content tagged as Public Policy, Food Laws & Regulations

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The food industry in the U.S. is implementing new changes with regard to food labeling and nutrition and supplemental facts labels, some of which have not been changed in over 20 years. These modifications are rapidly coming into effect by July 2018 (or 2019 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales). One such important alteration relates to dietary fiber, specifically pertaining to: (i) its new definition, (ii) the list of acceptable fibers and, (iii) the current daily values associated with dietary fiber. Importantly, each of these factors may differ amongst jurisdictions, and so, while industry is preparing to adhere to new U.S. regulations over the next year, ensuring that products comply with regulatory requirements for differing jurisdictions can be a daunting task. This symposium will provide information from the FDA on the new regulatory requirements for dietary fiber in the U.S., and further explain the scientific review process for determining whether a new fiber provides a beneficial physiological effect. From a Health Canada perspective, the ways dietary fiber is regulated will be explored, including the required scientific evidence to demonstrate a dietary fiber’s health benefit. Further, a global comparison of fiber regulations will be explained, delving into the impacts for consumers and industry. If you are interested in understanding more about the updated fiber regulations in the U.S., Canada and the EU, then attendance at this session is a must for you.
This session will present the regulatory challenges posed by the nutrition and health agenda in Europe.
On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law an Act amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (Act), 7 U.S.C. § 1621 et seq., which provides for a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. Among other things, the Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods, including a mandatory disclosure of foods that contain bioengineering. This new law represents the first nationwide bioengineering labeling program.

The bill directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the process of deciding what exactly food manufacturers will be required to label. It will be up to USDA to define which ingredients count as “genetically modified ingredients” for the purposes of the law. The agency is supposed to complete this process within two years.

The law allows companies to choose from a few options: words on the package’s label; a 1-800 number that consumers can call to get information on the product’s genetically modified ingredients; or a quick response (QR) code that has to be scanned with a smartphone which will take the consumer to a website for GMO information.

Since the law has passed, many questions have been raised from industry stakeholders and consumers. When will the labeling law go into effect? What will producers and manufacturers have to label? Will highly refined products such as corn syrup or soybean oil that come from genetically-modified sources be exempted from the labeling? How will the law affect organic foods?

The objective of this symposium is to clarify some of these questions and to provide attendees with the USDA updates about this program.

This symposium is sponsored by the IFT Quality Assurance Division, the IFT Biotech Division, and the IFT Food Laws and Regulation Division.