VQIP Guidance Released

FDA has just released its Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Qualified Importer Program. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) directed FDA to create the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), which is a voluntary, fee-based program that is intended to expedite the review and importation of food for participants in the program. To be eligible to participate …

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United States v. Decosters Decision

Yesterday, July 6, the Eighth Circuit upheld the United States v. DeCoster three-month prison sentences and $100,000 fines for Austin “Jack” DeCoster and Peter DeCoster, respectively the owner and chief operating officer of Quality Egg, LLC. Over the years, several salmonellosis foodborne illness outbreaks were associated with eggs from DeCoster farms. In a 2010 outbreak …

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Forget GMOs, Label DNA!

A survey by economist Jayson Lusk at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University found, unsurprisingly, that Americans remain skeptical of GMOs: 82 percent surveyed supported mandatory labeling of foods made with ingredients grown from GMOs. However, an astonishing 80 percent of those Americans supported mandatory labeling of foods containing DNA! (The difference …

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Vermont bill requiring GMO labeling

The Vermont General Assembly passed a bill that will require most (but not all) foods produced with genetic engineering to be labeled as such. The law, which would go into effect July 1, 2016, is the first in the nation to require labeling products of genetic engineering. GMO labeling laws passed recently in Connecticut and …

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Michigan Bill for Tail to Wag the Dog — Prohibition on Federal Food Safety Law Enforcement

Michigan Representatives McMillin, Hooker, and Lund have introduced Michigan House Bill 5336, which would prohibit enforcement of federal law regulating food that was “produced in and remains in” Michigan. Violations of the state law would be punishable by fines or imprisonment or both. Potential law school exam question: “Discuss the errors in understanding of the United …

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GRAS: Generally Recognized As Secret?

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a report that raises more questions about the US regulatory system for food additive. The report says the GRAS exemption from food additive review by FDA — “generally recognized as safe” — that intended for common food ingredients “has been stretched so most new chemicals pass through it: …

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“Generational amnesia” about Raw Milk

Des Moines Register wrote about Mary McGonigle-Martin story, a mother who almost lost her son to an E. coli bacterial infection from raw milk. Mary McGonigle-Martin said, “The damage done by this bacteria is incomprehensible.” McGonigle-Martin said she had believed natural-food enthusiasts’ claims that raw milk was healthier than unpasteurized milk. But the bacteria caused …

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Natural Almond Flavor and Allergen Labeling

Here is a tricky question regarding the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). “Tree nut” is not defined in the FALCPA, and the term is ambiguous because there are different uses for the term, “nut.”  Most people know that peanuts, botanically, are not nuts but rather seeds. Similarly, almonds and pinyon seeds (“pine nuts”) are not …

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