An alliance of 17 food and beverage trade groups has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to extend the compliance dates for supplier verification under the Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF) and the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) final rules, and to align the compliance dates of the two rules. The PCHF and FSVP rules were implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
In a February 13 letter to Dr. Stephen Ostroff, Acting FDA Commissioner, the Food & Beverage Issue Alliance explained:
“The PCHF and FSVP regulations are groundbreaking in many respects. These are the first FDA regulations requiring implementation of comprehensive supplier verification programs. PCHF is the first regulation requiring supplier verification for domestically produced foods. FSVP is the first regulation where FDA has required supplier verification of all imported foods. FSVP also is the only FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulation that may require entities that do not manufacture food, such as retailers, to engage in supplier verification.”
The alliance pointed out that the PCHF compliance date, March 17, 2017, is just over one month away for many companies and the compliance date for FSVP, May 30, 2017, is less than four months away. (FDA extended the FSVP compliance for verification activities for food-contact substances to May 28, 2019.) The alliance also explained that many of its members have hundreds or even thousands of suppliers requiring supplier verification and will need more time to modify programs based on guidance from FDA, especially since the agency had not issued draft guidance documents on these rules yet. The group also expressed concern over when the guidance documents will be published given the While House Regulatory Freeze Memo, issued earlier this year. The alliance requested that the compliance date for both regulations be extended until May 28, 2018.
The alliance includes the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the International Dairy Foods Association, the United Fresh Produce Association, the Association for Dressings & Sauces, the Juice Products Association, the Vinegar Institute, the National Pasta Association, the North American Millers’ Association, the American Bakers Association, the National Association of Chemical Distributors, the Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, SNAC International, the Produce Marketing Association, the National Confectioners Association, and the National Grocers Association.
Source: The National Law Review