August 2018

  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Dietary Supplement GMP Compliance Includes Application to the Cannabis Industry
  • Issue of the Month: FDA 483 Responses – Missing the Mark?
  • Who’s Who at EAS
    • Meet Issue of the Month Author and New Independent Consultant, Cindy Beehner
    • Meet New EAS Consultants
  • Standards of Identity: Are Plant-Based Proteins Milking Dairy?
  • Drug and Device Corner
    • Recent FDA Drug / Medical Device Activity
  • What’s New on FDA’s Website
  • EAS in Action
    • Dietary Supplement GMP Seminar to Take Place in Dallas, TX
    • EAS Offers Official FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Foods and FSVP Seminars
    • New Webinar on Environmental Monitoring Added to EAS’ Summer Compliance Line-Up
    • EAS Offers Complimentary Webinars on Cannabis, Foreign FDA Inspections, Temporary Marketing Permits and more
    • Crane Returns as a Presenter at CHPA’s OTC Academy
    • Yablunosky and Knutson to Speak at Upcoming Food Safety Consortium
    • EAS Consultants Invited Speakers at Two FDLI Conferences
    • EAS Co-Authors Article for FDLI Update on the Benefits of Consultants as Part of a Legal Team
  • Useful Publications and Regulatory Tools

EAS Co-Authors Article for FDLI Update on the Benefits of Consultants as Part of a Legal Team

EAS joined forces with Ronald J. Levine, co-chair on Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s Litigation Department to author an article published in the Food Drug Law Institute Update Magazine on how the use of consultants can benefit a legal team. Consultants provide unique insights, given their detailed expertise in a particular subject matter, offering context and in-depth understanding of FDA regulations and intent of guidance documents. Consultants are frequently engaged, particularly during the discovery and trial stages for the planning and execution of a legal strategy. While the benefits they provide cannot be underestimated, the same due diligence for choosing the right consultant for the particular project must also not be taken lightly. Read more here.

EAS Consultants Invited Speakers at Two FDLI Conferences

EAS is pleased to be invited speakers at two upcoming Food Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Events. Andrea Yablunosky will speak at an in-house event held at FDA CFSAN on Food Labeling: Nutrient Content, Health, and Other Claims on August 7th. Bruce Silverglade will speak on the same subject as part of the Intro to Food Law conference which will be held in Washington, D.C. September 24-25, 2018. For more information on the Intro to Food Law event, click here.

Yablunosky and Knutson to Speak at Upcoming Food Safety Consortium

EAS Independent Consultants, Andrea Yablunosky and Kathy Knutson are invited speakers at the upcoming Food Safety Consortium. Yablunosky will speak on food recalls, discussing the USDA/FSIS recall committee, as well as roles district offices play in a recall. She’ll then move on to the steps in a recall and important to-dos such as the drafting of a recall press release. Yablunosky is a former Director of Government Affairs at ConAgra Foods where she advised the company business units on implications of FDA and USDA policy objectives. With a background in food science and nutrition she is well-versed in policy development, product reformulations and promotions, recall preparedness and effective recall management.

Kathy Knutson, Ph.D. will speak on Lessons Learned in Food Safety and Applied to Cannabis-infused Edibles. She will discuss GMPs as the foundation of food safety and how HACCP builds on GMPs. Dr. Knutson is a microbiologist and certified lead instructor for Preventive Controls for Qualified Individuals through the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance. She consults with companies in meeting FSMA requirements, including manufacturers in the cannabis industry and she educates on issues surrounding cannabis-infused food products for sale in states with medical and recreational use legislation.

Food Safety Consortium will take place November 13-15, 2018 in Schaumburg, IL.

Crane Returns as a Presenter at CHPA’s OTC Academy

Susan Crane, Independent Advisor for OTC Drugs and Labeling will be presenting a session at the upcoming Consumer Healthcare Products Association OTC Academy on OTC drug labeling requirements, to include Drug Facts format and content, translating an OTC monograph into a compliant label, as well as covering other regulations that impact OTC drugs, such as child-resistant packaging requirements and Made in USA claims. This year’s OTC Academy will take place in Wilmington, DE October 9-10, 2018.

EAS Offers Complimentary Webinars on Cannabis, Foreign FDA Inspections, Temporary Marketing Permits and More

Quality Systems for the Cannabis Industry – Preparing for State GMPs
August 6, 2018, 1:00pm Eastern

Tara Lin Couch Ph.D., Senior Director for Dietary Supplements and Tobacco Services, will help cannabis firms prepare for cannabis Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). While regulations vary from state to state the quality systems under which cannabis products are grown and manufactured have similarities that can begin to pave the way for putting practices and procedures in place to meet compliance expectations, including those of testing and quality control of in-process materials, finished batches and packaged/labeled products. The time is right for the cannabis industry to begin assessing manufacturing processes and implementing sound and effective quality systems in order to begin preparing for GMP regulations. Reserve your seat by clicking here.

