VA – Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher issued the
following statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently
rule establishing additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for
companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods on the Food Traceability List
or foods that contain these listed foods as ingredients. The final rule is
designed to implement one of the final segments of the Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) – Section
204 - to provide a means for additional traceability of high-risk foods.
nothing more important to FMI and the food Industry than ensuring that
consumers have 100% confidence that the products our members make and sell are
safe. We supported the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and continue to support
and work to protect public health through appropriate product tracing and
recordkeeping practices for high-risk foods.
analyze the 597-page final rule on traceability released today to understand
the range of its impact on our member companies. Since the proposed rule was
released, we have continually urged FDA to release a
Supplemental Rule rather than moving straight to a final rule given the volume
and complexity of changes commenters urged FDA to make. We believed a
Supplemental Rule was a critical step to ensure that a final regulation is
consistent with the statutory mandate and realistic in terms of the ability of
companies of all sizes to comply.
already clear that implementation of the requirements in the rule will demand
tremendous investments of time and resources across the entire food industry,
and it looks like this rule significantly exceeds the statutory authority, both
written and intended, by Congress. FMI and our members work every day to
further strengthen the safety of our food supply and the continued rapid
removal of any impacted products. This work needs to be done in the most
efficient, consistent manner across all elements of the food supply chain with
the least possible impact on food prices, greatest impact on results, and
consistency with the intent of the law passed in 2011. Based on our quick review of this incredibly complex rule, it does
not accomplish this.
“FMI and our members remain committed to further strengthening the most robust food safety system in the world and will continue to work every day to improve and enhance our food safety efforts and culture.”