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Regulatory Watch

August 5, 2004
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Flaw in BT Act?

The processed food industry is pointing to what it sees as a major flaw in the Bioterrosim Act. In an appearance before a House subcommittee, John Cady, President and CEO of the National Food Processors Association, said FDA's interim final rule for prior notice of imported food shipments prevents industry from importing research and development samples. If these samples are denied entry because of a lack of prior notice, he said, industry would be denied a "valuable tool for evaluating products and new product development." In finalizing the rule, Cady urged FDA to consider two changes: in rapid response to an incident, he said the agency should rely on the most readily available information from the companies involved, and not rely on FDA's review of records; and FDA should drop the requirement that companies maintain all required information at the production lot level.

Food borne illness cases dropping

The food industry is winning plaudits from the government for its efforts to reduce the risks of food borne illnesses. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety Elsa Murano says the proof is in the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USDA random testing of meat, poultry and egg products shows a statistically significant downward trend in illnesses from food borne pathogens.

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