• Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 21,921 other followers

  • Instagram

    Today, the United States spends $218 billion a year growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce food waste.Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for how we can address food loss due to poor transportation and storage. Link available in bio or copy/paste this link: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste Today, we are celebrating women in science for International Women's Day! The International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. These particular five women have been at the forefront of some of today’s most complex and controversial scientific issues including genetic engineering and lab-grown meat. In addition to highlighting their work, these interviews explore the influence of gender in food and science. Click link in bio #IWD2017 #internationalwomensday #womeninstem #foodscience http://hubs.ly/H06wKB60 Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food. What can we do with spilled, wilted, blemished produce? Click here to read IFT Achievement Awardee Edward Hirschberg’s solution for bringing life back to the "ugly" lettuce. Link available in bio or copy and paste the following to view solution: http://bit.ly/IFTFoodWaste #Repost @hanna_instruments ・・・
The Hanna Texas team had a great time at @iftfoodscience's Lunch & Learn at @nasajohnson on 2/23. Hanna USA proudly sponsored this event featuring a talk by @nasa scientist Dr. Shannon Walker, a tour of the food lab facility, and behind-the-scenes tour of Mission Control! Thank you again to IFT and NASA for an incredible event.

Food Safety Suffers During U.S. Government Shutdown

U.S. Government ShutdownThe partial U.S. government shutdown, now in its second week, has already started affecting the operations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hardest hit are the FDA operations related to foods. Consequently, food importers, retailers, and consumers should be concerned.

The shutdown will have lesser effects, at least in the short-term, on the FDA divisions that deal with human drugs, animal drugs, medical devices, and tobacco, as each of these divisions collects some type of user fees, giving those divisions a buffer when government funding is unavailable, as is the case during the shutdown.

In contrast, no such user fees exist with regard to FDA’s food-related operations. Effective lobbying by industry removed user fees from the final version of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and has kept them out annually whenever such fees have been proposed. For better or worse, this leaves FDA’s food safety operations progressively more vulnerable the longer the government shutdown lingers.

Functions such as food facility inspection, inspection of some imported foods, follow-up inspections after implementation of corrective action plans (CAPs), and review of petitions for removal from FDA Import Alert are all suffering due to the shutdown. This is especially worrisome when we take into account that 20% of vegetables, 50% of fresh fruits, and a whopping 80% of all seafood consumed by Americans are imported from abroad.

The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), of which FDA is a part, recently published its contingency plan for handling the government shutdown in a document entitled “Contingency Staffing Plan for Operations in the Absence of Enacted Annual Appropriations.” Under this plan, 45% of FDA’s almost 15,000 staff members have been furloughed. FDA is doing what it can to keep staff that deal with food imports and food safety in place, but has announced that FDA resources will be focused “as necessary for the protection of human life.” With regard to food recalls, this means that Class I recalls will most likely continue on schedule, but places in doubt whether Class II or Class III recalls will be initiated during the shutdown.

Anyone who regularly deals with FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) or the Division of Import Operations and Policy (DIOP) knows that, even during normal times, staff at both entities is stretched thin. No matter what your political position may be with regard to the government shutdown, we can all agree on one thing: Our food does not get safer with fewer FDA inspectors and compliance officers on the job. Hopefully it will not take a food-related tragedy to put a stop to the game of political chicken currently taking place in Washington, DC.

Edgar J. Asebey-BirkholmEdgar J. Asebey-Birkholm, Esq.
Partner & FDA Practice Group Manager
Roetzel & Andress
easebey@ralaw.com
www.ralaw.com
(954) 759-2754

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: