Structure/function claims guidance issued
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a compliance guide to help small companies understand its final rule defining the types of statements that can be made concerning the effect of a dietary supplement on the structure or function of the body. The guide is available at www.cfsan.fda.gov/dms/guidance.html. Details are in the Federal Register of January 9 (67 FR 1225). For more information, contact Robert Moore, at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204 (phone 202-205-4605).
Mycoprotein meat substitute considered GRAS
Quorn Foods, Inc., has announced that it is launching its line of frozen and refrigerated meat substitutes made from mycoprotein in the United States. Mycoprotein has been commercially available in the United Kingdom since 1985 and in other countries in Europe since 1991. According to the company, FDA has completed its technical review of a food additive petition for mycoprotein submitted by Marlow Foods, the UK-based holding company of Quorn Foods, and expects to issue a food additive regulation soon. During the time in which the food additive petition has been pending, the company determined that mycoprotein is GRAS, and FDA reportedly has no questions with that determination. The development, safety and nutritional testing, and marketing of the product was the subject of the Developing Foods report in the July 2001 issue of Food Technology.
Guide addresses bioterrorism prevention
FDA has issued two guidance documents that identify the kinds of preventive measures that food producers, processors, transporters, retailers, importers, and filers can take to minimize the risk that food under their control will be subject to tampering or criminal or terrorist actions. The documents —”Food Producers, Processors, Transporters, and Retailers: Food Security Preventive Measures Guidance” and “Importers and Filers: Food Security Preventive Measures Guidance”—are available at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/guidance.html. Deadline for comments is March 11. Details are in the Federal Register of January 9 (67 FR 1224-1225). For more information, contact John Kvenberg at FDA, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740 (phone 202-205-4187).
Definition of “no residue” may be deleted
FDA is proposing to amend its regulations regarding carcinogenic compounds used in food-producing animals, to delete the operational definition of “no residue.” The action is in response to a legal opinion by the Dept. of Justice concluding that the operational definition is not legally supportable. Deadline for comments is April 17. Details are in the Federal Register of January 17 (67 FR 2384-2387). For more information, contact Steven D. Brynes at FDA, 7500 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855 (phone 301-827-6975).
Paper on BSE risk available
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced the availability of its current thinking paper on possible actions to minimize human exposure to meat food products from cattle that could contain the infective agent that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy. BSE, commonly referred to as “mad cow disease,” is a chronic degenerative disease affecting the nervous system of cattle. The agency’s current thinking paper follows the recent publication of a risk assessment conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health to analyze and evaluate USDA’s current measures to prevent BSE. FSIS requests comments on both the current thinking paper and the Harvard risk assessment. Copies are available at www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/default.htm. Details are in the Federal Register of January 17 (67 FR 2399). For more information, contact Daniel Engeljohn at USDA/FSIS, Washington, DC 20250 (phone 202-720-5627).
Retained water regulation postponed
FSIS is suspending until January 9, 2003, regulations that limit water retained by raw meat and poultry products from post-evisceration processing, such as carcass washing and chilling, to the amount that is unavoidable in meeting applicable food safety requirements and that require labeling for the amount of water retained. Technical amendments regarding poultry chilling practices remain effective on January 9, 2002. Details are in the Federal Register of January 10 (67 FR 1277-1281). For more information, contact Daniel L. Engeljohn at USDA/FSIS, Washington, DC 20250-3700 (phone 202-720-3219).
by NEIL H. MERMELSTEIN