Preparing for Foreign FDA Inspections
August 14, 2018, 1:00pm Eastern

Have you ever wondered why your foreign suppliers: API, intermediates, food ingredients, etc. are suddenly in trouble with regulatory authorities? Did they just go astray or is your auditing program not performing as designed? Actually, there are several things at play. EAS Independent Consultant, Peter Saxon, will shed some light on reasons FDA inspections can “go south” as well as provide insight on how disappointing results can be managed. His insights will provide an opportunity for companies to consider improvements to their internal audit structure to help minimize regulatory risks. Join us for this webinar by clicking here.

Temporary Marketing Permits – Opportunity and Pitfalls of the Specialized FDA Application
August 21, 2018, 1:00pm Eastern

Food Standards are an important component of FDA’s oversight, ensuring honesty and fairness to the consumer through requirements that provide for the basic nature of a standardized food to be uniform in terms of its characteristics as well as the ingredients that it must or may contain. But what happens when a newly developed food or production method warrants consideration of a product category outside of the standard? Petitioning to amend a food standard or to create a new one, is a lengthy and complicated process; however, a temporary solution may be available through a specialized category called a Temporary Marketing Permit (TMP’s). Learn more when EAS Independent Consultant, April Kates, discusses this unique marketing option in a webinar on the opportunities and Pitfalls of Temporary Marketing Permits and learn best practices for a successful TMP application. Reserve your seat by clicking here.

New Webinar on Environmental Monitoring Added to EAS’ Summer Compliance Line-Up

Are Industry-Initiated Environmental Swab-a-Thons a Benefit?
September 17, 2018, 1:00pm Eastern

The emphasis on proactive management of issues that could cause a food safety hazard, per FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, requires firms to improve controls for a variety of issues at all levels. One hot-button concern that continues to wreak havoc in the industry is that of pathogen contamination. It is generally understood that contamination in the processing environment will eventually make its way into the product. Even with the best of safety controls, it is imperative that companies have a robust environmental monitoring program that includes vigilant and regular testing. After all, finished product testing gives limited data and is a small snapshot of the entire lot manufactured. FDA can take hundreds of swabs during inspections, does your environmental monitoring meet that level of testing?

EAS Independent Consultant, Kathy Knutson, Ph.D. will host a complimentary webinar on the importance of Environmental Monitoring. Don’t wait for FDA, conduct your own swab-a-thon! Join us September 17, 2018, at 1:00 pm Eastern to learn important ways your company can stay ahead of the curve. Register by clicking here.

EAS Offers Official FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Foods and FSVP Seminars

EAS Independent Consultant and FSPCA recognized lead instructor, Jenifer Kane, will co-instruct two FSPCA courses with Independent Consultant and trainer Susan Moyers, Ph.D. on the intricacies of Preventive Controls for Human Food as well as the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Both courses will take place in early October in Alexandria, VA.

The Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (referred to as the Preventive Controls for Human Food Regulation) is intended to ensure safe manufacturing/processing, packing and holding of food products for human consumption in the U.S. and requires that certain activities must be completed by a “preventive controls qualified individual” who has “successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls”. This course meets FDA’s requirement. Join EAS October 1-3, 2018 in Alexandria for this 2.5 intensive training. Earlybird discounts are available through August 14, 2018.

Next, the “Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)” requires importers to verify that their foreign suppliers of food, food ingredients and food additives imported into the US market are compliant with all parts of the FSMA and its “Preventive Controls for Human Foods (PCHF) and “Preventive Controls for Animal Feeds (PCAF”) regulations. EAS’ two-day intensive FSVP Compliance Seminar will explain in detail FSVP rules, risk exposure by importers as well as US-based food processors using foreign sources of foods, food ingredients and food additives. Join us October 3-4, 2018 for this 1.5-day training. Earlybird rates are in effect through August 14, 2018.

Dietary Supplement GMP Seminar to Take Place in Dallas, TX

EAS Consulting Group will offer its two-day intensive Dietary Supplement GMP seminar September 26-27, 2018 in Dallas. Instructed by EAS Senior Director for Dietary Supplements and Tobacco Services, Tara Lin Couch, Ph.D., EAS Independent Advisor for Quality and Compliance, Robert Fish and back by popular demand, Marc Ullman, Of Counsel at Rivkin Radler, LLP, this next GMP course will include a new section on how quality and compliance applies to the emerging cannabis industry. Early-bird registration rates are in effect through August 5, 2018. In addition, we are pleased to offer members of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) an extended early-bird rate of $1,000.00. For more information or to reserve your seat, click here.

Are Plant-Based Proteins Milking Dairy?

