voting scores.

Much of the legislation FPA targeted related to hunger, food aid, labeling, farm subsidies and sustainable farming. The list also included the Senate’s Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013 (PARA) and the House’s Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013 (PAMTA) and the Grayson Food Safety Inspection Amendment.

Most of the 17 senators to receive a perfect score were Democrats, but the rank also included Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME).

An additional 25 senators were scored above 70 percent. All 10 members with a score of zero were Republicans.

In the House, all 54 perfect scores went to Democrats, as did the additional 126 to receive scores of about 70.

The 25 members to receive a zero were all Republicans and included Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies.

The scores for some members of Congress Food Safety News regularly follows are:

  • Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM): 100
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT): 96
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME): 96
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY): 92
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): 89
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): 88
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): 85
  • Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA): 80
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): 75
  • Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): 57
  • Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS): 50
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): 50
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-7): 39
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): 17
  • Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK): 17
  • Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL): 0

FPA noted that, although 136 members’ scores have improved, 275 received lower scores than in 2012, including 82 Democrats and 193 Republicans.

The organization hopes to turn these voting records into “a kitchen table issue” — information that consumers are more familiar with in their everyday lives.

Last week, the organization released its polling data on how persuasive voters find four messages about food policy and extrapolated that food issues have the potential to be a deciding factor in how Americans vote in the midterm elections this November.

FPA was established in 2012 and its chairman is Ken Cookpresident and co-founder of Environmental Working Group. Affiliations of FPA board members include Stonyfield Farm, the Humane Society of the United States, Oxfam America, Bread for the World, Food Democracy Now!, United Food and Commercial Workers, Live Real, “Let’s Move!”, the National Black Farmers Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Food Safety News

Food Policy Action Releases Scorecard for 113th Congress

The latest Legislative Scorecard calculated by Food Policy Action (FPA) gives 71 members of Congress perfect scores and 35 a score of zero when it comes to food issues.

“The National Food Policy Scorecard is a tool that helps Americans see how our elected leaders vote on food and farm issues,” said Tom Colicchio, FPA co-founder.

Senators were graded on how they voted on six bills and whether they supported another eight that never came to a vote. House members were graded on 18 votes and their support of an additional 12 proposed bills.

The co-sponsorships were a new addition this year, favorably weighting voting scores.

Much of the legislation FPA targeted related to hunger, food aid, labeling, farm subsidies and sustainable farming. The list also included the Senate’s Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2013 (PARA) and the House’s Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2013 (PAMTA) and the Grayson Food Safety Inspection Amendment.

Most of the 17 senators to receive a perfect score were Democrats, but the rank also included Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME).

An additional 25 senators were scored above 70 percent. All 10 members with a score of zero were Republicans.

In the House, all 54 perfect scores went to Democrats, as did the additional 126 to receive scores of about 70.

The 25 members to receive a zero were all Republicans and included Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies.

The scores for some members of Congress Food Safety News regularly follows are:

  • Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM): 100
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT): 96
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME): 96
  • Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY): 92
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): 89
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): 88
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): 85
  • Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA): 80
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): 75
  • Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): 57
  • Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS): 50
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): 50
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-7): 39
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): 17
  • Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK): 17
  • Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL): 0

FPA noted that, although 136 members’ scores have improved, 275 received lower scores than in 2012, including 82 Democrats and 193 Republicans.

The organization hopes to turn these voting records into “a kitchen table issue” — information that consumers are more familiar with in their everyday lives.

Last week, the organization released its polling data on how persuasive voters find four messages about food policy and extrapolated that food issues have the potential to be a deciding factor in how Americans vote in the midterm elections this November.

FPA was established in 2012 and its chairman is Ken Cookpresident and co-founder of Environmental Working Group. Affiliations of FPA board members include Stonyfield Farm, the Humane Society of the United States, Oxfam America, Bread for the World, Food Democracy Now!, United Food and Commercial Workers, Live Real, “Let’s Move!”, the National Black Farmers Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Food Safety News

FDA Releases Four Revised FSMA Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published its revised provisions to four of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on Friday morning.

Certain aspects of the rules for produce safety, preventive controls for human food, preventive controls for animal food, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs have been modified to provide more flexibility to producers and suppliers.

Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, called the decision to take comments on revised proposals before moving the final rules “a very unusual step.” He added that implementing FSMA while under strict court deadlines is an “already daunting task,” but that the reissues show the agency’s “determination to get the rules right.”

Some of the most technical challenges to implementing the Act involve the produce safety rule. In the new language, FDA changes the microbial standard for water that is directly applied during the growing of produce, proposes a tiered and more targeted approach to testing each source of untreated water, removes the nine-month interval for between application of raw manure and harvest of a crop (deferring a decision on an appropriate interval until it conducts more research), eliminates the 45-day minimum application interval for compost, and redefines a ‘farm’ so that farms that pack or hold food from neighboring farms won’t be subject to both the produce rule and the preventive controls for human food.

