The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the largest food and beverage trade association in the world, recently announced their latest effort to regain wavering consumer trust in large-scale manufactured foods. The initiative is a five-part plan to ease consumer and regulator’s access to information about the safety of ingredients used in commercial food products. The plan centers on increasing transparency surrounding the decision making process regarding Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) determinations for ingredients, preservatives and food additives. The issue of GRAS ingredients has been widely criticized by consumer advocates and health groups for years over the lack of FDA oversight over ingredients classified as GRAS.
The GMA has asserted their plan to “take the lead” in defining new industry wide standards which will provide clear guidance on how food producers should conduct ingredient safety assessments. They assert that starting next year, disclosure of ingredient safety verification procedures will be documented in a Publicly Available Standard (PAS) database managed and developed by a third party operation. The PAS will allow consumers access to information such as data from scientific trials and other technical materials.
While industry officials suggest that stricter regulations would not only create “cumbersome and time-consuming”regulation but would restrict food producers’ ability to compete, they claim to understand the need for consumer reassurance. As such, many large scale food producers are moving to provide more information about their use of additives, and how thousands of chemicals and other ingredients in processed foods are deemed safe for human consumption. It remains unclear if there will be any major implications for food producers, however there will likely be some modification in the production process to help better facilitate ingredient usage and testing.
As food product safety increases as a hot topic for Americans and consumers become increasingly inquisitive about nutrition and ingredient safety, Michigan food producers face a rising number of unique risk exposures. At Capital Insurance Agency we offer customizable business insurance solutions to mitigate those risks. Our agency has developed extensive expertise regarding the insurance needs of a wide range of food industry operation. From growers and packers to manufacturers and warehousing distributors, our Michigan Food Producers Insurance specialists can provide any operation with the right solutions to protect their assets. Give us a call today at 888 296 0418 for more information.