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The food industry got half a loaf when Congress passed the Food Quality Protection Act last year. The act required the Food & Drug Administration to establish national uniform tolerance standards for pesticides as a residual additive in processed foods.

That resulted in a switch from the zero risk standard of the Delaney Clause to a standard based on "a reasonable certainty of no harm." However, FDA has yet to update the regulations for other direct and secondary food additives; and food-contact packaging is often considered a secondary additive. Testifying before the Senate Labor Committee, Al Clausi, representing the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), called for legislation to reform Delaney to apply a "reasonable certainty of no harm" standard for such additives. The food industry also wants Congress to complete FDA reform by addressing the remainder of the policy issues, including national uniformity of safety standards and warning labels on FDA-regulated products, continued revision of Delaney, accelerated approval of food additives, and acceptance of label health claims based on leading government agencies. In April, GMA and nine other organizations representing FDA-regulated fields sent a letter to members of the House and Senate, urging completion of FDA reform this session.

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