May 25, 2012
USDA has initiated the Label Submission Approval System (LSAS) which allows food manufacturers, particularly for meat, to send label applications electronically for approval by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
In the past, manufacturers were required to hand deliver or mail new product labels or changes that needed to be made to existing labels. According to USDA, the FSIS expects to receive anywhere between 150-200 label submissions daily, creating a backlog of up to three weeks with the previous system.
The new system will allow meat, poultry and egg producers to submit their labels online, track the progress of their submission and make alterations as needed.
Announcing the system, USA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr Elisabeth Hagen said: "Reducing the review times for labels will enhance the agency's ability to ensure that accurate information is applied to product labels and reaches consumers quickly."
The LSAS has been designed to meet requirements outlined in January's presidential Executive Order 13563, which mandates US government agencies review and eliminate unnecessary regulations that inhibit international trade.