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first_img The FDA has extended the public comment period on the prior notice interim final rule through July 13, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner, told the health subcommittee Jun 25. The final rule will be published in March 2005. Historically, the FDA inspected less than 1% of imports. That percentage has doubled. FDA inspectors conducted 78,659 examinations of imported food shipments in fiscal year 2003, according to Herndon. The number far exceeded the agency’s goal of 48,000 field inspections for the year and was more than six times the 12,000 inspections conducted in fiscal 2001. Food importers give the new rules mixed reviews. “What we initially thought was 450,000, we’re thinking is more likely 250,000,” Herndon said. It’s also likely that some companies aren’t aware they need to register or that they don’t believe the rules apply to them. The notices allow agency officials to judge which shipments need inspection. The food security rules are jointly enforced by the FDA and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Despite increased inspections, few shipments have been detained. Since the prior-notice law took effect in December 2003, FDA and customs inspectors have detained 12 shipments because of concerns about food contamination or filth. None of the shipments was found to be a threat to people or animals, Herndon said. Importers must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide 2 to 8 hours’ notice of food shipments. The FDA has been receiving advance notice of about 150,000 shipments each week, according to the agency’s compliance summary information. About 99.3% of those notices are completed on time, a marked improvement from earlier this year, Michael Herndon, a public affairs specialist with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told CIDRAP News yesterday. “We’re going back now and examining to make sure the prior-notice information is accurate,” Herndon added. Stout also asked that the FDA eliminate requirements that food and beverage companies track lot or production codes for each retail product. If the food supply is threatened, Stout said, companies and retailers remove all the suspect products from shelves. The new system has led to more targeted inspections and prompted some criticism from the food industry. But as with a student’s homework assignment, filling in the blanks doesn’t always mean giving a right answer. Although most notices are complete, the information isn’t always accurate. “While FDA made many improvements to the proposed regulations, there is still room for more, especially with concern to prior notice and record keeping,” said Susan Stout, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, in congressional testimony Jun 25. Addressing the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she requested that the FDA provide feedback on incomplete notices. Registration remains a stumbling block. By Jun 24, only 208,277 foreign and domestic companies had registered with the FDA. By some FDA estimates, twice that many businesses need to register; others say the estimates have been adjusted. Herndon said Jun 29 that the FDA continues to work with importers to educate them about registration and completing the prior-notice forms. The FDA went gently into the new rules by emphasizing education. Now regulators are moving toward the enforcement end of the spectrum. Jun 30 (CIDRAP News) – As federal agencies near the Aug 12 deadline for full enforcement of the food security provisions of the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, authorities say the food industry is getting better at following the new rules. Inspectors also have more sophisticated tools to target suspect imports. When companies notify the FDA that a shipment is arriving, agency employees can run that information through up to 100 checks, looking for red flags such as easily contaminated foods, specific countries of origin, or a product that matches other intelligence information, an FDA spokesman said. “Even though the bigger picture is to protect Americans from bioterrorism, we’re still not in the business of impeding commerce,” he said. Amy Becker is a full-time reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a freelance reporter for CIDRAP. She will enter the University of Minnesota’s graduate program in public health administration and policy in fall 2004.last_img read more

first_imgVernon, IN—The current closure on S.R. 7 in Jennings County will move north on or after Wednesday, October 16, weather permitting, as crews begin work on the fourth and final box culvert between Vernon and the Jefferson County line.The road will close 5.71 miles north of the county line on Wednesday, just south of the S.R. 3/S.R. 7 junction near Vernon for box culvert maintenance and repair. The road will reopen at the previous culvert location, where crews have been working since mid-September.The official state detour for the closure is S.R. 3 to S.R. 256. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and use caution near the work zone. The project is currently expected to be completed by October 31, 2019. All work is weather dependent.last_img read more

first_imgMichael Blygen’s hat-trick rescued Boys’ Town from embarrassment against lower leaguers Maxfield Park, in their Locker Room Sports KSAFA/Jackie Bell Knockout game at Collie Smith Complex yesterday.The home team surrendered a two-goal lead to the Major League outfit, which came back from two-nil down to level at 2-2. But two late goals from the former Tivoli Gardens striker saw the home team win 4-2.After a dour and goalless first half, Boys’ Town went in front just before the hour (59th) when Blygen flicked the ball over the Maxfield goalkeeper and it fell into the goal. Minutes later, Chavanney Willis made it 2-0 when he latched on to a through ball and slotted home.However, the visitors responded minutes later when Romaine Mullington was on the end of a good build-up to tap the ball past the Boys’ Town custodian. And before Boys’ Town realised what hit them, Nico Reynolds, Maxfield’s best player, equalised with a rasping shot from the edge of the box.Maxfield nearly went ahead in the 80th minute, but referee Carvel Banton adjudged that the ball had not crossed the goalline. Then on the counter, Boys’ Town went straight up field and Blygen capitalised on a loose ball to make it 3-2.The former Humble Lion and Rivoli player sealed the win two minutes from time when he broke away and calmly slotted home.Blygen spent the second-half of last season in the Dominican Republic, but missed most of that campaign through injury.”So far in the Premier League, things have been very disappointing. I hope this will be a stepping stone for me to get more playing time and deliver for my team and try to help them make the top four,” he said.”Last season, I joined Boys’ Town in January, then went on a trial overseas in Dominica Republic. I made the team and played three matches, but injury got the better of me. But this season I am back, so I am just taking it a step at a time and doing my best and see what happens.”So I hope this hat-trick gives coach more confidence in me because I have always worked hard, but the team has been up and down; we are not being consistent. So I hope that this is a stepping stone for me to get time on the pitch,” he reasoned.Coach Andrew Price is also hoping this is a turning point for his striker.”I hope that this will be a catalyst for him (Blygen) to assist us in the third round. Boys’ Town always play better football in the third round, and we are preparing ourselves assiduously to really make a good run and see where it leads us,” he declared.Yesterday’s resultsBarbican 1 UWI 0Waterhouse 2 Maverley/Hughenden 1Boys’ Town 4 Maxfield 2Today’s games3 p.m. August Town vs Bull Bay at UWI Mona Bowl3 p.m. Olympic Gardens vs Real Mona at Cling Cling Oval3 p.m. Rockfort vs Cavalier at Rockfort3 p.m. Cooreville Gardens vs Arnett Gardens at Duhaney Park7 p.m. Harbour View vs Tivoli Gardens at Harbour View Stadiumlast_img read more