Grocery Manufacturers Call For Tighter Controls February 18th, 2008
The Grocery Manufacturers Association recently unveiled its plan for improving control over food safety and food ingredients imported in the U.S. The plan, “Commitment to Consumers: The Four Pillars of Food Safety,” is designed to protect consumers by strengthening, modernizing and improving food safety regulations on imports.
“Ensuring the United States has the safest food supply in the world is priority number one for the food and beverage industry,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the association. “Because we cannot simply inspect our way to a safer food supply, industry can apply its vast knowledge and practical experience along the entire supply chain to prevent problems before they arise. And, under our proposal, a fortified FDA will be right there with us, side by side, to make sure we do it right.”
Public-private partnership Prevention and a stronger public-private food safety partnership are the foundation of GMA’s Four Pillars proposal. If adopted, all importers of record would be required to adopt a foreign supplier quality assurance program and verify that imported ingredients and products meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration food safety and quality requirements. The program would be based on FDA guidance and industry best practices, and would be monitored and enforced by the FDA.
FDA controls The second pillar of the proposal would allow FDA to focus greater resources on products and countries deemed of higher risk through a program that would allow food companies/importers to qualify their products as lower risk by sharing test results, data and supply chain information with the FDA in a confidential manner. Qualifying products and ingredients would receive expedited treatment at the borders, allowing the FDA to train its resources on products that carry greater risk of contamination.
Multinational safety standards The third leg of the proposal focuses on building capacity within foreign governments to facilitate food safety standards that are more closely aligned with those of the FDA.
Expanded FDA resources Finally, recognizing that FDA must be armed with the appropriate resources to administer this program and adequately fulfill its food safety mission, the fourth pillar seeks to expand the capacity of FDA, by providing the agency with the resources it needs to get the job done.
Career Corner Article Series
Career Corner Articles Home
Management Matters Article Series
Management Matters Articles Home
Industry Trend Article Series
Industry Trend Articles Home