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FDA proposes 30-day detention period for food shipments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDAs) latest proposal outlines procedures the agency would use to detain food shipments for up to 30 days if there is evidence they present ...


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDAs) latest proposal outlines procedures the agency would use to detain food shipments for up to 30 days if there is evidence they present “a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.”

The proposal, made in May, is slated to kick in Dec. 12, the same time as the FDA’s other food security rules, namely proposed pre-notification and pre-registration proposals.

Under the new rules, the proposed detention period would be used to prevent food from being moved while the FDA secured a court order to seize the goods.

FDA officials say the 2002 Bioterrorism Act immediately granted the agency the right to detain such shipments and the newly proposed regulation only describes how the FDA’s authority can be used.

The proposal also stipulates appeals to the detention orders would have to be filed within two days for perishable food and within 10 days for non-perishable food. Critics point to the obvious, that perishable produce held for anywhere near 30 days would be rendered useless.


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