FDA needs to revise its constricted approval process to provide "an efficient, effective and timely process for dealing with health claims for foods and beverages," GMA told the agency in comments on the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, adding that the First Amendment prohibits FDA from acting as a "national censor." Both GMA and NFPA urged the agency to be more flexible in accepting authoritative statements to support health claims by a wider group of "federal scientific bodies." Currently, only two groups can make authoritative statements: a federal government scientific body with responsibility for public health protection or research directly related to nutrition (such as the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or the National Academy of Sciences and its subdivisions.
To best profit from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), North American manufacturers should be aiming at one product, one package and one label for U.S., Mexican and Canadian markets, according to the North American Alliance, which includes the trade associations GMA, Food and Consumer Product Manufacturers of Canada and ConMexico.
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a chemical warning label bill patterned after California's Proposition 65. Testifying in opposition before the state Joint Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee, GMA and NFPA both argued strongly against the bill.
"For certain IV bags, we're looking to replace PVC. That would happen gradually, on a product-by-product basis because of the long period of time required for regulatory submission and approval," according to Deborah Spak, senior manager in communications for Baxter Intl.