Getting Serious About Food Traceability

Mark Canes

As mentioned in a previous blog post, governments and regulatory bodies are putting more and more pressure on individual companies to take proactive measures surrounding food traceability to help manage product recalls.  Unfortunately though, it seems that these governing bodies have not been enforcing food and medical traceability initiatives which has led to a recent lawsuit between two consumer groups and the US Food and Drug Administration and White House Office of Management and Budget.  Consumers are now getting involved by not only demanding companies properly track all products but that regulatory bodies actually enforce product traceability guidelines.

The suit comes as a result of the US government’s delay in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in January 2011.  The official complaint is that the FDA has failed to put 7 food safety regulations into effect and that the act has been “unlawfully delayed for more than a year and a half”.  This raises serious concerns for the safety of consumers, especially in the wake of recent food recalls this past year including Indiana cantaloupes that have been recalled as a result of 204 confirmed illnesses reported in 22 states[1].

The lawsuit hopes to impose a deadline on the FDA to fully enact FSMA regulations and it also hopes to prevent the OMB from delaying the FDA’s compliance.  Both consumer groups (the Center for Environmental Health and the Center for Food Safety) are outraged that “lifesaving laws” have not been enforced and that food traceability is still not being seen as a priority.

Hopefully this lawsuit will result in FSMA enforceability and as a result businesses implementing processes and technologies to track food products and help decrease the number of food recalls seen every year.

 For more information on food traceability, register for our upcoming webinar!