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Food Regulation: A Changing of the Guard

Irrespective of whether you voted for or against Donald Trump, last night’s election results will lead to a significant changing of the guard in how food is regulated by FDA and USDA.  In his Contract with America, soon-to-be-President Trump promised that for “every new regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.”

The Obama Administration has been extremely busy the past eight years adopting new and, at times, onerous and unfair regulations for the food industry.  The current Administration also issued two sets of Dietary Guidelines which became increasingly less scientific and much more political.  With the holiday season coming, it may be time to make a list (and check it twice) of regulatory requirements which cry out for reconsideration, modification, or revocation.  Below is a list of Obama Administration initiatives which, at a minimum, are worthy of reconsideration.

  • Food Safety Modernization Act regulations and implementation schedule – specifically, the preventive controls audit requirements and the application of preventive controls to animal food.
  • Nutrition Facts labeling requirements, particularly the onerous and scientifically unjustified “added sugars” provision.
  • Dietary Guidelines development process must become more scientific and less political.
  • Vending machine rules – the overly prescriptive pending rules negatively impact vending machine operators, and confectionery and snack manufacturers large and small.
  • Menu labeling should be revised. The rule is highly prescriptive and more time is needed for compliance.
  • Sodium reduction initiative – with science evolving, the brakes should be put on this program.

The U.S. government operates best when there is periodic reexamination of rules and policies.  Let the debate begin.