Industry News

Casey Sixkiller appointed EPA Region 10 Administrator

President Biden will appoint Casey Sixkiller the administrator for EPA Region 10, which covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Sixkiller has served as the Deputy Mayor of Seattle and the Chief Operating Officer of King County, the largest county in Washington. He launched the Cherokee Nation’s Washington D.C. office and served as their lead advocate before Congress and the federal agencies. He began his public career first working for U.S. Rep Jim McDermott (D-WA) and then for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Sixkiller is a graduate of Seattle Public Schools and Dartmouth College. And, yes, he is the son of famed University of Washington quarterback Sonny Sixkiller.


Allergens - FDA Guidance Beyond the Big 9

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance (4/18/2022) describing the approach it intends to take in evaluating food allergens that are not one of the nine major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, sesame and soybeans--FDA will be adding sesame to this list effective January 1, 2023). FDA’s guidance focuses on immunoglobulin E antibody (IgE)-mediated food allergies, which are known to cause the most severe and life-threatening reactions.

The draft, Evaluating the Public Health Importance of Food Allergens Other Than the Major Food Allergens Listed in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act”, reviews the evidence that establishes a food as a cause of IgE-mediated food allergy and scientific factors, such as prevalence, severity, and allergenic potency, that the FDA would consider in evaluations. It also reviews the agency’s recommendations for identifying and evidence to determine the public health importance of a non-listed food allergen.


Washington Recycled Plastic Content Rulemaking

Washington’s new plastics law requires producers of products sold in Washington to have a minimum amount of recycled material in their containers. With respect to food processors, this applies to all beverages for human consumption, except infant formula. Brand owners must register with Ecology by May 18. On April 14, Ecology held the first of four Rule Advisory Committee meetings to provide input on its draft rule WAC-173-925Chris Cary, Sustainability & Environmental Manager at Tree Top, serves on the Committee. Food Northwest’s Sustainability Committee and staff will participate in the rulemaking process. For more information see the PCR rule website.


New USDA Bioengineered Food Disclosure Rules

As of January 1, certain food manufacturers and others are required to disclose the presence of bioengineered food or ingredients on products labeled for retail sale in the U.S.-- National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. USDA has a “List of Bioengineered Foods” but even if the food or ingredient is not on the list, if the manufacturer has knowledge that it is bioengineered it must be disclosed.

Manufacturers are exempt if (a) annual receipts are less than $2,500,000; the product does not intentionally contain a bioengineered substance or has unavoidable presence of up to 5% for each ingredient; or the food is certified under the National Organic Program.

USDA cannot issue a recall or impose penalties for noncompliance, but it can investigate and publish its findings. However, manufacturer who fail to comply can be subject to false advertising lawsuits by consumers or unfair competition suits by competitors. For more information see Litigation Minute: New Bioengineered Food Disclosure Rules and Litigation Risks, National Law Review


Simplot Acquires Ontario Ore-Ida Plant

The Kraft Heinz Company and Simplot Food Group, a division of the J.R. Simplot Company, announced today that the two companies have signed a long-term agreement naming Simplot as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of Ore-Ida. Kraft Heinz will continue to own the Ore-Ida brand. Read the full article from Business Wire here…

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