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Imported Food Safety Enhancement to be Focus of FDA Hearing

Monday, January 16, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Food and Drug Administration will hold a public hearing Feb. 14-15 to receive input from stakeholders as it develops, expands, and refines partnership activities aimed at enhancing the safety of imported food. At this hearing the FDA will seek input from a variety of perspectives on the following topics.

- how to expand performance measurement for the FDA’s capacity building activities to ensure the agency collaborates effectively with other nations, multilateral organizations, donor organizations, and industry

- how to operationalize the concept of "same level of public health protection" that is part of the foreign supplier verification program rule and what types of partnerships facilitate application of this concept (the FSVP regulation requires importers to implement FSVPs to provide adequate assurances that their foreign suppliers produce food in compliance with processes and procedures, including risk-based preventive controls, that provide the same level of public health protection as those required under certain U.S. laws)

- whether and how the FDA should consider private standards in risk-based decision making, including how other competent authorities use information from private entities (e.g., third-party certifications or other assurances)

- whether and how the FDA should expand its systems recognition framework to include consideration of the recognition of commodity-specific export control programs

The FDA notes that the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations are not the subject of this hearing but that the initiatives that will be discussed align with and support FSMA implementation.

The meeting will be held at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Md., and will also be webcast live. Advance registration is necessary to ensure participation and will end Feb. 8.

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