Two historic food defense events occurred this September. These events specifically deal with Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA), an increasingly more common issue that we vigilantly monitor. On September 10th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the final Preventive Controls for Human Food rule that includes the anticipated regulation on EMA. And on September 21st, a former food industry executive was sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak in tainted peanuts. This is the strongest sentence given in an adulteration case that lead to food-borne illness. This case sets an important precedent that intentional adulteration will not be tolerated.
The Preventive Controls in Human Food final rule details that EMA should be considered in a food safety plan and must be addressed through hazard analysis and preventive controls or through a supply chain program. Clearly the focus of the rule is on hazards that have the potential to cause public health harm (illness or injury) as FDA indicates that EMA unrelated to food safety is outside of the rule.
These two events substantiate our collective work to increase awareness of EMA that is now recognized in the law. Additionally, it creates an opportunity to advance our collaborative work on assessment and mitigation of economically motivated adulteration.
Want to learn more about what we are doing in EMA? Check out our websites and tools on EMA/Food Fraud. Interested in partnering on a project? Give us a call! We have a lot of effort dedicated to tackling EMA and removing fraudulent food from the market.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Amy Kircher, DrPH is the Director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, A Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Follow Dr. Kircher on Twitter @FoodDefender for the latest news and information on what is happening in the food protection and defense world!