When FDA announced recently that the agency is seeking public comment for standards of identity overhaul that will focus in part on plant-based products that are marketed as “milk” substitutes, manufacturers of those products as well as the consumers who enjoy them were left wondering how this review and any future changes would affect them. Consumers of soy, almond, rice, coconut and other plant-based “milk” enjoy these dairy alternative products for any number of reasons, but in some cases, their consumption decisions are based on incomplete or inaccurate information and may result in a diet deficient in certain nutrients found in dairy milk but not the substitute protein. This issue is of interest to others outside of the US as Canada, the European Union and Codex all have laws, regulations and beverage standards that limit the use of the term “milk” to only beverages where dairy “milk” is the major or characterizing ingredient.

There are nearly 300 standards of identity on the books at FDA, and these plant-based proteins which use qualified terms as part of their “milk”, “yogurt” and “cheese” product names aren’t in-fact “milk” as we have come to know it. Based on this technical violation of the standard of identity for “milk” and a concern regarding consumer misunderstanding of the nutritional value of plant-based beverages, FDA has decided to look at the term milk as part of its overall effort of modernizing standards of identity and improving information provided to consumers and their physicians so that the nutritional composition and benefits of products is clear.

FDA is currently seeking information on how consumers understand the term “milk” and whether the nutritional differences between dairy-based and plant-based “milk” products is understood. FDA is also trying to understand if the use of the term “milk” in non-dairy products is misleading and if that lack of understanding plays a role in less informed dietary choices. Stakeholder feedback is actively recruited by the agency and, based on initial comments gathered, FDA will provide an additional request for information in late summer or fall targeted more directly towards consumer awareness and understanding of the use of milk and other dairy terms on plant-based alternatives, including a focus on nutritional impact. The agency will use this feedback to refine its policy for these standards of identity and will issue new guidance for industry as well as their compliance and enforcement approach (no timeline is currently established). 

In addition to gaining an understanding of milk products, the agency is additionally seeking feedback on how the agency should consider food technology, nutritional science, fortification practices and marketing trends for not only dairy but all foods as part of their standards of identity review to gain an understanding of how each may enhance or stymie innovation or nutritional improvements.

As manufacturers of foods, standards of identity can at times protect the consumer and food industry from misleading or fraudulent foods, food ingredients, and labels, but they can also hinder efforts at product innovation, use of new ingredients and processing technologies and restriction on modification of the standard to improve nutritional content. Understanding food labels, content, nutritional value and product claims are all critical for consumers to make informed choices today. It is equally important for food manufacturers, who are committed to providing cleaner food labels while trying to deliver more nutritionally sound food into the US marketplace.

Regulatory opportunities, headwinds, and challenges will be facing the Agency as it begins to review and potentially revise the current food standards of identity. As the agency seeks comment, now is the time for food firms to provide their input and begin the conversation as to how technology, fortification, and sound science need to be considered in the review and revision process, to the benefit of the consumer, food industry and FDA. As an innovation for a healthier food supply continues to evolve, the ability to clearly communicate an improved and clear message of food content and nutritional value will enhance consumer understanding and allow for more informed choices. Formulating agency feedback can help to effectively lead awareness of those opportunities and challenges. Incorporating sound scientific assessments, food processing technologies and market research on consumer perceptions and trends incorporated into well-written comments can enhance a firm’s position. EAS independent consultants, toxicologists, microbiologists who are experts in dairy, plant-based beverages and FDA food standards of identity and labeling can help you to formulate your position and develop agency comment.

Meet New EAS Consultants

Tamika Cathey

Tamika Cathey provides regulatory compliance services pertaining to safety and quality of pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. She evaluates client compliance readiness, executes mock GMP/FDA audits, performs risk assessments and gap analyses per FDA regulations and creates improvement programs based on findings. Cathey consulted with EAS from 2012-2016 and we are very pleased that she is again able to offer her expertise to our clients.

Beth Ann Crozier-Dodson, Ph.D.

Dr. Dodson is an international consultant for food safety issues and an invited speaker and trainer on the topics of rapid methods for testing and bacterial identification and food safety. She is a member of numerous professional and honor societies and has received a USDA Commendation for Contribution to Public Health. Her areas of specialty include teaching and training in microbiology, laboratory setup, environmental testing, aeromicrobiology, validation testing, consulting, and plant and facility audits.

Meet Issue of the Month Author and New Independent Consultant, Cindy Beehner

Cindy Beehner has worked as a consultant since 1997, specializing in GMP requirements for food, dietary ingredients, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals. Ms. Beehner performs due diligence assessments as well as procedures and documentation required for certifications for groups such as Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and National Food Producers Association (NFPA). She has a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry and Clinical Psychology from Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA.

FDA 483 Responses – Missing the Mark?

In recent months, it appears more companies are having difficulties meeting the requirements of FDA Form 483, List of Observations, response. The inspection situation is very stressful and if it ends with the dreaded “483”, it can be positively overwhelming. However, when the initial reaction is over, it’s time to rally the staff and prepare the corrective and preventative action strategy that will be presented in the response within the allotted time frame. It is also critical to understand what is expected of the response letter.

