Society of Plastics Industry Plays Major Role in FDA Exemption of Food Packaging from Bioterrorism Rules

WASHINGTON, DC, USA—The Society of Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI) reports it's pleased with the US Food and Drug Adminstration's recent decision to exclude food packaging and other food-contact materials and articles from revised bioterrorism regulations announced by FDA. According to SPI, its business unit, Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee, was instrumental in achieving this victory for the food-packaging industry.

As released in amended form on October 10, 2003, FDA's regulations on facility registration and import notification now exempt all materials and articles defined as "food-contact substances" under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This definition covers all food packaging articles, all materials used to make those articles, and all other food-contact articles (such as food processing equipment and dishware, containers, and film for home and institutional use), as well the materials used to make those articles.

Says SPI's Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee executive director Susan Howe, "The result of [SPI's active involvement] is a set of FDA interim final regulations on facility registration and import notification that exempts all food-contact substances, avoiding significant costs to the plastics and other packaging industries, while safeguarding the US food supply." Though Howe does acknowledge the interm rules are subject to further public comment and possible revision, she reports she's optimistic the full consideration of this issue to date will preclude any additional burdens and other food-contact articles and materials.

For more information on bioterrorism rules and food packaging exemptions, check out Sheila Millar's Legal Briefs feature this month at Two FDA Bioterrorism Rules Exempt Food Contact Substances. Visit SPI at plasticsindustry.org.



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