News Article

Horizontal Approaches to Food Standards of Identity Modernization Discussed at FDA Public Meeting

Posted on October 11, 2019

Blog: Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO)

FDA held a public meeting Friday 9/27/19 in Rockville, MD to give interested persons an opportunity to discuss FDA’s effort to modernize food standards of identity (SOI) and provide information about changes that could be made to existing SOI, particularly changes that could be made across categories of standardized foods (i.e., horizontal changes), to provide flexibility for the development of healthier foods. FDA was also interested in discussing horizontal changes that would better facilitate industry innovation.

The meeting broke into 3 breakout sessions where participants could focus on nutrition, innovation, and consumer expectations regarding standardized foods. AFDO Senior Advisor Joseph Corby attended the meeting while.

See FDA/CFSAN Director Dr. Susan Mayne opening remarks here.

In her remarks to the largely attended meeting, FDA/CFSAN Director Dr. Susan Mayne stated the following:

“One way to reduce preventable death and chronic disease related to nutrition is to empower consumers with information to make healthy food choices. We’ve made much progress in many important areas such as putting calories on the menu, implementing the first major update to the Nutrition Facts label, modernizing claims, and continuing our efforts to reduce sodium in foods. And we are close to proposing a new definition for the “Healthy” claim on food labels and have been working diligently on the claim “Natural.” Another way we are seeking to reduce preventable death and disease related to poor nutrition is by encouraging industry to innovate to produce healthier foods that consumers want. As part of this effort, FDA is exploring ways to modernize our standards of identity. We know that many standards were established decades ago and have not been recently amended to reflect changes in consumer expectations or opportunities for innovation – including the ability to produce healthier foods. We want to modernize our Standards of Identity program in a manner that will protect consumers against economic adulteration, maintain the basic nature, essential characteristics, and nutritional integrity of food, and promote industry innovation and provide flexibility to encourage manufacturers to produce more healthful foods”.

Kari Barrett; FDA/CFSAN moderates a Q&A panel of FDA experts

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