The 483 is a list of inspectional observations that is the result of what the inspectors viewed while in your facility. It is a legal document from federal agents performing a law enforcement function where the evidence is the collection of documents and data that the agents evaluated at the company. All of the observations should first be reviewed for accuracy. Hopefully, any discrepancies or misunderstandings were discussed during the closing meeting and resolved, but if they were not found until after the inspectors left the facility, they will need to be addressed in the response. The 483 response is also a legal document so the tenor and exact wording used are critical. It must demonstrate that the company understands the issues, has made the necessary corrective and preventative actions, and that there is documented evidence to verify the latter.

Each observation requires a response and that response must describe the associated corrective and preventative actions are taken. It should be thorough and detailed and written to present steps in the order taken. Procedures and related documents prepared and implemented during these actions must also be included. It is not enough to only describe actions, there must be documented evidence of the correction such as photographs, procedures, training records, specific forms, and other types of documentation. Many Warning Letters are issued by the FDA because a company’s response letter did not include evidence of the corrective and preventative actions taken for the FDA to evaluate to determine if the situation was appropriately addressed.

Consider three potential categories of actions to be taken for each observation; immediate, short-term and long-term. Think of this from a medical emergency perspective where initial triage occurs to keep the patient’s condition from getting worse, additional short-term actions are needed to stabilize the patient, and then long-term actions may be needed to deal with any underlying problems. A systematic issue will have to be addressed with preventative measures. It is also important to review the observations collectively, in addition to individual, to determine if other underlying systemic issues exist. These too will have to be addressed with corrective and preventative actions.

Please note that, unlike an FDA Warning Letter, a response to a 483 is not legally required. However, it is strongly recommended that a 483 response be provided to the FDA within 15 business days. Some observations can be appropriately addressed and the actions concluded within this time frame, but others, particularly systematic issues, may require more time. When that is the case, all of the planned corrective and preventative actions should be described in the initial response, immediate and short-term actions should be taken, and completion dates for long-term items provided. It is important that these proposed dates be aggressive, yet reasonable and obtainable. Monthly updates to the FDA stating the progress made on these long-term items, with supportive documented evidence included, should then follow. This strategy may prevent the FDA from escalating enforcement actions and issue a Warning Letter.

Confirmation that the FDA is satisfied with the 483 response will be provided by the issuance of an Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) which states that all of the corrective and preventative actions will be evaluated upon “the next inspection.” The EIR is also a more detailed summary of the inspectional findings and it is wise to use this as an opportunity to further review operations, controlled processes, and the overall quality system. Look at these findings from a systems approach; facilities and equipment, materials, production, packaging and labeling, laboratory controls and, of course, the most important and critical one – the quality incident system. The entirety of the inspection and the inspectional review should also be another piece to the internal audit program, make the experience work to improve compliance and not just an exercise in writing letters to the FDA.

For assistance in understanding FDA 483 findings as well as developing an appropriate response and corrective actions contact EAS.

Dietary Supplement GMP Compliance Includes Application to the Cannabis Industry

Dear Readers,

First, for those whom we had a chance to meet at the recent Institute for Food Technologists Annual Meeting held in Chicago, I am sure you will agree with me that this year’s event was one of the best. With so many changes at FDA with the implementation of FSMA, many timely topics on Food Defense and more, I am sure everyone in attendance returned to their firms with good ideas worth implementing. The two sessions that EAS moderated, PCHF – Successes and Challenges for FDA and the Food Industry and Food Importing: Green Light Strategies for Compliance with Game-Changing FSVP Requirements were both well attended with lively discussions. We’d like to thank the panelists who joined us – JoAnn Givens from FDA, Jeff Acker from DFA who participated in the PCHF session, Bob Brackett from IIT and EAS Independent Consultant, Susan Moyers, who participated in both PCHF and FSVP sessions and Erika Daniel from our Italian partner Almater who participated in our FSVP session.

I am pleased that EAS is presenting the next Dietary Supplement Good Manufacturing Practices seminar in cooperation with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). It will include an updated content section on how GMPs have application to the cannabis industry. The early bird rate runs through August 5, 2018, and this rate is extended to members of AHPA for the duration of the registration period. We hope you’ll join us in Dallas, TX on September 26-27, 2018 for this informative and updated seminar!

We welcome new consultant Beth Ann Crozier-Dodson, Ph.D., and re-welcome Tamika Cathey and Cindy Beehner, two consultants who have been a part of the EAS family previously and who are increasingly available to EAS clients. Dr. Dodson is an international consultant for food safety issues and an invited speaker and trainer on the topics of rapid methods for testing and bacterial identification and food safety. Tamika Cathey provides regulatory compliance services pertaining to safety and quality of pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements and Cindy Beehner specializes in GMP requirements for food, dietary ingredient, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals. Cindy is also the author of this month’s issue of the month on how to appropriately respond to FDA 483s.

We hope that you enjoy this edition of EAS-e-News! As always feel free to reach out if you have any questions and thank you for your interest in EAS.

