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USDA Issues Final Rule Setting a Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling Regulations

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued a final rule establishing January 1, 2022 “as the uniform compliance date for new meat and poultry product labeling regulations that will be issued between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020.”  Any rules published during this two year timeframe will specify the January 1, 2022 compliance date and “products introduced into commerce on or after January 1, 2022” will need to comply with the rule.  If special circumstances dictate that a compliance date other than January 1, 2022 be set, USDA will publish the appropriate compliance date in the rule.

  • Since December 2004, FSIS has established via final rule seven prior uniform compliance dates spaced two years apart.  Initial rulemakings included a proposed rule and a comment period, but in the 2007 final rule, FSIS determined that further notice and comment rulemaking was unnecessary.  USDA has invited comment on each of the rules, including this one, but no comments were received for the 2014 or 2016 version of the rules.

  • This rule is meant to help industry plan for a consolidated labeling change rather than having to make multiple labeling changes within a small timeframe rather than complying with staggered compliance dates for multiple FSIS rules.  FDA announced a similar uniform compliance date of January 1, 2020 for food labeling regulations issued during calendar years 2017 and 2018.

  • We do not expect the USDA bioengineered (BE) food final rule to be impacted by the FSIS Uniform Compliance Date rule as the BE rule is being promulgated by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  Also, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has concluded its review of the BE rule, so we would expect publication of the BE rule in the coming weeks.

 

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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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