Industry News

Baking industry faces multiple FDA, USDA regulations, says IBA

The baking industry is facing multiple federal regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to a release issued by the Independent Bakers Association (IBA).

Partially Hydrogenated Oils: The FDA is reviewing comments regarding the tentative determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are not general recognized as safe (GRAS). In addition to submitting comments, IBA joined a coalition of trade associations to reach out to members of Congress and the media regarding the implications of the FDA’s tentative determination.

Sanitary Transportation Rule: In tandum with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA proposed a new rule to require particular sterilization efforts and recordkeeping by transportation businesses as well as food producers. The requirements of the proposal may duplicate elements of other rules, says IBA. The March Washington Report features additional information and analysis of the proposal. The comment period ends May 31.

School Wellness Policy: First Lady Michelle Obama announced a new proposed rule from the USDA, “The Local School Wellness Policy.” The proposal prohibits marketing of foods at schools that do not conform with the Smart Snacks in School rule, which the USDA proposed last year. The proposal received some immediate backlash from school groups concerned about the likely reduction in funds from private food and beverage marketing, such as vending machines, posters, etc. The policy would also allow schools to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students if 40% or more of students already receive free or reduced lunch through nutrition assistance programs. More information about the proposal will be available in the March Washington Report.

More details about the pending federal regulations will be discussed during IBA’s Spring Membership Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 16. The event will be held in conjunction with the 2014 IBA Convention. To register for the meeting, go to www.independentbaker.net/independentbakersassociation/id45.html.

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