Sincerely,

Ed

Dietary Supplement Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Compliance Seminar (including special applications of GMP concepts in the Cannabis Industry)

September 26-27, 2018

Dallas, Texas

With a special section on applying GMP concepts to the Cannabis Industry

Presented in Cooperation with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

The Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) dictated in 21 CFR 111 have been in place for over a decade, but the FDA continues to issue numerous Warning Letters to the industry for a failure to comply with even the basic tenants of the regulation. In addition, as states begin to regulate legalized cannabis, the concern of how GMPs apply to this unique industry cannot be understated. While regulations vary from state to state the quality systems under which cannabis products are grown and manufactured have similarities that can begin to pave the way for putting practices and procedures in place to meet compliance expectations.

EAS Consulting Group in cooperation with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) will be conducting a two-day intensive Dietary Supplement GMP Seminar to help firms understand their responsibilities and requirements under 21 CFR 111, while also assisting the cannabis industry in understanding how these principles can be applied to their manufacturing operations. Given by former FDA compliance officials and industry experts, this training program will provide a thorough overview of compliance expectations, covering the responsibilities of domestic and foreign firms who manufacture, label, pack or hold dietary supplements for sale in the United States, including those involved with the testing, quality control and distribution of supplements.

Registration

$1,200

Discounts

$1,000 All AHPA members (use discount code: EAS_AHPA)

Group Rate, two or more from the same firm – 10% per person (use discount code: GROUP10)

Federal/State Government Employees – 50% per person (use discount code: GOV50)

Registrants with Promotion codes – Limit one Promotion code per transaction

Dates and Location

September 26-27, 2018

Hotel Indigo

1933 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75201
1-877-8IN-DIGO

The Hotel Indigo has extended a discounted guest room rate to registrants of the EAS-AHPA Dietary Supplement GMP seminar. Please make your guest room reservation no later than September 5, 2018, using this dedicated registration link or call the hotel directly and mention EAS Consulting Group.

Agenda

Day 1

ItemTopicPresenterTimeSchedule
1Introduction and GMP OverviewCouch158:00 AM - 8:15 AM
2FDA EnforcementUllman458:15 AM - 9:00 AM
3Subpart B - PersonnelFish309:00 AM - 9:30 AM
4Subpart C - Physical Plant & Grounds
Fish459:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Break1510:15 AM - 10:30 AM
5Subpart D - Equipment & Utensils
Fish3010:30 AM - 11:00 AM
6Subpart G: Components, Packaging, and Labeling
Couch3011:00 AM - 11:30 AM
7Subparts H & I - Master Manufacturing and Batch Production Records
Fish4511:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Lunch4512:15 PM - 1:00 PM
8Subparts K & L: Requirements for Manufacturing, Packaging, and Labeling Operations
Fish301:00 PM - 1:30 PM
9Subpart E: Specifications and Testing
Couch901:30 PM - 3:00 PM
10Subpart E: Representative and Reserve Samples
Couch153:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Break153:15 PM - 3:30 PM
11Subparts M: Holding and Distribution OperationsFish303:30 PM - 4:00 PM
12Quality AgreementsUllman454:00 PM - 5:15 PM
13Work Session ICouch/Fish304:45 PM - 5:15 PM
14Additional Q&ACouch/Fish
155:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Day 2

ItemTopicPresenterTimeSchedule
1Documentation and Change Control
Couch458:00 AM - 8:45 AM
2Subpart F: Quality Control
Couch308:45 AM - 9:15 AM
4Subpart N: Returned Dietary Supplements
Couch159:15 AM - 9:30 AM
5Subpart O: Product Complaints
Couch459:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Break1510:15 AM - 10:30 AM
6Investigations and Material ReviewsCouch6010:30 AM - 11:30 AM
7Subpart J: Laboratory OperationsCouch4511:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Lunch3012:15 PM - 1:00 PM
8Dietary Supplement Test MethodsCouch451:00 PM - 1:45 PM
9Dietary Supplement Stability ProgramsCouch451:45 PM - 2:30 PM
10Work Session IICouch/Ullman302:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Break153:00 PM - 3:15 PM
11Managing FDA InspectionsUllman903:15 PM - 4:45 PM
12ExamCouch154:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals involved in management, regulatory affairs, and quality control/assurance in the manufacturing, labeling, packaging, storing and distribution of dietary supplements and cannabis products.
  • Consultants, auditors, attorneys and others interested in learning about the requirements of the dietary supplement GMPs and how they should be applied.

At the Dietary Supplement GMP Seminar, You Will

  • Receive detailed practical guidance on how to apply the GMP requirements.
  • Be given an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of GMPs in group work sessions.
  • Be coached on how to prepare for an FDA inspection and how to avoid receiving a List of Objectionable Inspection Observations (Form FDA 483) and the end of an FDA inspection.