In the preventive control rules, there is now specific language on requirements for product testing, environmental monitoring and supplier controls, and the possibility that facilities will need to address economically motivated adulteration as part of their hazard analysis.

In regards to the animal food specifically, FDA is modifying the current good manufacturing practice regulations to make them more applicable to animal food. Human food processors already complying with FDA human food safety requirements won’t need to implement additional preventive controls except to prevent physical and chemical contamination when holding and distributing the by-product – a win for brewers worried that compliance would be too costly.

The original proposed rule for FSVP presented two options for required supplier verification activities. “Now we are proposing one route that is a hybrid of the two options,” Taylor said. When there’s reason to believe that a hazard could cause serious injury or harm, annual on-site auditing will be required, but importers with well-documented supply chain management systems would be allowed to use a different approach, such as less frequent auditing.

The agency is seeking comments for the next 75 days, but only on the revised language — not the provisions of the previously published rules.

Food Safety News

NRDC Releases FSIS Inspection Reports on Foster Farms

At first blush, it might seem like overkill to go back five years collecting noncompliance reports (NRs) from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for all Foster Farms facilities.

That’s exactly what the New York City-based National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) did Thursday in dumping 300 pages of NRs on Foster Farms in the public square. And one could even argue that NDRC is not providing anything new since FSIS reports NR summaries by plant in the agency’s quarterly reports.

However, NRDC obtained FSIS inspection reports that provide far greater detail by filing requests under the Freedom of Information Act. And, with Foster Farms being under the government’s microscope since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) blamed it for the much-publicized outbreak of drug-resistant Salmonella, the story told by the data is surprising.

NR reports for 2014 alone account for 100 of those 300 pages. And the two Foster Farms plants in California which CDC linked to the antibiotic-resistant Salmonella outbreak have racked up 200 separate violations during the period.

NRDC, which works on farm and food policy out of its San Francisco offices, is one of a couple dozen activist groups that have used the Salmonella outbreak to pressure Foster Farms about its policy regarding antibiotics. It wants Foster Farms to limit antibiotic use to treating sick chickens, not for growth enhancement.

In releasing 300 pages of the inspection reports, NRDC called many of them “incredibly unsavory.” The group’s statement noted that, “the pattern of violations at Foster Farm plants doesn’t leave us feeling warm and fuzzy about the company’s commitment to protecting public health.”

The Foster Farms-linked drug-resistant Salmonella outbreak ran from March 2013 to July 2014. Heavily centered on California where Foster Farms does most of its production, the 29-state outbreak resulted in 634 confirmed illnesses, and nearly 40 percent of the cases required hospitalization. Foster Farms did not recall any products until the outbreak was nearly over.

Reading noncompliance reports is best not done around meal times. NRDC states that the inspection reports contain descriptions of “mold growth, cockroaches, an instance of pooling caused by a skin-clogged floor drain, fecal matter and ‘Unidentified Foreign Material’ (which has it own acronym, UFM) on chicken carcasses, failure to implement required tests and sampling, metal pieces found in carcasses, and many more.”

“We would have expected that improved sanitation would be a top priority at Foster Farms at the height of the Salmonella outbreak, yet its slaughter and processing plant in Livingston, CA, was cited 154 times in the weeks and months after October 7, 2013, when USDA issued a public health alert about Foster Farms chicken,” reads the NRDC’s statement.

The environmental group said a violation was occurring once every other day between October 2013 and March 2014. The Foster Farms plant that was temporarily closed in January 2014 had NRs for cockroach infestations and “egregious insanitary conditions.”

NRs are the first step USDA/FSIS meat inspectors take to obtain corrective action. Many corrections are obtained on the spot, while others are settled or appealed. Foster Farms opted not to accept an invitation by Food Safety News to comment on the inspection reports released by NRDC.

On its website, Foster Farms says that antibiotics are not used for routine growth promotion. CEO Ron Foster has defended the use of antibiotics for keeping flocks healthy. The company has also claimed to have achieved dramatic reduction in Salmonella and Campylobacter in its fresh poultry, and those gains have been confirmed by outside experts.

Food Safety News

FDA Releases Final Rule for Infant Formula

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published its final rule regarding infant formula standards.

While breastfeeding is strongly recommended and many mothers hope to breastfeed their infants, most newborns in the U.S. rely on infant formula for some portion of their nutrition. The rule is meant to ensure that formulas for infants without unusual medical or dietary problems are safe and support healthy growth.

The final rule contains some modifications, clarifications and technical revisions that differ from the interim final rule issued on Feb. 10, 2014. Manufacturers must comply with the final rule by Sept. 8, 2014.

