FMSA Food Safety Regulations Implementation Dates Finally Set
The FDA recently settled a lawsuit with the private Center for Food Safety because the agency consistently missed deadlines for the implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), passed in 2011.
FSMA required the agency to create new safety standards within eighteen months. The FDA missed that deadline. So the CFS sued and FDA argued in court they could take as long as necessary to write the regulations. As the case moved through the multiple layers of the judicial system, each court sided with the Center for Food Safety. FDA most recently appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and at the end of February agreed to a settlement.
Under the terms of the settlement, the agency has agreed to express deadlines, meaning the FDA will follow this schedule in implementing the final rules of FSMA:
- August 30, 2015 – Preventative controls for human and animal food.
- October 31, 2015 – Foreign supplier verification program and produce safety standards and provide for accreditation of third-party auditors.
- March 31, 2016 – Sanitary transportation of food and feed.
- May 31, 2016 – Intentional adulteration of food.
FSMA, as passed, represents the first major overhaul of food safety regulations in the United States since 1938. Among its goals are to improve FDA’s regulation and authority, provide for safer fruits and vegetables and prevent contaminated food imports.
Brauner International for years has specialized in the importation and handling of food and our participation in major trade associations representing coffee, tea, cocoa and other commodities evidences our commitment. As these regulations move forward, we will continue to help our clients understand the impact on their businesses and assist them as needed.