Even during the summer doldrums, the FDA has been hard at work. On July 26, 2013, the agency issued two new proposed rules to improve the safety of imported foods and dietary supplements. The new rules will make importers more legally accountable for verifying the safety of imported foods and food ingredients. It will also establish standards for third-party audits of foreign food producers.  It is advisable to monitor this rulemaking process on the FDA website during the comment period.

On August 2, 2013, the FDA issued its long-awaited final rule for “gluten-free” labeling. The new rule sets measurable criteria for gluten-free claims, allows foods that are naturally free from gluten to be so labeled (a major change from the original FDA guidance), provides clarity on cross-contamination issues, and provides that foods which violate the rule will be considered as “misbranded.” The new rule is posted on the FDA website. FDA Food Guidance Documents

If you need specific guidance, contact Susie Hoeller at Susie@hoellerlaw.com. Susie has been a colleague since 2008. She has aided many of my specialty food clients with labeling issues, recalls and combating the FDA. www.hoellerlaw.com