A New Regulatory Framework for Federal Food Inspection: Discussion Document
Ministerial Exemptions

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The SFCA provides for regulation making authority permitting the Minister to exempt, with or without conditions, any food commodity from specific requirements of the Act and regulations, only if the Minister is of the opinion that no risk of injury to human health will result.

In the current regulatory regime, ministerial exemptions are granted for two main purposes: to alleviate shortage of fresh and/or processed fruits and vegetables; and to allow test marketing of certain food commodities, provided food safety requirements are met.

Currently, the procedures, submission requirements, consultation policies and time frames differ between the different regimes, as do the scope of the exemption (either only permitted to the applicant or to the industry as a whole, or by geographic area).

In the proposed regulations, the approach will be to incorporate the current ministerial exemptions to alleviate shortage and for test marketing. A common and transparent process will be developed for administering these exemptions, which will apply to all food commodities regulated under the SFCA.

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