Posted August 16, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a public meeting for two proposed rules in its implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) and the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies.   The purpose of the meeting is to solicit public comments on the proposed rules, to inform the public about the rule making process, and to respond to questions about the proposed rules.  The meeting will take place on Sept. 19-20 in Washington D.C.

The official FDA press release is available here. 
The FSVP “establishes requirements for importers to verify that their foreign suppliers are implementing the modern, prevention-oriented food safety practices called for by FSMA achieving the same level of food safety as domestic growers and processors.”  The third-party accreditation rule “would strengthen the quality, objectivity, and transparency of foreign food safety audits on which many U.S. food companies and importers currently rely to help manage the safety of their global food supply chains.”
The FDA announcement comes in the wake of recent trade developments with possible U.S. imports of chicken processed in China, which was discussed in a previous post on this blog here.  In addition, these rules are part of a larger fabric of other proposed rules being developed in furtherance of FSMA.  For information on recent FSMA developments, previous posts on this blog are available hereand here.  This blog will continue to update on these developments, including upcoming posts on the well recent federal district court rulings issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  Those rulings stem from litigation filed by the Center for Food Safety in response to the FDA not proceeding with FSMA rulemaking in accordance with the timeline established by statute.