By Jeff Chilton, Alchemy Systems
As the Obama administration winds down, it is worthwhile to look back at the administration’s food policies and their continuing impact on the food industry. The past eight years have seen a robust regulatory agenda, resulting in thousands of pages of new requirements for the food industry. Food safety initiatives generally receive good bi-partisan support, so the political environment has been ideal to move a broad agenda forward to advance food safety with the goal of safeguarding public health. The new regulations will continue to impact the food industry for years to come with various compliance dates going into effect from 2016 through 2020, depending on the specific rule and the size of the business.
The passage of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was the most significant policy development of the past eight years. This law has been described as the most sweeping reform in food safety regulations in more than 70 years. After five years, from publication of the law to release of the proposed rules, with comment periods and, eventually, publication of the Final Rules in 2015, the time came for the industry to initiate compliance efforts in 2016. FSMA includes several different regulations, often referred to as the seven pillars