Survey: Most unaware of new FDA terrorism regulations

| 11/4/2003

New U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations designed to protect against terrorist threats to the food supply face massive non-compliance when they go into effect next month, a new survey indicates.

More than 200 food industry executives were polled last month regarding the new registration, record-keeping and reporting requirements, which go into effect Dec. 12, 2003.

Non-compliance could mean thousands of food shipments being held at the U.S. border, a potentially disastrous situation for importers of perishables and for truckers facing lengthy delays.

Conducted among readers of Latin Trade Magazine, the survey found more than 50 percent of food industry executives remain unaware of the existence of the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, which expands FDA’s oversight of the food industry. Latin America-based executives are somewhat more aware of the requirements, with awareness at 58 percent, the survey said.

The new regulations require all food producers, processors, packers and shippers to register with the FDA, and require non-U.S. companies to designate a registered agent in the United States. Another controversial provision requires prior notice of all food shipments entering the United States.