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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a change in regulations that would require that it be notified of any food or beverage being brought into the US -- a change that could result in it receiving as many as 20,000 such notices a day.

The rule change would not affect personal travelers packing food in their baggage, nor would it cover meat, poultry and egg products, which already are being checked by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Part of the goal is to aid terrorism-related inspections.

“The intent of the bioterrorism rules is clear – to protect the safety and integrity of the U.S. food supply,” said Grocery Manufacturers of America Vice President of Federal Affairs Susan Stout. “The FDA has taken considerable time and effort to draft these proposed regulations.”

“We will have serious questions regarding the practical implementation of the final rules,” Stout said. “GMA and its members share the responsibility with the FDA to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply. In that vein, we will continue to work closely with the FDA to ensure that the bioterrorism rules are workable without impeding the flow of U.S. foods and beverages.”
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