Since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was enacted in December 2010, GMA has been working towards implementation by establishing a variety of working groups and committees, offering a multitude of workshop and webinar training for members, and working closely with FDA to ensure appropriate development of guidance documents and rules for the future.
To set the stage for implementation, GMA has created an organizational structure overseen by the Science and Regulatory Affairs (SRAC) Executive Committee. Through this structure, GMA has created a variety of working groups and steering committees governed by GMA members. Each working group and committee is focused on different aspects of the following: providing scientific information to the FDA as they work to develop new FDA rules, regulations and guidance documents; training GMA members and others to comply with new FDA rules and guidance documents; and ensuring that the import provisions of the FSMA are consistent with our international regulatory system.
With the large number of working groups and committees collaborating, the Food Safety Modernization Task Force has been established as the primary communication mechanism and includes representatives from government affairs, scientific and regulatory affairs, industry affairs and other trade associations. On June 23, 2011, GMA launched its first ever SharePoint site - an electronic portal that provides the FSMA Task Force with easy, organized access to the vast amount of materials, documents, and other information being generated.
GMA has coordinated a variety of both face-to-face and virtual meetings with FDA on the various provisions of the law and is working with the Alliance for a Stronger FDA to seek additional appropriated funding for FDA. In particular, GMA is working with other FDA-regulated industries to oppose cuts to FDA funding during Congressional consideration of the FY 2011 and FY 2012 spending bills.
In the coming months, GMA will continue to host workshops and webinars to ensure that FDA is relying upon current food safety science as the agency works with GMA to develop new rules and guidance documents and will continue to provide public testimony and written comments at FDA initiated public meetings.