Companies importing food into the US will have to give advance notice to the Food and Drug Administration as part of proposed measures to protect the US from bioterrorism.
Under the proposed rules, US importers must notify the FDA the day before their food products arrive at a US port. Companies must provide details regarding the type of food or beverage being imported, the brand name, size, manufacturer, grower, shipper and all countries involved in handling the product.
The proposed rules would not apply to imports of meat, poultry or egg products, which are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture. It will also not apply to travellers bringing food into the US for their own personal consumption.
“FDA is dedicated to fulfilling its mission as one of the nation’s frontline defences against terrorism,” FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The FDA said it planned to implement the final rule by 12 October.
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Grocery Manufacturers of America’s vice president of federal affairs, Susan Stout, said the group had “serious questions regarding the practical implementation of the final rules.”
“We will continue to work closely with the FDA to ensure that the bioterrorism rules are workable without impeding the flow of US foods and beverages,” Stout added.