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New Call For Public Comment Regarding Foodstuff Products

Author:Mr Ignacio Gillmore, Cristina Busquets and Alejandra Del Río

In the last few weeks, the Ministry of Health solicited public comments on three proposals which would amend relevant regulations in connection to foodstuff products, as detailed below:

  1. Proposal for the modification of Article 105 of the Food Health and Safety Regulation

    The first public comment process will be open between January 12th and March 13th, 2018, and is available here.

    This initiative proposes the amendment of Article 105 of the Food Health and Safety Regulation (RSA) in order to, "introduce into the regulation the obligation, criteria and conditions for recall of products from the market and their eventual alternative use". The proposed regulation sets forth that when a foodstuff product qualifies as corrupted, adulterated, falsified or contaminated in accordance to the provisions of the RSA (Article 98 and subsequent), and has been, "distributed in the market without the direct control of the manufacturer or the importer, either the manufacturer, the importer or the holder of the products shall notify the health authority".

    In this context, the importer, manufacturer, packer, distributor and seller, as applicable, shall recall the product(s) as a preventive measure while the health authority analyzes the situation. The health authority shall authorize the commercialization of products again if it deems that there is no public health threat. On the other hand, if the authority determines that the product qualifies as corrupted, adulterated, falsified or contaminated, such product may be destined to non-human food industrial use, insofar as: (i) it is subject to a prior denaturing process, (ii) such process is authorized by the health authority, and (iii) it does not entail reintroducing a hazard into the food chain from the primary product through consumption. If these conditions are not met, or if the owner of the products deems it necessary, the product must be destroyed. The disposal process also requires the authorization of the health authority.

    Additionally, if the health authority determines that there is a risk to consumers' health, the proposal sets forth an obligation for the manufacturer or importer to inform, "consumers of the situation and the reasons for the recall in an effective and accurate manner".

  2. Proposal for the amendment of paragraph II "labeling and advertisement" of the RSA for the regulation of healthy or functional messages in food

    This period for public comment will be open between January 15th...

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