It establishes Current Good Manufacturing Practices specifically for infant formula, which include required testing for the pathogens Salmonella and Cronobacter. It also establishes quality control procedures, requirements about how and when manufacturers must notify FDA about new formulas, including major changes to formulas, and requirements concerning record keeping.

Manufacturers must demonstrated that their infant formulas support normal physical growth and test them for nutrient content in the final product stage, before entering the market, and at the end of the products’ shelf life.

FDA says that companies currently manufacturing infant formula in the U.S. already voluntarily conduct many of the Current Good Manufacturing Practices and quality control procedures included in the rule.

Food Safety News

White House Releases Spring 2014 Regulatory Plan

The White House has released its “Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” for Spring 2014.

When Food Safety News reported on the Fall 2013 agenda, we told you about the food safety issues in development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. All of the key regulations we highlighted then have pushed passed the schedule set last fall.

The Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection final rule, which had been expected in April, is now scheduled for July.

The June date for the final rule for labeling mechanically tenderized beef products has been pushed to September, along with a proposed rule to require companies to report the distribution and sales information for antimicrobial active ingredients used in food-producing animals.

The proposed rule for updating the nutritional and ingredient information on pet food labels is now expected in October.

Final action on adding nutrition labeling to restaurant menus had been expected in February, but is now planned for June. So is regulation on calorie labeling for food in vending machines.

And a list of pathogens with the potential to pose a serious threat to public health (including Acinetobacter species, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter species, Clostridium difficile and Vibrio cholera) has inched past its expected date in June but is still required to be published by July 9.

Here’s a refresher of what’s planned for the Food Safety Modernization Act:

Rule RIN / Link Next Action Date Final Rule Deadline
Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls 0910-AG36 Re-proposed Language August 2014 Aug. 30, 2015
Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals 0910-AG10 Re-proposed Language August 2014 Aug. 30, 2015
Produce Safety Regulation 0910-AG35 Re-proposed Language August 2014 October 31, 2015
Foreign Supplier Verification Program 0910-AG64 Re-proposed Language August 2014 October 31, 2015
Accreditation of Third Parties To Conduct Food Safety Audits and For Other Related Purposes 0910-AG66 Final Rule October 31, 2015
Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food 0910-AG98 End of comment period May 31, 2014 March 31, 2016
Focused Mitigation Strategies To Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration 0910-AG63 Final Rule May 31, 2016
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Amendments to Reportable Food Registry (RFR Requirements) 0910-AG97 ANPRM Comment Period End June 9, 2014 N/A

 

The following is a list of other food safety issues addressed in the agenda:

Agency Agenda Stage of Rulemaking Title RIN Date of Action
HHS/FDA Proposed Rule Stage Food Labeling; Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels 0910-AF22 June 2, 2014
HHS/FDA Proposed Rule Stage Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One-Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain RACCs 0910-AF23 June 2, 2014
HHS/FDA Proposed Rule Stage Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented, Hydrolyzed, or Distilled Foods 0910-AH00 Sept. 2014
HHS/FDA Final Rule Stage Veterinary Feed Directive 0910-AG95 April 2015
HHS/FDA Proposed Rule Stage Registration of Food Facilities: Amendments to Food Facility Registration Requirements 0910-AG69 Sept. 2014
USDA/APHIS Final Rule Stage Importation of Poultry and Poultry Products From Regions Affected With Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 0579-AC36 Sept. 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Product Labeling: Use of the Voluntary Claim “Natural” on the Labeling of Meat and Poultry Products 0583-AD30 July 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Records to be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products 0583-AD46 July 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Public Information; Communications With Federal Agencies, State and Foreign Government Officials, and International Organizations 0583-AD50 Dec. 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Addition of Namibia to the List of Countries Eligible to Export Meat Products to the United States 0583-AD51 Dec. 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Affirmation of Interim Final Rule With Amendments: Control of Listeria Monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products 0583-AD53 Aug. 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Veal Calves 0583-AD54 Aug. 2014
USDA/FSIS Proposed Rule Stage Change in Accredited Lab Fees 0583-AD55 Sept. 2014
USDA/FSIS Final Rule Stage Mandatory Inspection of Certain Fish, Including Catfish and Catfish Products 0583-AD36 Dec. 2014
USDA/FSIS Final Rule Stage Electronic Imported Product Inspection Application and Certification of Imported Product and Foreign Establishments; Amendments to Facilitate the Public Health Information System (PHIS) 0583-AD39 May 2014
USDA/FSIS Final Rule Stage Electronic Export Application and Certification as a Reimbursable Service and Flexibility in the Requirements for Official Export Inspection Marks, Devices, and Certificates 0583-AD41 Sept. 2014
USDA/FSIS Final Rule Stage Common or Usual Name for Raw Meat and Poultry Products Containing Added Solutions 0583-AD43 July 2014

 

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