WASHINGTON: The FDA is moving quietly, yet rapidly, to implement
new guidelines that shore up the US' food supply from the threat of a
The guidelines, which were entered into the National Register on January
9, are aimed at educating food producers, processors, transporters,
retailers, and importers about preventative measures that they can
employ to protect the country's food supply "from farm to table," said
an FDA spokesman.
The FDA press department was warned about the guidelines' release months
ago. Its in-house press office - divided into departments that handle
trade press, major news media, broadcast, and online - has been handling
all communications duties. These have ranged from managing press
inquiries to distributing the guidelines to key influencers and
communicators such as industry trade organizations, including the
Grocery Manufacturers Group.
Lessening the risk of creating widespread panic in a situation that is
currently under control, the FDA decided against proactive
communication, and instead relied on old channels to publicize the food
safety measures and the import that they would have on food
The three-tier system relied on using the National Register, a site that
is regularly checked by the media, as the first step in drawing
attention to the rules. The second part of the communications process
was that the FDA worked with industry groups, such as the Food Security
Alliance, to help develop the guidelines. Lastly, the press office
readied itself to respond to media questions.