NFPA Calls FDA Detention Authority “A Powerful Tool for Protecting Public Health, But One That Should Rarely Be Used”

( Washington , D.C. ) – In response to the announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of final regulations for the administrative detention of food for human or animal consumption, under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, John Cady, President and CEO of the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:

“FDA’s detention authority is a powerful tool for protecting the public. However, the Agency should activate these regulations only when other avenues of preventing the product from moving into commerce are not available, including voluntary holding of the product by a responsible party. NFPA strongly believes FDA’s use of administrative detention authority should rarely be used. We believe that the request for a voluntary recall still represents the most viable option for a majority of these situations, with detention being considered as a second option.

“Prior to this new detention authority, the food industry has demonstrated the desire and ability to act quickly and responsively to prevent the public from being exposed to potentially harmful foods. This is demonstrated by industry’s voluntary cooperation in Class I recall situations and self-initiated actions that occur without FDA involvement. It has been and remains in the best interest of the food industry to take responsible and timely action to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply.

“NFPA applauds FDA for moving forward with these final regulations. The Agency clearly considered input from various stakeholders, and made changes to enhance the workability of the regulations.”