On May 20, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a rule to modernize the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. The FDA set compliance dates of July 26, 2017 for large companies to meet the new requirements, and an extra year for smaller companies to comply. Then-First Lady Michelle Obama lauded the announcement as a way to help families make healthier choices and reduce their risk of heart disease and obesity.
While President Obama signed into law a labeling provision disclosure for bioengineered foods, amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.), that is all up for grabs with the new administration. The Trump Administration’s latest executive orders have effectively prevented the USDA from putting GMO food labeling rules into effect.
From the announcement of the merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont to ongoing food safety issues within Chipotle, below are some interesting reads from this week:
From the release of WHO’s global estimates of foodborne disease to Ben & Jerry's committing to building a non-GMO supply chain from scratch, below are some interesting reads from this week:
Packaging materials are part of the food processors’ ingredient list, so it only makes sense that they should be treated the same as any substance when it comes to food safety. Whether you sell equipment, raw materials, converted packaging, services or just about anything else that supports the food industry, you need to have the mindset that at some point in the downstream supply chain, you are part of the food industry, and that food packaging should be treated with the same food safety rigor as food materials.
Earlier this month, the FDA announced that it is now opening the topic of natural labeling for public comments. This comes on the heels of three Citizen Petitions requesting the FDA define the term “natural” for use in food labeling, and one Citizen Petition asking that the agency prohibit the term “natural” on food labels.
Vermont has paved the way for other states in the country when it comes to GMO labeling, becoming the first state to make such labeling mandatory (for now) without any "trigger clauses" or requirements that surrounding states pass similar laws.
In November 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its final regulations to implement the menu labeling provisions of the Affordable Care Act. What does this mean? By December 1, 2015, chain restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores, movie theaters and amusement parks, and other similar establishments with 20 or more units serving restaurant-type food will have to comply with this new regulation. And given the amount of information and necessary changes required, organizations should begin preparing now.
One topic that just can’t seem to stay out of the news lately is the debate over mandatory GMO labeling. Is it a good thing for consumers? Is it a bad idea for manufacturers that use GMOs in their products? It’s tough to lean towards one side or the other.
GMOs, FSMA and menu labeling are all hot topics right now in the world of food policy and regulation. To further discuss the latest updates, we sat down with Baylen Linnekin, Executive Director for Keep Food Legal, Adjunct Professor at George Mason School of Law, and Columnist at Reason, to explore his take on a few of these key issues.