WASHINGTON, DC — September 14, 2006 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today launched an online training program that supermarkets can use to meet the Combat Methamphetamine Act training requirements, which must be completed by September 30, 2006. The law imposes sales limits on cough and cold products containing pseudoephedrine and other chemicals that can be used illegally to produce meth.

The program is based on requirements outlined in late-August by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

"This program delivers efficient training custom-designed for the supermarket industry," said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. The FMI program:

  • Provides cashiers the training needed to accept payments for the products.

  • Instructs pharmacists and other staff who dispense the products from behind counters how to handle the transactions, having customers fill out logbooks and checking their photo IDs.

  • Creates an electronic compliance record retailers can use to certify to the DEA that their employees received the training required.

  • Accounts for state training requirements that supersede those in the federal law, ensuring that retailers in those states receive the proper instruction.

FMI developed the program with LearnSomething, a leading designer of customized, multimedia training programs for the retail food, pharmacy and association sectors. The company has conducted more than one million certified training sessions.

Retailers can obtain the training through a link at the FMI website (www.fmi.org). There retailers can also learn how to set up portals to the training program on their own websites.

FMI is working with Bush Administration officials to ensure that the DEA implements these and the law’s other requirements in a reasonable manner — particularly that the agency exercises discretion in enforcing all the provisions of the law, which will be in effect September 30, 2006.

The DEA has not yet published full regulations to implement this law. These details include certification procedures along with the logbook and photo ID requirements. FMI will distribute these details to its members as soon as they are issued. In the meantime, FMI is making the case to the DEA that food retailers will be requesting a reasonable grace period for full compliance enforcement.