Crystal Springs Consulting can help you develop the sources, procedures and message to fully capitalize upon the growing demand for authenticity and honesty.
Navigating USDA and FDA
Crystal Springs Consulting, Inc. helps companies navigate the federal regulatory system. Our expertise will assure that your products, and your labels meet both your customers' expectations, and the regulators' requirements. We have particular expertise in working with the following regulatory agencies.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
The mission of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is to facilitate the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products.
AMS administers the USDA's voluntary labeling marketing and grading programs. These programs are generally administered under a user-fee basis. AMS programs have fairly stringent requirements and rely on third party audits (often administered by AMS auditors) to assure compliance.
AMS also administers several programs to assist producers with marketing.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
If you have a health issue involving live animals, it will likely fall under the purview of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS is a multi-faceted agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities.
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
Any food product containing meat or poultry ingredients passes through the regulatory requirements of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Just as APHIS is responsible for health issues in live animals, the FSIS has responsibility for health and public safety at the time of slaughter, and as the meat is processed.
If you plan on developing your own marketing label for commercial meat sales, you will need to get approval from the FSIS Labeling and Program Delivery Service. Food product labels are required to comply with specific regulations regarding nutritional information, safe handling instructions, accurate descriptions of ingredients, and even the type sizes used for the trade name.
Once you have developed your proposed label, you will need to submit a formal application to the FSIS Labeling and Program Delivery Service.
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is responsible for ensuring the safety and accurate labeling of nearly all U.S. food products, execpt for meat and poultry. However, products cntainining minimal amounts of meat or poultry are regulated by the FDA under a Memorandum of Understanding with USDA.
CFSAN extablishes and maintains food standards and regulates allowable labeling terminology. CFSAN also sets the requriements for nutrition labeling of food.
American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
AAFCO is a non-profit organization comprised of state feed officials. This organization technically has no regulatory authority, but state regulators and the FDA generally follow the AAFCO "Model Regulations" to regulate pet food and animal feed products.