Constituent Update - February 28, 2020
Secretary Perdue Announces New FSIS Leadership
On February 25, Secretary Perdue announced the upcoming appointment of Paul Kiecker to serve as Administrator of FSIS. Kiecker will be assuming the role following the departure of Administrator Carmen Rottenberg, who is departing federal service after a career spanning two decades. The full announcement can be found at https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2020/02/25/secretary-perdue-announces-new-fsis-leadership.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 12-14 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Labels bearing claims stating that bioengineered or genetically modified materials were not used must specify on the label if the claim is referring to the ingredients used in the product or to the feed that the animal consumed. The claim may refer to both the feed and ingredients if both statements are truthful.
In December 2019, FSIS updated the Labeling Guideline on Statements That Bioengineered or Genetically-Modified Ingredients or Animal Feed Were Not Used in Meat, Poultry or Egg Products. As discussed in this guideline, establishments may make a claim related to the absence of genetically engineered material, referred to as “negative claims,” provided the claim specifies whether the feed or the ingredients are not genetically modified and provided the claim is verified by a third-party certifier.
Any negative claim made on single-ingredient meat and poultry product must specify if the claim is referring to the feed, because these products do not contain multiple ingredients, e.g., “Chicken raised on a diet containing no genetically engineered ingredients,” or “Derived from beef fed no GMO feed.” FSIS does not consider animals to be bioengineered if they consumed feed produced from, containing, or consisting of a bioengineered substance. FSIS will not allow a single-ingredient product from a non-bioengineered animal to use a negative bioengineered claim without further clarification on the label stating that it is the feed which is not bioengineered. Negative bioengineered claims referring specially to the animal will not be permitted.
Labels of multi-ingredient products may include a negative claim that refers to the animal feed or may bear a negative claim specific to the non-meat or poultry ingredients used. Examples of negative claims specific to the ingredients that FSIS will accept include, but are not limited to: “Contains No GMO ingredients,” “No genetically modified ingredients,” “Ingredients used are not bioengineered,” or “No genetically engineered ingredients through the use of modern biotechnology.”
For additional information about making claims related to the absence of genetically modified material, including which claims require prior approval from FSIS, please see the “Labeling Guideline on Statements That Bioengineered or Genetically-Modified Ingredients or Animal Feed Were Not Used in Meat, Poultry, or Egg Products” at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling/claims-guidance/procedures-nongenetically-engineered-statement.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in its Constituent Update.
Export Requirements Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy updates were recently issued:
Docket No. FSIS-2020-0002 - Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (Sanitation SOPs and Pathogen Reduction/HACCP)
Docket No. FSIS-2020-0004 - Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection: Procedures for the Notification of New Technology and Requests for Waivers
Docket No. FSIS-2019-0029 - Notice of Request for a New Information Collection: Voluntary Destruction of Imported Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products
FSIS Notice 09-20 - Eligibility of Brazil to Export Raw Intact Beef to the United States