Seminar Handouts

  • Participant’s Manual with copies of the presentation slides
  • Pocket Guide: 21 CFR Part 111

Instructors

Dr. Tara Lin Couch, EAS Senior Director, Dietary Supplement and Tobacco Services

Dr. Couch is a Ph.D. Analytical / Organic Chemist with exceptional analytical abilities and over 25 years of diverse laboratory and regulatory experience in academic, field, contract, and manufacturing environments. She is a sought-after expert on issues pertaining to Quality Control in both pharmaceutical and dietary supplement manufacturing facilities including the establishment of specifications and the development of well-organized, sophisticated laboratories. As a consultant, Dr. Couch has assisted numerous dietary supplement companies with the development, improvement, and implementation of strong Quality Systems that are scientifically sound, efficient, practical, and compliant with all FDA regulations. She also performs mock FDA inspections, gap-analyses, and contractor facility audits. In addition, Dr. Couch provides GMP and laboratory training via seminar, webinar, and on-site presentations.

Robert Fish, EAS Independent Advisor, Quality and Compliance

Mr. Fish joined EAS Consulting Group, LLC in November 2006 after 10 years consulting for FDA regulated industries. He spent 33 years with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the last six years of that service as Director, Division of Field Investigations (DFI). He was responsible for general policy and guidance for the Agency’s domestic and international investigation activities. He also managed the foreign inspections’ operations. Prior to that position, Mr. Fish was Director of Compliance at the Nashville District Office and was also a Supervisory Investigator at the Nashville District Office. Mr. Fish began his career as an investigator in the Minneapolis District Office in 1962 and subsequently served as an Investigator at the Grand Rapids Residence Post and the Detroit District Office. Mr. Fish is experienced in all aspects of FDA regulated products. He has expertise in compliance matters and Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations (GMPs) as they relate to pharmaceutical, device, and biologics manufacture. Further, Mr. Fish is ISO 9000 Lead Assessor Trained and is an AFDO Certified HACCP Instructor. He is a sought-after expert, speaking at international events on FDA inspections and GMPs.

Marc Ullman, Of Counsel at Rivkin Radler, LLP.

Attorney Marc Ullman represents clients in matters relating to all aspects of the firm’s practice, including Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration matters, regulatory issues, Federal Trade Commission proceedings and litigation. He practiced with one of New York’s leading white-collar criminal defense firms for 10 years, where he represented clients in both federal and state prosecutions, as well as numerous related civil matters and other litigations.

Minimum Registration Policy

Should the minimum enrollment number for the seminar not be met, EAS has the right to cancel by August 15, 2018, and refund the registration fee in full.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received before August 15, 2018, will result in a $95 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after that date. Substitutions will be allowed as long as notice is given to EAS in advance.

For More Information

Contact Amy Scanlin at 571-447-5508 or ascanlin@easconsultinggroup.com

In-House Seminar

EAS will conduct this seminar for individual firms upon request. Bringing the seminar in-house at your facilities can be a cost-effective alternative to train your employees. It also allows the program to be tailored to your particular needs. Contact us for more information.

Dietary Supplement Labeling Compliance Review Seminar

September 26-27, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri

Dietary supplement manufacturers need to keep up to date on new and changing FDA labeling policies. Now that FDA has published the final GMP regulations it is anticipated that the regulation of dietary supplements will be given a higher priority. This will undoubtedly carry over to an increased focus on labeling compliance. This seminar will provide all that is necessary to prepare labels that comply with FDA requirements. It will address the regulatory requirements for the mandatory labeling elements and will cover allowable dietary supplement claims. Attendees will participate in a workgroup exercise to facilitate their understanding of the regulations.

Registration

$1,200

Discounts

Group Rate, two or more from the same firm – 10% per person (GROUP10)
Federal/State Government Employees – 50% per person (GOV50)

Registrants with Promotion codes – Limit one Promotion code per transaction

Dates and Location

September 26-27, 2018

Hampton Inn Kansas City/Downtown Financial District
801 Walnut Street
Kansas City, Missouri, 64106

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals involved in management, regulatory affairs, and quality control/assurance in the manufacturing of foods.
  • Those responsible for preparing or reviewing dietary supplement labels. Consultants, auditors, attorneys and others interested in food labeling compliance.

At the Dietary Supplement Labeling Compliance Seminar, You Will

  • Learn FDA dietary supplement labeling requirements from regulatory experts.
  • Be able to ask questions of former FDA officials to get an understanding of how the Agency thinks.
  • Receive a valuable Participant’s Manual containing all slides and handout materials that will save you time and help assure your labels are in compliance.
  • Get an opportunity to apply learning in practical work sessions.

Seminar Handouts

  • Participant’s Manual with copies of presentation slides
  • EAS Type Size Guide

Instructors

James E. Hoadley, Ph.D., EAS Independent Consultant

During Dr. Hoadley’s 20-year FDA career, he participated in the development of NLEA-implementing nutrition labeling and health claim regulations. As a Senior Regulatory Scientist in the Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements (ONPLDS) Dr. Hoadley’s primary responsibilities were in food label claim regulations. In this role, he conducted scientific and regulatory reviews of petitions for new health claims and nutrient content claims.

