Whenever in the judgment of the Secretary such action will promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers, he shall promulgate regulations fixing and establishing for any food, under its common or usual name so far as practicable, a reasonable definition and standard of identity, a reasonable standard of quality, or reasonable standards of fill of container. No definition and standard of identity and no standard of quality shall be established for fresh or dried fruits, fresh or dried vegetables, or butter, except that definitions and standards of identity may be established for avocadoes, cantaloupes, citrus fruits, and melons. In prescribing any standard of fill of container, the Secretary shall give due consideration to the natural shrinkage in storage and in transit of fresh natural food and to need for the necessary packing and protective material. In the prescribing of any standard of quality for any canned fruit or canned vegetable, consideration shall be given and due allowance made for the differing characteristics of the several varieties of such fruit or vegetable. In prescribing a definition and standard of identity for any food or class of food in which optional ingredients are permitted, the Secretary shall, for the purpose of promoting honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers, designate the optional ingredients which shall be named on the label. Any definition and standard of identity prescribed by the Secretary for avocadoes, cantaloupes, citrus fruits, or melons shall relate only to maturity and to the effects of freezing.
21 U.S. Code § 341. Definitions and standards for food
1956—Act Aug. 1, 1956, designated provisions constituting subsec. (a) as entire section and repealed subsec. (b) which provided the procedure for establishment of regulations and is covered by section 371(e) of this title.
1954—Act Apr. 15, 1954, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).
Act Aug. 1, 1956, ch. 861, § 3, 70 Stat. 919, provided that:
For transfer of functions of Federal Security Administrator to Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare [now Health and Human Services], and of Food and Drug Administration in the Department of Agriculture to Federal Security Agency, see notes set out under section 321 of this title.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to improve the safety of the food supply through science-based regulation and well-coordinated inspection, enforcement, research, and education programs, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment of President’s Council on Food Safety. (a) There is established the President’s Council on Food Safety (“Council”). The Council shall comprise the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology/Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government. The Council shall consult with other Federal agencies and State, local, and tribal government agencies, and consumer, producer, scientific, and industry groups, as appropriate.
(b) The Secretaries of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services and the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology/Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall serve as Joint Chairs of the Council.
Sec. 2. Purpose. The purpose of the Council shall be to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for Federal food safety activities, taking into consideration the findings and recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences report “Ensuring Safe Food from Production to Consumption” and other input from the public on how to improve the effectiveness of the current food safety system. The Council shall make recommendations to the President on how to advance Federal efforts to implement a comprehensive science-based strategy to improve the safety of the food supply and to enhance coordination among Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector. The Council shall advise Federal agencies in setting priority areas for investment in food safety.
Sec. 3. Specific Activities and Functions. (a) The Council shall develop a comprehensive strategic Federal food safety plan that contains specific recommendations on needed changes, including measurable outcome goals. The principal goal of the plan should be the establishment of a seamless, science-based food safety system. The plan should address the steps necessary to achieve this goal, including the key public health, resource, and management issues regarding food safety. The planning process should consider both short-term and long-term issues including new and emerging threats and the special needs of vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. In developing this plan, the Council shall consult with all interested parties, including State and local agencies, tribes, consumers, producers, industry, and academia.
(b) Consistent with the comprehensive strategic Federal food safety plan described in section 3(a) of this order, the Council shall advise agencies of priority areas for investment in food safety and ensure that Federal agencies annually develop coordinated food safety budgets for submission to the OMB that sustain and strengthen existing capacities, eliminate duplication, and ensure the most effective use of resources for improving food safety. The Council shall also ensure that Federal agencies annually develop a unified budget for submission to the OMB for the President’s Food Safety Initiative and such other food safety issues as the Council determines appropriate.
(c) The Council shall ensure that the Joint Institute for Food Safety Research (JIFSR), in consultation with the National Science and Technology Council, establishes mechanisms to guide Federal research efforts toward the highest priority food safety needs. The JIFSR shall report to the Council on a regular basis on its efforts: (i) to develop a strategic plan for conducting food safety research activities consistent with the President’s Food Safety Initiative and such other food safety activities as the JIFSR determines appropriate; and (ii) to coordinate efficiently, within the executive branch and with the private sector and academia, all Federal food safety research.
Sec. 4. Cooperation. All actions taken by the Council shall, as appropriate, promote partnerships and cooperation with States, tribes, and other public and private sector efforts wherever possible to improve the safety of the food supply.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, nor does it, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers or any person. Nothing in this order shall affect or alter the statutory responsibilities of any Federal agency charged with food safety responsibilities.