Bryan Cave Digest


Main Content

FDA Publishes Draft Food Import Rules

FDA today announced two new draft rules to further implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, both impacting the import of food.  One rule, relating to Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, requires importers to verify that their suppliers meet the same safety standards as domestic producers.  A second rule relates to the accreditation of third party auditors to issue certifications for foreign food production facilities.  The rules will be published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2013, and comments are due within 120 days of publication.

FDA Issues Draft Egg Safety Rule Guidance for Producers Who Give Hens Outdoor Access

July 23, 2013


FDA issued draft guidance Egg Safety Rule today, which can be found here.  From FDA’s press release:

FDA is issuing draft guidance with practical and reasonable food safety controls to help egg producers who provide their laying hens with outdoor access comply with the Egg Safety Rule and thereby prevent Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in shell eggs. FDA believes the draft guidance will help clarify how the Egg Safety Rule applies to their operations so the egg producers can confidently and efficiently implement the appropriate food safety measures.

The draft guidance describes different types of poultry houses and outdoor access areas and offers practical measures to control for SE by preventing wild birds, rodents, and other animals from entering the outdoor access areas and advice on conducting environmental sampling for SE.  It also discusses considerations related to vaccination of laying hens.

Meat Industry Sues USDA over Country of Origin Labeling

On July 8, 2013, a number of meat industry trade organizations filed suit against the USDA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia challening USDA’s new country of original labeling (“COOL”) regulations.  A copy of the complaint can be found here.  In May of 2013, USDA issued immediately-effective revised COOL regulations requiring, among other things, that meat labeling make a distinction between where an animal was born, raised and slaughtered.  These regulations were issued in response to a World Trade Organization dispute between the United States, Mexico and Canada over then-existing COOL regulations in the United States.  Mexico and Canada have asserted that the May 2013 regulations only exacerbated the dispute.  More background on the WTO dispute can be found here.

Plaintiffs assert three causes of action.  First, they argue that the COOL regulations violate the First Amendment because they compel certain commercial speech

FDA Publishes Guidance on Proposed FSMA Produce Rule

July 15, 2013


In support of FDA’s proposed produce rule implementing portions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, FDA issued today several publications to help small- and medium-sized growers understand their future obligations under the proposed rule.  FDA has been creating fact sheets to to describe requirements such as the obligation to assess potential routes of microbial contamination of produce.  The new publications include a fact sheet on the proposed agricultural water standards, which is one of those potential routes of microbial contamination.  FDA also issued a second fact sheet on alternatives and variances under the proposed produce rule, which will help producers develop alternative standards to comply with the rules.

FDA’s proposed produce rule remains open for public comment until September 16.  Like the proposed rule, FDA will accept comments on the fact sheets.

House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamp Program

The US House of Representatives passed Farm Bill legislation that was stripped of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), commonly known as the food stamp program. This was the first time since 1973 that the food stamp program was not part of the final Farm Bill, although SNAP remains part of the Farm Bill passed by the Senate.  The removal of SNAP stripped the Farm Bill of any remaining Democratic support in the House.  Rep. Frank Lucas, Republican Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has indicated that he intends to prepare a separate food stamp bill as soon as he can “achieve consensus.”

The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.