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Chart: Third-Party Certification Pace Setters

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA's draft guidance on using third-party certification programs for food safety shows some dietary supplement companies are trendsetters.

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Third-Party Certification Still Needs FDA, Congressional Buy-In – Attorneys

While FDA and lawmakers have shown little inclination to trust third-party auditors as proxies for agency oversight, food industry experts say the agency needs third-party certification to help tackle its massive inspection workload

Third-party certification guidance

FDA announces the availability of guidance for industry on third-party food safety certification programs in a Jan. 16 Federal Register notice. The guidance is a step toward the agency's "future recognition of one or more voluntary third-party certification programs for particular product types," FDA says. A draft version of the guidance published in July 2008 seemed to validate the decisions of some food and dietary supplement firms to seek certification for their facilities from industry trade groups (1"The Tan Sheet" July 14, 2008, p. 13)

Third-party certification for food

FDA requests comments on the existence and use of third-party certification programs for foods, according to an April 2 Federal Register notice. "An increasing number of firms that sell foods to the public, such as retailers and food service providers, are requesting that their suppliers become certified as meeting food (and feed) safety and quality standards as a condition of doing business," FDA says. President Bush's interagency group to develop import safety recommendation said voluntary certification programs could allow products to enter the U.S. more quickly (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 12, 2007, p. 6). Comments are due by May 19...





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