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Regulatory Watch

November 26, 2005
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The National Uniformity for Foods Act (H.R. 4167) would create national, uniform food safety standards and warning requirements.

Streamlining rules on labels

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY) have introduced the National Uniformity for Foods Act (H.R. 4167) that would create national, uniform food safety standards and warning requirements, replacing what backers call a patchwork of state and federal regulations that leave consumers and manufacturers at a disadvantage. The measure would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The bill appears to have wide bipartisan support.

Corn dogs vs. bagel dogs

Federal agencies are asking for public input as they try to clarify agency jurisdiction over certain food products that contain meat and poultry. By law, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, has authority over meat and poultry products. FDA has authority over all foods not under FSIS jurisdiction.

FSIS and FDA concluded that past decisions involving certain product categories are no longer consistent, largely due to marketplace changes. For example, FSIS regulates corn dogs, while FDA regulates bagel dogs.

The combined agencies' working group has recommended that FSIS would regulate food products in which meat or poultry are the primary ingredients; and FDA would have authority where meat is present for flavoring or accent purposes. Both groups will be accepting public comments.

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