Statement by Erik Mettler, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, on Systems Recognition Arrangement with Australia
The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have signed a Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement. Australia joins Canada and New Zealand as the third country FDA has recognized as having a comparable food safety system. Food safety systems recognition establishes a framework for regulatory cooperation in a variety of areas that range from scientific collaboration to outbreak response. Systems recognition is a high bar to reach, limited to countries that have already adopted preventive, risk-based programs covering their domestic food industry. By recognizing each other’s systems, the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the FDA have confidence that we can leverage each other’s science-based food safety regulatory systems to ensure a similar system of food safety protection.
The FDA, working with Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, conducted a systems recognition review and assessment using the International Comparability Assessment Tool. The process includes a comprehensive review of key elements of the country’s national food safety control system such as its relevant laws and regulations, inspection programs, response to food-related illness and outbreaks, compliance and enforcement, and laboratory support.
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