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IDFA Urges FDA To Finalize 2009 Proposal To Update Yogurt Standards Of Identity
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) last Friday urged the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move forward with finalizing a 2009 proposed rule to update the existing federal standards of identity for yogurt.
In January of 2009, FDA had published a proposed rule to revoke its regulations on the standards of identity for lowfat yogurt and nonfat yogurt and amend the standard of identity for yogurt.
In a February 20, 2015 letter to FDA, IDFA also provided comments on advances in the dairy industry and slight changes to its thinking since it submitted its original comments on the proposed rule back in 2009.
“Existing standards for nonfat yogurt, lowfat yogurt, and yogurt are outdated and need modernization to reflect and accommodate new processing methods and technologies for food ingredients, as well as current consumer preferences and marketing trends,” IDFA stated. “This critical need supports the government’s longstanding goal in making food standards easier to establish, use, and reflect current trends.”
In explaining the “great need” for modernization of the yogurt standard of identity, IDFA noted that the provisions of the current standard cannot be found in a single place. The existing standards were codified by a 1981 final rule, of which several provisions were stayed indefinitely in 1982.
“The stay remains in effect to this date, meaning that the codified language does not represent the version of the standard that is currently in effect,” IDFA said.
FDA’s 2009 proposed rule would consolidate the yogurt standards into a single regulation and make other changes consistent with the 1982 stay, IDFA said. The agency indicated in that 2009 proposal that it “intends to consider the exercise of its enforcement discretion on a case-by-case basis when yogurt products are in compliance with the standard of identity proposed in this proposed rule and when the labeling of such products is not otherwise false or misleading.”
Thus, IDFA explained, FDA permits a manufacturer to market yogurt under either the codified 1981 standard, as modified by the 1982 stay, or Send me more information.