October 25, 2018
Federal agencies provided a roadmap for their regulatory actions in the coming months, as part of the government’s regular Unified Regulatory Agenda. Several of the planned regulations are important to the egg and egg products industry:
- The Food Safety and Inspection Service expects to publish a final HACCP regulation for egg products in May 2019.
- The Food and Drug Administration will issue a proposed rule that will include “edits to the definition of farm,” though no date is specified. This proposal is likely to address certain farm ownership and control situations (including some relevant to egg farms) concerning the agency announced enforcement discretion some months ago. (As long as an operation is a “farm,” it is exempt from most provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act.)
- FDA will also propose to modify how the claim “healthy” can be used on product labels. The agency said its proposal will “be consistent with current nutrition science and federal dietary guidelines” and should be published in March 2019.
- The Agricultural Marketing Service plans to finalize rules for bioengineered food (“GMO”) disclosure in November 2018.
- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will propose enhancements to current animal disease tracking and reporting rules to “compartmentalize” animal disease outbreaks in other countries and consolidate recognition procedures for official testing laboratories.
The dates given in the regulatory agenda are always estimates and often move farther into the future. However, the newly-issued agenda suggests that late 2018 and 2019 will be an important time for UEP to engage with federal agencies to advocate policies that benefit egg farmers and processors.