New Food Rules To Protect Your Health

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in January 2011 that tightens regulations on the public food supply in order to protect our health and safety. Two new rules are currently proposed that will increase regulations on imported food and create stricter requirements for international suppliers. These rules are the:

  • FSMA Proposed Rule for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals
  • FSMA Proposed Rule on Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors

The FSVP Rule will subject mass-production importers to tighter regulations regarding the safety of their food and food-hazard identification. The Rule on Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors establishes tighter requirements for the auditors that determine whether imported food is safe according to US standards.

These new rules are indications that the FDA is thinking more like a supply chain manger. Great companies protect their business by establishing strict expectations for their suppliers. The Unites States Government is recognizing that in order to protect its business (the People) it needs to take a heightened interest in its suppliers outside of the US and the people that determine whether suppliers meet US safety standards.

This is a great stride that helps US consumers make better food decisions in grocery stores. For instance, the organic label on food items has become well-known among many consumer groups and serves as an indicator that a product with that label satisfies one of the many potential consumer health requirements. However, food products imported from other countries cannot be guaranteed organic because the standards systems differ. In other words, countries outside the US may define “organic” differently and thus not necessarily meet the requirements of US food safety standards. In many cases, the term “organic” holds no meaning in other countries (i.e., “organic farming” does not really exist); but, that does not necessarily mean the food is automatically safe or unsafe.

Regardless of global standards for organic farming, the point is that the US is taking a stronger interest in the conditions of the food coming into our country. In a way, it is a form of global control over resources; but, it also raises the standard of food for all countries. If America increases its standards, suppliers will have to respond by improving their growing and production systems. This provides better options to other countries and improves their market selections as well.

No matter how well the new Rules are implemented and enforced (given that they are contingent on Federal funding), they make a statement that people want safer food and will not buy from farmers that do not use responsible means to cultivate their produce. It is an indicator that the American population is shifting its priorities and recognizing the importance of safe food that originates from outside the US.

This is also an indicator that consumer purchasing holds great merit in the decisions that businesses and governments make. Furthermore, it is evidence that if consumers refine their philosophies on food and purchase accordingly, positive change in market options can result and people that create legislation capable of influencing the globe will support us.

For more information on the proposed legislation, visit:

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