the Summer 2015
The Food and Drug Administration will release the
seven ( 7) final rules that make up the Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) based on a calendar that
was ordered through a court settlement in 2014. The
settlement was reached with the Center for Food Safety
and the Center for Environmental Health regarding the
deadlines for publishing the final FSMA rules.
The court agreement staggers the final rule publications
beyond the original June 2015 deadline that was set
by the U.S. District Court of Northern California. In
exchange, the agency dropped its Ninth Circuit Court
appeal in the dispute with the two consumer groups.
The new deadlines for the seven rules are:
August 30, 2015:
Preventive Controls for Human Food
Preventive Controls for Animal Food
October 31, 2015:
Foreign Supplier Verification Program
March 31, 2016:
May 31, 2016:
Moving forward, the Association will create educational
opportunities for each rule, and pass them on in the
form of webinars, public session announcements and
other educational opportunities that will help you to
understand which rules your business will be affected
by, and how to comply.
Rules Coming Soon
Start Your Engines!
Bill Introduced in
It’s now July, and that means we celebrate what has
become an annual tradition …. National Watermelon
Month (as designated by Congress in 2007). What
are your company’s plans to promote Watermelon this
We are kick-starting the major efforts in cooperation
with JD Motorsports and our very own NASCAR
Xfinity Series driver, Ross Chastain.
July 4th signifies a significant moment in time for our
country ….. the birth of our nation. The NASCAR
Xfinity Series will race under the lights at Daytona
International Speedway on July 4, 2015.
We are especially pleased that Ross will drive a very
unique Watermelon sponsored Chevrolet Camaro that
evening. The car wrap was designed to celebrate Watermelon and the USA’s birthday simultaneously as it
transitions from a watermelon into the American Flag.
Americana will be in full view with two important
staples of family get togethers – Watermelon and our
American Flag. Enjoy the Race, and Go Ross!
Herein lies an interesting dilemma. GMO crops are
intertwined in our food supply, yet consumer groups
and resulting perceptions have a negative tone and lack
of acceptance. Summer squash, sweet corn, apples,
and potatoes are all experiencing GMO varieties that
provide tremendous benefits to farmers with higher
yields and disease avoidance traits. Yet, conventional
produce (in some cases) is looking for a differentiation point that will separate their crops from GMO-produced crops.
GMO crops are an integral part of our food system,
although the majority of consumers are unaware.
Consumer awareness is weak at best, with consumer
groups pushing state legislatures to enact/consider
their own food labeling laws.
As a result, and to bring some sense to this issue, Congressmen Mike Pompeo, (R-K), and G. K. Butterfield,
(D-NC), reintroduced a bill that is designed to offer
reforms to the U.S. food supply. As of this writing,
nine Republicans and eight Democrats are in support
of the bill, with the majority of these 17 original co-sponsors sitting on either the Agriculture or Energy &
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 is
designed to help ensure farmers will continue to be
able to improve crop quality and quantity and offer
nutritious, affordable food in the U.S. and around the
Without this legislation, a patchwork of state GMO
labeling laws (over 30 states currently) could mislead consumers and increase food prices for families,
according to the news release. The bill preserves and
affirms FDA’s role in food safety, while respecting
Americans’ interest in knowing what is in their food.
As a result, this legislation includes a new provision to
allow those who wish to label their products as GMO-free to do so by through a USDA-accredited certification process.
“We took the positive feedback we received after our
hearing in December and have been meeting with key
stakeholders to ensure this is the right policy for both
producers and consumers,” Pompeo said. “Our goal for
this legislation remains to provide clarity and transpar-
ency in food labeling, support innovation, and keep
“The potential for a 50 state patchwork of varying labeling
standards would increase costs for producers and translate
into higher prices for consumers to the tune of more than
“This bill will provide clear rules for producers and certainty for consumers at the grocery store checkout lane.”
“When it comes to food labeling, state by state standards
do not work. This bill seeks to end the guessing game and
provide folks the peace of mind that labels are accurate,”
said Chairman Fred Upton, of the Energy and Commerce
Committee. “Safe and accurate labeling is something that
we should all be able to rally around with broad bipartisan
Special note: The Association has discussed this bill with
one of the key co-sponsors to assure that labeling conventional crops GMO-Free or Non-GMO will NOT become
‘mandatory’. If that should ever become the case, we
submit that the responsibility of labeling must be shifted
directly on the GMO producers. It is not our issue to label
our crop as GMO-Free or Non-GMO, both negative connotations that anyone in marketing will avoid altogether.