The following installment is Part III in my series exploring the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. This is the new GMO law in the United States, and the implications broad in reach, vast in the sheer number of products affected, and clear as mud when it comes to loopholes. The regulation seeks middle ground. In practice, it remains to be seen. Continue Reading

Note: This is the second installment in a three-part series. Part I can be found here; Part III will appear on April 25th.

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard is now the law of the land. From a consumer’s perspective, there are now federal regulations requiring food products containing bioengineered/GMO ingredients to disclose this on their packaging. From an industry perspective, the potential implications, impact, and costs could be significant. Mandatory disclosure could play out in a number of ways.  There are, however, numerous paths to exemption.

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Note: This is the first in a three-part series. Part II will appear on April 12th. Part III will appear on April 25th.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has issued its final rule governing bioengineered food and food ingredients. The law outlines the businesses, products, and high-risk inputs covered under the regulations, as well as the criteria for exemption. Yes, there’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s all about disclosure. 

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An estimated 15 million food shipments are expected to arrive at 300 U.S. ports of entry this year from up to 125,000 foreign facilities located in over 200 countries. In recent years, an upward trend in the volume and diversity of imported food shipments has created regulatory and food safety challenges. Addressing these challenges, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a new regulatory oversight strategy for ensuring the safety of imported foods.

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The evolving regulatory and consumer demands for “healthy” products with “clean labels” are challenging food and beverage manufacturers in North America. How can sugar, sodium and fat levels be reduced in products in order to meet public health goals, yet the products still retain a “crave-able” flavor and texture to satisfy consumer expectations?

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The potential risk of unsafe chemicals in foods has generated significant attention on social media in recent years due to growing consumer demands for “clean food” and food safety. Within the United States, the infamous Proposition 65 law in California is responsible for the majority of warning labeling requirements for chemical contaminants, but there has been an upward trend in state legislative proposals related to the risk of certain chemicals in consumer products. In response to this trend, several major food industry associations have joined forces to support a new federal bill titled the Accurate Labels Act, which seeks to impose more stringent scientific criteria for warning labels related to chemicals. If the bill becomes law, it could supersede or undermine the various state labeling requirements for chemical contaminants if the state rules are not grounded in the “best available science.” Continue Reading

The expression “may you live in interesting times” can be both a blessing and a curse. In North America, we are certainly living in interesting, challenging times for the food industry. The trade tariff wars and the uncertain fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may leave companies operating within the United States, Canada and Mexico with a sense of instability. However, despite the political challenges, food safety regulations within North America are evolving in positive ways.

As the U.S. continues the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Canada recently unveiled new regulations to implement its Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA). Will the new Canadian rules align with the U.S. FSMA regulations to harmonize food safety requirements and streamline trade between the countries? Let’s take a closer look at the most recent developments below. Continue Reading

Supplier verification, as mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), evokes sentiments such as the Russian proverb “trust but verify” or the expression “don’t buy a pig in a poke.” Food manufacturers are now required to monitor the origins of their ingredients closer than ever before. The FSMA food supply chain program requirements expect food facilities and importers to understand the food compliance history of their suppliers. But should firms also be expected to verify the controls of their suppliers’ ingredient suppliers? Continue Reading