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NMPF Files Comments Emphasizing the Unintended Consequences of Horizontal Standards of Identity

November 13, 2019

NMPF filed comments Nov. 12 to the Food and Drug Administration’s modernizing standards docket, emphasizing that in many cases so called “horizontal” changes to standards are unnecessary, and has potential for unintended consequences. NMPF cautioned FDA to not move forward with this proposal.

Horizontal standards, which would be guidelines applied to all current standards of identity as a way to modernize them all at once, were proposed at a meeting in September in which NMPF spoke of how some companies may use it to cheapen their food products, not make them healthier. “When dealing with hundreds of very different standards, and the intention is to improve one, such changes may not be transparent when applied to different foods, and stakeholders could be deprived of a proper opportunity to weigh in,” Clay Detlefsen, NMPF regulatory expert, said.

NMPF’s comments focused on why maintaining the standards of identity are necessary to meet consumers’ expectations of products, noting that innovation in food groups is already happening without horizontal standards. “Creating these horizontal standards could just allow companies to cheapen their products under the guise of innovation legally,” NMPF wrote. The full comments can be found here.