Gisela Leon, EAS Independent Consultant

Gisela Leon brings in over 21 years of experience in international labeling of food and over 8 years’ experience in US labeling. As a regulatory consultant, she has focused on a concise review process for food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. As a long-term EAS Consultant, she has reviewed hundreds of labels for US compliance and helped international products to come into compliance with US regulations. Her international labeling background allows her to point out differences or similarities with other countries.

Minimum Registration Policy

Should the minimum enrollment number for the seminar not be met, EAS has the right to cancel by July 1, 2018, and refund the registration fee in full.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received before July 1, 2018, will result in a $95 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after that date. Substitutions will be allowed as long as notice is given to EAS in advance.

For More Information:

Contact Amy Scanlin at (571) 447-5500 or ascanlin@easconsultinggroup.com

In-House Seminar

EAS will conduct this seminar for individual firms upon request. Bringing the seminar in-house at your facilities can be a cost-effective alternative to train your employees. It also allows the program to be tailored to your particular needs. Contact us for more information.

Food Labeling Compliance Review Seminar

September 24-25, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri

EAS’ Food Labeling Compliance Seminar has been awarded 16 CEU credits by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

As the food industry turns its focus to compliance with the latest FDA guidance for labeling regulations, the significance of those changes and how they influence claims are raising questions. Which ingredients must be declared as added sugars and which can be dietary fiber? EAS Consulting Group, with our vast expertise in assisting food firms in all manners of FDA compliance, is offering a food labeling compliance seminar in Alexandria, VA and an opportunity to learn from our internationally renowned labeling experts.

Learn food labeling regulations from internationally renowned experts, who had primary roles at FDA in shaping current labeling regulations and experience in the development of thousands of food labels.

This hands-on, two-day seminar covers the basics of how foods need to be labeled to comply with the complex set of labeling rules, covers the latest in food labeling issues that have gotten attention from FDA, and provides answers to your most challenging questions.

Registration Fees

$1,200

Discounts

Group Rate, two or more from the same firm – 10% per person (GROUP10)
Federal/State Government Employees – 50% per person (GOV50)

Registrants with Promotion codes – Limit one Promotion code per transaction

Date and Location

September 24-25, 2018

Hampton Inn Kansas City/Downtown Financial District
801 Walnut Street
Kansas City, Missouri, 64106

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals involved in management, regulatory affairs, and quality control/assurance in the manufacturing of foods.
  • Those responsible for preparing or reviewing food labels.
  • Consultants, auditors, attorneys and others interested in food labeling compliance.

At the Food Labeling Compliance Seminar, You Will

  • Learn FDA food labeling requirements from labeling experts who helped to develop and implement the current regulations and have reviewed hundreds of labels for the industry.
  • Learn about hot issues that have triggered recent FDA warning letters.
  • Apply learning in practical work sessions.
  • Have your specific issues addressed and discussed in a casual, interactive learning environment.

Seminar Handouts

  • Participant’s Manual with copies of presentation slides
  • EAS Type Size Guide
  • Food Label Handbook – Developed by EAS Independent Consultant, Gisela Leon, the 115-page guide discusses how changes to nutrient values are listed and how those changes impact claims, assisting companies in developing compliant food labels based on FDA’s final rule. (A $99 value.)

Instructors

James E. Hoadley, Ph.D., EAS Independent Consultant

During Dr. Hoadley’s 20-year FDA career, he participated in the development of NLEA-implementing nutrition labeling and health claim regulations. As a Senior Regulatory Scientist in the Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements (ONPLDS) Dr. Hoadley’s primary responsibilities were in food label claim regulations. In this role, he conducted scientific and regulatory reviews of petitions for new health claims and nutrient content claims.

Gisela Leon, EAS Independent Consultant

Gisela Leon brings in over 21 years of experience in international labeling of food and over 8 years’ experience in US labeling. As a regulatory consultant, she has focused on a concise review process for food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. As a long-term EAS Consultant, she has reviewed hundreds of labels for US compliance and helped international products to come into compliance with US regulations. Her international labeling background allows her to point out differences or similarities with other countries.

Minimum Registration Policy

Should the minimum enrollment number for the seminar not be met, EAS has the right to cancel by July 1, 2018, and refund the registration fee in full.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received before July 1, 2018, will result in a $95 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after that date. Substitutions will be allowed as long as notice is given to EAS in advance.

For More Information

Contact Amy Scanlin at (571) 447-5500 or ascanlin@easconsultinggroup.com

In-House Seminar

EAS will conduct this seminar for individual firms upon request. Bringing the seminar in-house at your facilities can be a cost-effective alternative to train your employees. It also allows the program to be tailored to your particular needs. Contact us for more information.

