FDA Publishes Sanitary Transportation Final Rule
JPA members were recently notified that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued the pre-publication version of the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food final rule. A copy of the final rule published in today’s Federal Register (81 FR 20092) is available here. Businesses other than small businesses would have 1 year from the date of publication of the final rule (April 6, 2017) to comply with the rule, whereas small businesses would have 2 years (April 6, 2018) to comply with the rule.
USDA Seeks Candidates to Serve on the NOSB
The USDA recently issued a press release announcing nominations are being accepted for individuals to serve on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from January 2017 – January 2022. The NOSB is a Federal advisory committee whose 15 members represent the organic sector and whose recommendations are an important part of the organic standards development process. The Agency seeks nominations for the following five positions:
- Organic producer who owns or operates an organic operation;
- Individual with expertise in areas of environmental protection and resource conversation;
- Representative of a public or consumer interest group;
- Organic handler or processor who owns or operates an organic handling operation; and
- Scientist (toxicology, ecology or biochemistry).
The USDA is also seeking candidates to fill unexpected vacancies in the future. Written nominations, to include a cover letter, resume and AD-755 Application Form, must be submitted to the Agency on or before June 3, 2016. The criteria for NOSB membership can be viewed here.
USDA Reports Record Growth in the U.S. Organic Market
The USDA recently issued a press release announcing new data suggests there has been a significant increase in the number of certified organic operations with 21,781 certified organic operations in the U.S. and 31,160 operations around the world. The USDA notes the number of domestic certified organic operations increased nearly 12 percent between 2014 and 2015, representing the highest growth rate since 2008 and an increase of nearly 300 percent since 2002. The retail market for organic products is valued at more than $39 billion in the U.S. and over $75 million worldwide. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated, “Organic food is one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture. As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, the USDA organic seal has become a leading global standard.
Additional details pertaining to USDA’s organic resources are available via the Agency’s Organic Agriculture website.
FDA Sued – Petition to Ban Perchlorate in Packaging
In October 2014, JPA notified members that the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and eight other groups petitioned the FDA to ban perchlorate and long-chain perfluorocarboxylates (PFCs) from food packaging due to their potential to harm fetal development, pre- and post-natal brain development, reproductive systems of males and to cause cancer. Perchlorate is added to sealing gaskets for food packaging and also reduces static in dry food packaging. It was noted that the FDA was required to make a final decision on the petitions within 180 days of filing.
According to a press release recently issued by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the group along with the Center for Food Safety, Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Environmental Working Group, Clean Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the NRDC sued FDA to force the Agency to act on the petition. The press release notes perchlorate can inhibit the thyroid’s ability to use iodine, which is needed by the body to make thyroid hormones, which are important to a fetus’ and child’s brain development.
JPA will continue to monitor and provide updates, as information becomes available.
IFIC Publishes Review on BPA
In March 2016, JPA members were notified of a new report “Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA and Regrettable Substitutes in the Linings of Canned Food” sponsored by consumer advocacy and environmental health groups, which analyzed the interior lining of canned foods for the presence of Bisphenol-A (BPA) to determine the extent BPA-based epoxy linings are used by national brands and retailers in canned foods. Some concerns have been raised regarding BPA’s risk to public health. Following publication of the report, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) published a review on BPA, which is available here.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact Headquarters with questions or comments.