The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced it is withdrawing the 2005 proposed rule, “Food Standards; General Principles and Food Standards Modernization,” in response to comments received in 2005 after the publication of the proposed rule and in 2020 after the FDA reopened the comment period for the proposed rule.

The proposed rule, jointly published with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), was intended, in part, to establish a set of general principles for the FDA and USDA-FSIS to use when considering whether to establish, revise, or eliminate a food standard.

In public meetings the FDA held in July 2018 and September 2019, stakeholders said that because of changes in manufacturing, food technology, market trends, and nutrition science since 2005, the FDA should solicit new data and information when determining the next steps for the proposed rule. As a result of that feedback, the FDA reopened the comment period in February 2020, for FDA-specific aspects of the proposed rule.

Many of the comments submitted suggested that the general principles be revised and consolidated to make the regulations easier to understand and implement.

The FDA and USDA-FSIS agree and are withdrawing the proposed rule to reconsider how best to approach general principles and food standards modernization to ensure any future revised general principles are consistent with the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

A joint FDA and USDA effort to publish a new proposed rule on principles for food standards modernization was included in the Fall Unified Agenda.

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