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September Food and Agriculture Regulatory Recap by Kyla Kaplan

OFW’s Food & Agriculture team regularly monitors announcements and policy issuances from FDA, USDA, and other agencies to keep our clients apprised of regulatory developments that may impact their business. Here are a few of the developments from September that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

  • USDA sought comments on labeling of meat and poultry products derived from animal cells. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using cultured cells derived from livestock and poultry animals under FSIS jurisdiction. FSIS will use these comments to inform future regulatory requirements for the labeling of such food products. Comments are due by November 1, 2021.
  • USDA invested $700 million in grants relief for impacted farm and farm workers as a result of Covid-19.  Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that $700 million in competitive grant funding will be available through the new Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program to help farmworkers and meatpacking workers with pandemic-related health and safety costs. Later in the month, USDA also invested another $700 million to provide relief to small producers, processors, distributors, farmers, markets, seafood processing vessels and processors impacted by Covid-19.
  • USDA-FSIS released a guide for labeling packaged meal kits. The guideline contains information to assist meat and poultry establishments (i.e., establishments that package meal kits containing FSIS regulated products) to comply with the inspection and labeling requirements for multi-component food kits that contain an inspected and labeled meat or poultry component.

Other Agencies

  • FoodNet Report Webinar: On September 23, 2021, representatives from the CDC, USDA- FSIS, and FDA hosted a call to highlight key information for the FoodNet report titled, “Decreased Rates of Infection with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. Sites, 2017-2020.”The report summarizes preliminary 2020 data on the incidence of illness caused by eight pathogens and changes in incidence compared with the average for 2017–2019. It also describes how interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19 might have affected the occurrence and reporting of enteric infections.

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