FTRAC reviews issues on additives, labeling, allergens

by Jeff Gelski
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MANHATTAN, KAS. — Food and Drug Administration activities regarding melamine and the food additive azodicarbonamide were reviewed Oct. 28 at a meeting of the Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee of the American Bakers Association. More than 40 FTRAC members gathered at AIB International in Manhattan for a full day of discussions on issues ranging from food safety and labeling to nutrition issues.

Gregory O. Noonan of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the F.D.A. offered the update on melamine and azodicarbonamide. Len Heflich, FTRAC chairman and senior director of operations for Weston Foods Inc., said the A.B.A. has made progress on a number of fronts but that labeling, nutrition and food additive issues will remain a focus in 2009.

Cindy McMahan, food regulatory manager with McKee Foods Corp., offered a comprehensive allergy update.

"We expect an in-depth allergen dialogue this year," said Lee Sanders, A.B.A. senior vice-president of government relations and public affairs. "This presentation was timely and pushes this issue forward among committee members."

FTRAC agreed to reactivate the allergen subcommittee. The FTRAC meeting also included a roundtable discussion of concerns going into 2009 and the 111th Congress.

"Many of the anticipated priorities and issues of concern greatly depend on the Obama administration’s vision for the future and on who will be selected to lead various agencies of the new administration," Ms. Sanders said.

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