Welcome to the latest edition of HPM’s monthly wrap up of food, beverage and supplement news, including regulations, guidances, events, and whatever else is catching our eye. It’s been quite a January, hasn’t it?
Food & Beverage
- Transition: As of this writing, Janet Woodcock is Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs; Norris Cochran is Acting Secretary of Health & Human Services; and Kevin Shea is Acting Secretary of Agriculture.
- Whither regulation of bioengineered animals? USDA and HHS officials signed an MOU under which USDA would take the lead on regulation of bioengineered animals intended for agricultural purposes. Then-Commissioner Hahn quickly disavowed the MOU via Twitter, thereby suggesting that the future of that initiative is uncertain.
- Another source of protein. EFSA has declared mealworms safe for human consumption. This is their first opinion on insects as a novel food and could help drive the category forward.
- Uniformity is good. The FDA announced that January 1, 2024, will be the uniform compliance date for final food labeling regulations that are issued in calendar years 2021 and 2022. This action does not change existing requirements for compliance dates contained in final rules published before January 1, 2021.
- Traceability is good too. The FDA published FAQs about the FSMA Food Traceability Proposed Rule to assist those considering submitting comments (due Feb. 21, 2021). FDA also updated its Food Traceability List to provide some clarity (without changing any of the listed foods).
- Not-so Short Form. On January 8, 2021, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announcedproposed amendments to Proposition 65 warning regulations that would limit use of the short-form version of the safe harbor warning. Check out Riëtte’s blog post for more information.
- Another try at CBD: Legislation was again introduced in Congress that would make lawful the use of hemp and its derivatives (including CBD) as dietary ingredients in a dietary supplement, provided that the supplement complies with all other applicable requirements. Hat tip to CRN, which posted the bill on its website.
- And another NAD decision on “natural”: NAD took issue with the word “natural” in a brand name used for products in which the key ingredients are not naturally derived. Other aspects of the decision also make it a worthwhile read.
More on Cannabis
- Just under the wire: As the Trump administration was winding down, the USDA finalized on Jan. 15 its regulatory framework for the Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program, which takes effect on March 22.
- Out with the old: The Biden administration sent a memo to all federal agencies on January 20 telling them to withdraw pending rules, and the Cannabidiol Enforcement Policy; Draft Guidance for Industry was
Other things that caught our eye:
- AMG v. FTC: With a legal question that led to a classic oral argument where all nine Justices refused to tip their hands on how the case will turn out, the U.S. Supreme Court this month heard oral argumentsin AMG Capital Management v. Federal Trade Commission. Karin’s blog post has more details.