More than 60 members of the American Baker’s Association (ABA) gathered in Denver this week for the summer Federal Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee (FTRAC) meeting.
Key topics discussed include the latest updates about U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) positions on nutritional facts and Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labeling, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Draft Listeria Guidance, Prop 65, Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) regulations, and other issues.
As can be expected, the recent news from the FDA, announcing an indefinite delay in the implementation of the nutrition label changes was a big topic of discussion – both formally and informally. Although industry is happy that the FDA will likely harmonize implementation dates between the Nutrition Facts Label and GMO Labeling regulations, they are less than thrilled about having spent so much money preparing for the expected compliance date this July. All is not lost, however. Many companies are continuing to pursue the changes, citing that they believe providing the updated information is a good business decision that will help them win trust among consumers.
The meeting also featured industry and academia speakers who gave presentations on Organic, GMO, and Gluten-Free Trends in Wholesale Baking; Sustainable Cocoa; Sustainable Wheat; Whole Genome Sequencing; and Kill Step Validation of the Baking Process. Attendees had the opportunity to tour the Ardent Mills Innovation Center located in downtown Denver at the company's corporate headquarters, and travel to Commerce City, CO to tour one of Ardent Mills' nearby flour mills.
Dana Johnson Downing, Director of Strategic Partnerships, TraceGains, attended the ABA FTRAC meeting and shared her enthusiasm for these types of events by saying “Events like ABA help us stay on top of the changing regulatory landscape and industry outlook. This insight helps us at TraceGains develop and deliver solutions that make the lives of our customers easier by helping them maintain compliance with FSMA, labeling, and other regulations that pop up at the state and federal level.”