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Food Laws in the USA
|Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act|
|Department of Agriculture: Food Safety and Inspection Service|
|Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act|
The FDA is the legislative organ in the USA - www.fda.org. The latest version of the laws can be examined on the homepage. They form part of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR). The area of food and pharmaceuticals is primarily described in Section 21 of the CFR.
It is based on the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which was passed in 1938.
The FDA is important internationally because its regulations also apply to imports. Everything sold in the USA must comply with the CFR.
Section 21, Part 177 of the CFR also deals with indirect food additives, i.e everything that comes into contact with food. It focuses, in particular, on polymers. The FDA has produced a positive list. Materials are classified as completely harmless if they are recognized as GRAS ( General Recognized As Safe). The FDA also does not issue any certificates for individual products. The manufacturer of a product must confirm that he produced it in accordance with the regulations of the FDA.
Part 172 also deals with additives, but this time direct additives. Since it must always be borne in mind that minute parts of plastic materials become detached, this Part is therefore also relevant.
Section 21, Part 11 of the CFR deals with document security and prescribes protection against external interventions in the recorded process data or who intervened in the documentation and when and in what manner. Protection must take place both mechanically and electronically, e.g. through passwords and an electronic signature.
Compliance is monitored, for example, by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.www.fsis.usda.gov. It is part of the Department of Agriculture.
3-A issues implementation proposals for the area of design, but also for the material to be used. In order to obtain the certificate, it is no longer sufficient to satisfy design requirements. In future, 3-A will also require documentary evidence that production has been carried out according to the regulations. Verification takes place in the form of an audit by an independent institute.
The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act was passed in 2003 in order to protect the general public against spoilt or contaminated food. The aim of this Act is to ensure quick and complete retraceability, especially in the case of imported products.