FDA Releases Guidance Docs On FSMA Exemptions

If you are a food producer covered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for low-acid canned foods, juice HACCP, or seafood HACCP, how do the rules that implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) affect you? To answer this question, the FDA has published three guidance documents to help producers of food commodities covered by these earlier regulations understand which parts of the FSMA rules apply to them and how the FSMA rules may affect their operations.

The FDA’s HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and low-acid canned foods (LACF) regulations were in place long before the FSMA rules became final. The FDA’s HACCP regulations for juice and seafood processors require processors to perform a hazard analysis and develop a HACCP plan to address biological, chemical, and physical hazards; monitor the conditions and practices; and make corrections as needed. The FDA’s LACF regulation addresses biological hazards such as Clostridium botulinum unique to such foods, which include canned vegetables.

The FSMA recognizes that the FDA has previously established regulations that are specific to seafood, juice, and LACF, and so some exemptions have been made in the FSMA rules for these products. However, there are still some requirements in the FSMA regulations that apply to processors of the seafood, juice, and LACF products.

The new guidance documents aim to help industry identify these exemptions and understand the juice, seafood, and LACF regulations in connection with some of the new FSMA requirements.  Read the guidance documents by clicking below.

Press release

Register Now For MWFPA’s Sporting Clay Challenge

Registration is now open for MWFPA’s annual Sporting Clay Challenge. Last year’s event raised $6,000 enabling us to provide $18,000 in scholarships to the children of association members pursuing their post-secondary education.
This year’s event will take place at the Milford Hills Hunt Club in Johnson Creek, WI on October 5, 2017.  Following is the day’s itinerary:
10:00 a.m.
Registration/Shooter Warm-Up (warm-up is optional & paid by participant)
11:45 a.m.
Lunch
12:45 p.m.
Safety Review
1:00 p.m.
Clay Shoot
 3:30 p.m.
Reception/Awards
Register now! To view the event brochure and a listing of sponsorship opportunities, click here.  See you at the Milford Hills Hunt Club!

MWFPA, Great Lakes Legal Foundation Files Brief In Tetra Tech Case

The Great Lakes Legal Foundation (GLLF) has filed an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Tetra Tech Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). The brief was filed on behalf of MWFPA and 10 other Wisconsin associations, including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

The Supreme Court specifically requested parties brief the constitutionality of courts providing deference to state agencies on questions of law. GLLF’s amicus brief argues that Wisconsin courts afford regulatory agencies too much deference to interpret statues that define agencies’ own power and reach. Under the Wisconsin and federal constitution, it is exclusively the duty of judges, not unelected agency officials, to say what the law is. When courts grant deference to an agency’s interpretation of the law, the predisposed bias of agencies poses unconstitutional, systematic disadvantage to the other party in the dispute.

In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required several paper companies to remediate the environmental impact of harmful chemicals into the Fox River. The collective group of paper companies formed Fox River Remediation, which hired Tetra Tech to perform the remediation. Tetra Tech subsequently hired Stuyvesant Dredging, Inc. (SDI) as a subcontractor. DOR audited the entities and found that Tetra Tech owed sales tax on the portion of its sale for services to Fox River Remediation on SDI’s activities, and Fox River Remediation owed use tax on the purchase of remediation services from Tetra Tech on SDI’s activities.

The entities filed petitions for redetermination with DOR, then with the Tax Appeals Commission. A Wisconsin circuit court, then appeals court upheld the commission’s ruling, giving great weight deference to DOR’s interpretation of tax statutes. The case is now being appealed again at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Missing Link in Global Food Security

The 2018 Senate Agriculture Appropriations Report notes that global food production will have to increase by 60 percent to meet the needs of 9 billion people forecast for 2050. The report then calls upon USDA Secretary Perdue “to take a leadership role in working with other relevant departments and agencies in establishing a Federal interagency task force to meet the food and nutrition challenges of 2050, and to align domestic and global programs related to food production and food and nutrition security to meet these challenges.” Read more from Agri-Pulse.

Rauner Calls Special Session Over IL School Funding

For the second time this summer, IL Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced he’s ordering lawmakers back to Springfield on Wed. for another special legislative session. This time it’s over a school funding bill that’s passed both chambers but has yet to be sent to him.

As a reminder, there was a poison pill inserted in the budget bill that passed in the beginning of July that would require the school bill to be signed into law in order for K-12 education to get their full FY appropriation. The Gov. has expressed his intention to amendatorily veto the bill when it reaches his desk due to the pension relief language that was inserted into the bill at the behest of the City of Chicago.