Compliance with FDA Bioterrorism Regulations 'Will Be Top Priority for the Food Industry,' Says NFPA

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 -- With the announcement of the Food and Drug Administration's interim final regulations on food facility registration and prior notice of food imports, "the food industry's top priority will be compliance with these new requirements by their effective date," said John R. Cady, President and CEO of the National Food Processors Association (NFPA).

"FDA clearly listened to various stakeholders on ways to improve these regulations, and made changes -- including removing private residences that may briefly hold cookies and other foods for charity sales from the list of 'facilities' that need to register with FDA and shortening the time required for prior notice of food imports, as NFPA had urged," Cady stated. "The changes not only maintain the effectiveness of these new regulations, but also increase their workability. It is important to recognize that the regulations build upon an already strong food security system. In NFPA's comments to FDA, we stressed the importance of ensuring that any changes to food security requirements be designed to enhance both the efficiency and effectiveness of our nation's food security efforts."

"FDA has demonstrated its commitment to meeting the deadlines set by the Bioterrorism Act of 2002," Cady said. "The food industry is equally committed to ensuring that an estimated 400,000 domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are registered with FDA by the deadline of December 12, 2003. Also on that date, all companies who export food products or ingredients to the United States must ensure that they are meeting the prior notice requirements established by this regulation."

Cady noted "Industry communication and education will be the key to ensuring compliance with these new requirements. NFPA will work with FDA to provide information to our members on the new regulations. We have already scheduled several seminars, both in the United States and abroad, to help food companies understand how these new requirements affect them, and to ensure full compliance by our industry."

NFPA is the voice of the $500 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.

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