The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the withdrawal of the 2005 proposed rule, titled, Food Standards; General Principles and Food Standards Modernization. The decision was made in response to comments received both in 2005 after publication of the proposed rule, and in 2020 after FDA reopened the comment period for the proposed rule.

The proposed rule, published jointly with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS), aimed to establish a set of general principles for FDA and FSIS to use when considering whether to establish, revise, or eliminate a food standard.

In public meetings held by FDA in July 2018 and September 2019, stakeholders expressed that, due to changes that have occurred in manufacturing, food technology, market trends, and nutrition science since 2005, FDA should solicit new data and information to determine next steps for the proposed rule. As a result of such feedback, FDA reopened the comment period in February 2020, for FDA-specific aspects of the proposed rule.

Many of the comments submitted suggested that the general principles be revised and consolidated to make the principles easier to understand and implement. FDA and FSIS agreed, and are withdrawing the proposed rule to reconsider how best to approach general principles and food standards modernization in alignment with the Federal Meat Inspection Act; the Poultry Products Inspection Act; and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

A joint FDA and USDA effort to publish a new proposed rule on principles for food standards modernization was included in the Fall Unified Agenda.