Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1256204

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Page 84 of 91

and ambiguity has resulted in increased private litigation, deterring manufacturers from innovating and producing healthier foods. FDA's Framework Is Legally and Practically Problematic The proposed regulation raises both legal concerns, in principle, and practical problems in its application. The Association believes that the proposed rule exceeds FDA's statutory mandate to promulgate food standards regulations that will "promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers." Moreover, while the regulation does not directly impose punitive criminal or civil consequences implicating the "void for vagueness" doctrine, the fundamental premise should be observed. The proposed principles are not sufficiently objective to provide appropriate benchmarks to those submitting a petition to revoke, revise, or propose a standard of identity. Science-Driven Approaches Will Reform SOIs Consistent with the Nutrition Innovation Strategy SFA supports the Nutrition Innovation Strategy objectives to modernize the SOI in a manner to (1) protect consumers against economic adulteration; (2) maintain the basic nature, essential characteristics, and nutritional integrity of food; and (3) promote industry innovation and provide flexibility to encourage manufacturers to produce healthier foods. However, we also believe that efforts to modernize the SOI should account for evolution in the requirements of and reflect modern approaches to food regulation. Part of the function of an SOI became obsolete 30 years ago with the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, which required every food product to list its SFA Response to Modernized Standards SFA welcomed FDA's reopening of the docket and the opportunity to expand upon its November comments and the effectiveness of the proposed framework for modernizing the standards of identity. The response advocated that: • Failure to modernize the SOI negatively impacts SFA members. • FDA should not finalize the rule as written because the framework is legally and practically problematic. • Objective, science-driven approaches provide a path forward for reforming the SOI. • The general principles require significant revision to meet the statutory mandate, provide certainty to petitioners, and to facilitate an effective process for modernizing the SOI. • Adopting objective, science-driven evaluation criteria for an SOI petition meets statutory requirements and provides predictability to petitioners seeking to modernize the SOI. Failure to Modernize SOI Hurts SFA Members Innovative specialty food manufacturers succeed by experimenting with new ingredients and new methods of producing foods. Such experimentation meets consumer demand for products that are healthier, free from major allergens, and use more sustainable production methods. However, when their experimentation confronts a strict Standard of Identity, food manufacturers must choose between innovation or producing non-compliant food. The most pressing concern for SFA members with the absence of meaningful progress to modernize SOI is that SOI non-compliance SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM

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