Produce Safety Rule’s July Compliance Dates

Those closely watching FSMA compliance dates will note that July 26, 2018 marks a significant date for FSVP and the Produce Safety Rule. Specifically,

  • importers with Small Business Foreign Suppliers will now be required to comply with sprout requirements of Produce Safety Rule;
  • importers with Small Business Foreign Suppliers that are farms producing sprouts are eligible for a Qualified Exemption under the Produce Safety Rule; and
  • importers with Large Foreign Suppliers are required to comply with Produce Safety Rule;

with an exception for importers of food contact substances who now have an additional two years to comply with the FSVP requirements.

FDA is postponing an enforcement regarding written assurances in certain cases when a manufacturer/processor does not control a hazard requiring a preventive control. Originally, an additional two years to comply with the above specific requirements were to be granted based on written assurances from their customer that they will either manufacture the food in accordance with applicable food safety requirements or sell only to someone that agrees to do so. Sellers must notify commercial customers that hazards are not controlled, but sellers do not now need to obtain written assurances from customers as a condition of sale. FDA says in this context, “customer” does not mean “consumer.”

FDA provided a decision tree to assist affected firms in their understanding of the details for enforcement discretion of the written assurances provisions.

What does all this mean for your business? Plenty – particularly in light of the recent food safety outbreaks of Listeria monocytogenes which illustrate that even when preventive controls are applied, food emergencies can still occur. Managing a safe food supply requires serious vigilance at all times. Unfortunately, even the most diligent will likely see, at some point, some type of food safety event requiring immediate action, whether it is an unsanitary method of transportation, storage or production, worker hygiene, use of contaminated water or a large number of additional factors.

As part of the Produce Safety Requirement, you may recall our January 2018 FSMA Perspective which discussed the agricultural water testing and safety requirements. After much industry feedback that the numerical criteria for microbial water quality in the final rule are too complex, FDA issued a proposed rule to extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements for produce other than sprouts. If finalized, the earliest compliance date for most agricultural water provisions would be January 2022 for the largest farms. Once finalized the specific requirements with regards to water testing leave no room for interpretation as to what constitutes a safe supply and FDA will request access to water testing data history for their own assessments of safety. Of course, prior to finalization, agricultural entities would be wise to begin or continue documented monitoring to gain a complete understanding of water quality used for irrigation and worker hygiene in order to provide FDA required data at the time of an inspection. Even though enforcement of FDA’s agricultural water provisions has been pushed back, they should still be considered a suitable benchmark for testing purposes. Any results found to be out-of-specification (OOS) should be retested followed by an assessment and correction of procedures leading to those OOS results.

Firms should also take a look at their entire organization’s policies and procedures, including the very important, and required by FSMA, training. Employees must understand what is required of them and why, and it is management’s responsibility to ensure that all required training is conducted in a language and manner that employees understand. This may mean conducting various types of training in a variety of languages.

Look closely at operations to assess whether they are meeting the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. Start thinking: What training do we need? What may we have to adjust in our work processes to meet FDA’s standards?

An audit of all practices is a good idea in order to get an accurate picture of how current operating procedures match FSMA requirements allowing for the identification of needed improvements, planning, and execution. Additionally, some buyers require private audits (which may or may not have the same standards as FSMA requirements) so being able to demonstrate results from internal and/or third-party audits or mock-FDA inspections can only enhance one’s demonstration of efforts to meet or exceed standards.

In short, the compliance date for the Produce Safety Rule is right around the corner for importers with large business foreign suppliers as well as some small. It is always the right time to assess one’s current status and plan for improvements, though as FSMA continues to take shape and enforcement dates move forward, the urgency has never been greater.

EAS Consultants to Present in Two Technical Sessions at the IFT 2018 Annual Meeting

EAS Independent Advisor Charles Breen is the panel moderator for two technical sessions at IFT – one on the Preventive Controls for Human Foods and another on the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Esteemed panelists include for PCHF, Joann Givens, Director of the Office of Human and Animal Food Operations-West, Office of Regulatory Affairs at FDA, Robert Brackett, Director of Illinois Institute for Technology and Vice President of Institute for Food Safety and Health, Jeffrey Acker, Vice President of Food Safety and Compliance, Dairy Farmers of America and Susan Moyers, EAS Independent Consultant. Panelists for the FSVP include Susan Moyers, Robert Brackett and Erika Daniel with Almater, an Italian food technology and consulting firm with which EAS partners to assist European companies wishing to export food products to the U.S.

If you are attending IFT we invite you to stop by the EAS booth, S322 and attend these two sessions. PCHF – Successes and Challenges for FDA and the Food Industry will take place on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; and Food Importing: Green Light Strategies for Compliance with Game-Changing FSVP Requirements will take place Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. Both will be held in room S502AB at the McCormick Place, the 2018 Annual Conference venue.

Please contact Allen Sayler at asayler@easconsultinggroup.com to set up an appointment to speak with EAS at the trade show.