Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for submissions in response to its draft variation of the Food Standards Code that would permit the sale of foods derived from low tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) hemp.  The proposal follows a request by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) for FSANZ to consider how THC could be legally designated as food.

On June 23, 2016, the Senate Agriculture Committee agreed to a bipartisan deal that would set a national standard for GMO labeling. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard would amend The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 by setting forth mandatory disclosure requirements for GMO food products, while providing a variety of options to the industry on how to provide consumers with this required information. The deal comes a week before Vermont’s own version of a mandatory GMO labeling law is set to take effect.  If the bipartisan bill is passed, then the national standards would pre-empt Vermont’s law.  Industry groups are showing support for the bill as they want to avoid the challenges of complying with varying state GMO labeling requirements.  The race is now on to get the bill passed in the Senate before the July 1 effective date of the Vermont law; however, the House of Representatives is on break until July 5, which guarantees delaying the possibility of any passage of the bill into law until after the Vermont law goes into effect.


On May 4, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a “systems recognition arrangement” with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada recognizing the comparability of the U.S. and Canadian food safety systems. This is only the second time that the FDA has recognized a foreign food safety system as comparable, with the only other recognized system being New Zealand signed in 2012. However, similar systems recognition arrangements are underway between the FDA and Australia and the European Commission.

The 7th and final Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementing rule is finally here and most companies will have three years to comply.  On May 26, 2016, the FDA finalized the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration rule. The effective date of the rule is May 27, 2016, the date of the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.  The rule implements the “food defense” provisions of the FSMA and aims to protect the public health from intentional adulteration acts, such as acts of terrorism targeting the food supply.

Added Sugars are in. Calories From Fat are out. And would the typical American eat the package of food in one sitting? If so, those Americans will now know from the label what they will consume in that sitting.