The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took many steps toward improving consumer health in 2015. The agency finalized four of the seven major Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules, which aim to decrease the instances of foodborne illness by taking a preventive approach to food safety. FDA also proposed regulations to ensure consumers are more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, such as the proposal to add the amount of added sugar on food labels.
Read below to learn more about these and other points of progress in FDA’s regulation of the food industry in 2015.
- June 4: FDA released a draft guidance regarding its Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP).
- June 16: FDA released its final determinationthat Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). PHOs are the largest cause of artificial trans-fat in processed foods. Beginning in June 2018, food products will no longer be allowed to contain PHOs unless approved by FDA.
- July 9: FDA arranged to enter a Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The arrangement will entail an increased exchange of food safety information between the two countries.
- July 24: FDA proposed to require a percent daily value (%DV) for added sugars on food labels.
- September 6: FDA released its final FSMA rules for preventive controls for human and animal food. Among other things, the rules require registered food facilities to maintain a food safety plan and monitor their suppliers.
- November 6: FDA published a guidance document regarding its fortification policy.
- November 12: FDA requested comments on use of the term “natural” on food labeling. There is currently no formal definition for the term.
- November 13: FDA released its final FSMA rules for foreign supplier verification programs (FSVP), accredited third-party certification, and produce safety.
- November 18: FDA proposed gluten-free labeling requirements for fermented and hydrolyzed foods.