Short shrift

NFPA and the American Frozen Food Institute object to a proposal by FDA that it be allowed to give a “brief denial” to citizens’ petitions deemed to have no public health significance.

While sympathizing with the agency’s scarce resources, the associations say it would leave the industry without an effective means to handle commercial issues that have implications for consumer deception. For example, says NFPA, a petitioner could receive a brief denial when requesting a change in regulations such as “amending or establishing common or usual names regulations or standards of identity, quantity and fill of container regulations for foods.” Requesting changes to the current regulations is the only way companies can develop and test market new products, the groups say. NFPA suggests that FDA change its proposal to state that it can give a brief denial when a petition does not involve a significant public health or consumer protection issue.

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