February 3, 2022
The FDA updated a list of guidance documents it plans to issue this year, notably adding one that will describe how plant-based alternatives to animal-derived foods may be labeled.
The list includes several topics that could directly or indirectly affect the egg industry:
- Premarket Consultation on Cultured Animal Cell Foods: Draft Guidance for Industry
- Could provide guardrails on the procedures for preparing to market lab-grown protein foods, potentially including egg products
- Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation (Layers with Access to Areas Outside the Poultry House): Questions and Answers Regarding the Final Rule; Guidance for Industry
- Highly relevant to the pending Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices proposed rule, now under pre-publication review at the Office of Management and Budget
- Labeling of Plant-based Milk Alternatives; Draft Guidance for Industry
- Precedents set for dairy could extend to eggs and other animal products; may be issued before the corresponding document on animal-derived foods (see next item)
- Labeling of Plant-Based Alternatives to Animal-Derived Foods; Draft Guidance for Industry
- Likely focused on plant-based burgers and similar products, but would probably apply to plant-based egg imitators as well
- Questions and Answers About Dietary Guidance Statements in Food Labeling; Draft Guidance for Industry
- May clarify what nutrition statements can be made on egg cartons
Guidance documents are not regulations and cannot change their terms. However, the FDA uses guidance documents to clarify regulations and affected industries tend to give them deference. The agency said all these guidance documents and others are expected by December 2022.