The International Ice Cream Association (IICA) has withdrawn its five-year-old petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking for amendments to the standards of identity for a variety of frozen desserts. In a letter submitted last month to FDA, IICA urged the agency to focus instead on a broader petition that seeks to modernize all food standards.
The original petition, submitted in March 2003, asked FDA to revoke the standards of identity for goat's milk ice cream and to amend the standards of identity for ice cream, frozen custard, sherbet and water ices. In the petition, IICA said the proposed amendments would help to bring the standards up to date with the current technology in the industry; they also would provide more flexible uses of different dairy-derived ingredients based on milk protein percentages instead of a minimum nonfat milk solids percentage. The petition stalled, however, because dairy farmer organizations were opposed to the dairy ingredient provisions.
Since then, FDA has launched a broad effort to modernize all food standards. IDFA and several other trade associations, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, have submitted a joint petition asking the agency to update regulations that would apply to all food standards.
"IICA agreed to withdraw the petition in hopes that FDA would use its limited resources to concentrate on an overall approach that would streamline and modernize the current standards of identity for all foods," said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs.
IDFA continues to urge FDA to act on another pending petition that would allow fluid ultrafiltered (UF) milk to be used in cheese making. The petition argues that because milk filtration removes the same constituents that are removed from milk in the separation of "whey" from curd, the finished cheese using UF milk has the same characteristics as cheese made from other forms of milk.
To read IICA's letter to FDA, click here. For more information, contact Frye at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3543.