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New Federal Law Will Require Disclosure of GMO Content in Food

A new federal law will require food makers to disclose when foods contain genetically modified ingredients.

The law, which was recently signed by President Obama, will require such food products to be labeled with text, a symbol, or an electronic code readable by smartphone indicating the presence of GMOs. Small businesses will also have the option to label food products with a telephone number or Internet website directing customers to additional information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has two years to draft regulations concerning which products require such disclosure, and additional details concerning what food makers must do to comply. After the regulations are finalized, food makers will have at least another year before the law takes effect.

Law preempts state and local GMO labeling laws.

The federal law preempts a similar Vermont law, Act 120, that took effect in July, as well as any other state or local

The European Commission Takes Back the Reins on Novel Food

With the continuing influx of foreign foods, algae, insects, microorganisms and foods with new molecular structures in our diets, the European Union has decided to put in place a harmonized procedure to vet – or not – these “novel foods” before they are placed on the market. This procedure is set out in the recent EU-wide Regulation which will enter into force beginning 2018. “Novel food” is defined as any food product which was not generally consumed in the European Union before 1997 (the date of the first European legislation on this subject) or innovative food developed using new technologies.

Bryan Cave lawyers Kathie Claret and Raphael Roditi prepared this article on the new regulation, which will be of interest to food manufacturers and importers in the EU.

What do FDA’s Preventive Controls Rules Actually Mean?

St. Louis Partner Brandon Neuschafer authored an article Nov. 10 in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine concerning the FDA’s Preventive Controls Rules. Released on Sept. 10, the rules aim to shift the focus of U.S. food safety away from incident response and toward prevention. “FDA expects that many large facilities are already doing a vast majority of what is now being required,” Neuschafer wrote. “Those facilities may still need to develop additional documentation or tweak procedures. Interesting and complicated issues swirl around companies who are not themselves food facilities, but are technology and equipment providers to such facilities.” Click here to read his full article.

FDA Extends Comment Period on Food Transportation Rule

FDA has extended the public comment period on its proposed “Sanitary Transportation of human and Animal Food” rule, which was originally published on February 15, 2014.  The new due date for comments is July 30, 2014, sixty days from the original due date of May 31, 2014.

Information regarding the proposed rule can be found here.  This rule is part of a series of new rules proposed by FDA to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.  As further explained by FDA:

The goal of the proposed rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food is to prevent practices that create food safety risks, such as failure to properly refrigerate food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food during transportation. The proposed rule addresses the sanitary transportation of both human and animal food traveling via motor or rail vehicle by establishing

Gear Up for the FDA’s Menu Labeling Regulations

Gear Up for the FDA’s Menu Labeling Regulations

January 23, 2014

Authored by: Sara Ahmed

The FDA’s highly anticipated proposed rules regarding menu labeling are set for release just around the corner, and businesses and elected officials are already reacting.

The proposed rules apply to chain restaurants, retail food establishments, and vending machines with 20 or more locations and require that menus be labeled with caloric information and that certain nutritional information be made readily available to patrons.

While some chain retailers applaud the idea of nationwide uniform labeling requirements for the sake of ease, others are concerned about the cost and efficacy of the proposed rules.

Domino’s CEO J. Patrick Doyle has been a dissonant voice in the debate since 2011.  Maine’s Senator Angus King is another critic, and joining him are both members of the Senate and House that have sponsored S. 1756 and H.R. 1249 , bills aimed at amending the FD&C Act.  Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, who supports the amendment, claims that the FDA’s proposed “one-size-fits-all

FDA To Further Amend Draft Rules Implementing FSMA

Yesterday, FDA Deputy Commissions for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Michael Taylor, announced that FDA would further amend the draft rules on produce safety and preventive controls for human food, which were originally published in draft form in January 2013.  Acccording to Mr. Taylor’s statement:

[W]e believe that significant changes will be needed in key provisions of the two proposed rules affecting small and large farmers. These provisions include water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, certain provisions affecting mixed-use facilities, and procedures for withdrawing the qualified exemption for certain farms. We have heard the concern that these provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers.

As FDA considers the changes to be significant, it will once again accept comment only on

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