The FDA has been pressured to issue brand new guidance to the food industry about what it will and will not be enforcing in this Obama-era food safety law. The past few months have seen the FDA coming under scrutiny and criticism for not speeding up their actions and acting faster on this issue. Their critics have condoned the FDA for not acting nearly quickly enough to combat the laws in place.
The well known United States Food and Drug Administration has now issued new guidance to their food industries on Thursday concealing detailed plans on their steps to enforce their Food Safety Modernization Act. The FSMA for short, is the most sweeping reform of food safety laws to ever happen in the past 70 years.
President Obama signed the act on the 4th January 2011 and it’s entire aim is to ensure the United States good supply is safe. The plan is to do this by changing people’s focus from reacting to contamination to preventing it. It is this act that’s come under fire and it’s now that the FDA is announcing enforcement discretion policies for certain FSMA regulations.
In a quote from the FDA’s website we read their detailed plan on what exactly this reform will affect. They digress “The enforcement discretion announced today pertains to specific provisions in the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule (PC Human Food), Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule (PC Animal Food), Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule (FSVP), and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption rule (Produce Safety) and how they apply to:
- facilities that would be farms except for certain factors and activities,
- written assurances provisions in all four rules related to the control of identified hazards or microorganisms that are a potential risk to public health
- the animal food preventive controls requirements for certain manufacturing/processing activities performed on human food by-products used as animal food, and
- FSVP requirements for importers of food contact substances.”.
With such precise and meticulous planning from the Food and Drug Administration, it seems as though this issue will never recur in the US for quite some time. The FDA’s commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb has been very vocal and open about the current state of affairs and their plans to move forward.
In an interview he is quoted saying that immediate action needed to be taken. “Making sure the FDA has effective recall practices in place, and that we take immediate action to address unsafe foods, are high priorities of mine. Our recall authorities — and how we deploy them — are a cornerstone of our vital, consumer protection mission.” he proceeds to confirm that he takes all of the FDA’s obligations seriously and endeavours to prove this to the general public.