Arlington, VA – Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher offered the following statement regarding the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration’s markup of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This legislation includes provisions that would address challenges with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Traceability Rule. 

“There is nothing more important to FMI members and the food industry than ensuring the safety of the food we make available to our customers and preventing the spread of foodborne illness. While we support efforts to improve traceability, we need to ensure that FDA can use the information required by the complex 596-page Food Traceability Rule to improve food safety before billions of dollars and millions of hours are invested that will drive up costs.  

“The provisions included in this legislation are intended to make the Food Traceability Rule more achievable for industry and useful for FDA. If at the end of the day, significant resources are spent and FDA cannot use the information to improve food safety, we will have failed. This legislation requires FDA to participate in pilot projects with industry utilizing different items on the Food Traceability List before the agency can begin enforcement. 

“FMI is grateful to Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL) for working to ensure this language is included in the bill, and to Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD), Ranking Member Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and numerous other Members for their bipartisan support working on this issue. We look forward to working with them and the U.S. Senate to ensure these provisions are maintained in the appropriations legislation and passed this year, even as we continue to collaborate with FDA to seek regulatory solutions.”