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FDA Recognizes New Zealand as Having a Comparable Food Safety System

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On December 10, 2012 the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the New Zealand Government signed an agreement in which the FDA recognizes New Zealand's food safety systems to be comparable to its own. The Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement was signed at a meeting in Washington DC by delegations from the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and FDA. It covers all foods and animal feeds regulated by the FDA, including nutritional supplements such as those created by Xtend-Life.

History was made that day-never before has the FDA recognized the food safety system of a foreign country.

On the photo: Ministry for Primary Industries Deputy Director General Standards Carol Barnao (left) and US Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Food Michael R. Taylor sign a systems recognition agreement at a meeting in Washington DC.

Why is such an agreement so momentous?

It's simply not possible for a country's border control to scrutinize every food product brought into the country, or to inspect the premises of every foreign manufacturer. So how do countries such as the US and NZ more optimally ensure the safety of imported foods? Answer: By strengthening the global food safety net through closer collaboration with regulators around the world.

The US - New Zealand agreement was achieved after years of inspector training, procedures for identifying and responding to food safety issues, and legal authority, to name a few. With assurances of the quality of these in place, border inspectors can now use these assurances to assist decision making and risk assessment. To illustrate, inspectors can determine that the risk from items imported from a partner country is sufficiently low that they do not need to scrutinize each item. Instead, they can dedicate time and costs to imports that present a higher risk.

The agreement also prevents the duplication of effort on both sides, even saving costs to manufacturers. When the process is more streamlined, the potential regulatory burden for traded foods is lessened, and costs are lowered; goods offered by manufacturers in partner countries will appear more attractive to importers. So more business opportunities can be anticipated.

How does it apply to Xtend-Life supplement products?

Dietary supplements developed and manufactured in New Zealand are covered by this country's food safety system, including relevant laws and regulations, inspection programs, compliance and enforcement, and laboratory support.

Xtend-Life fully meets all requirements of the New Zealand food safety system and now, by default, all the requirements of the US FDA. For example, every year, Xtend-Life undergoes a full "Quality and Production Facility Audit" by Asurequality, a New Zealand Government agency. Following our most recent audit, Asurequality concluded that the cleanliness of our factory and the practices of our staff were highly commendable. Our systems, from receipt of ingredients to release of finished product, were excellent. The auditor also commented that the traceability (a very important factor in ensuring a high quality of finished products) was very well managed. The audit confirmed that our products were safe to consume under New Zealand Food Safety law, and are therefore safe to sell to our customers all over the world.

What about skin care products?

Although skin care products are not monitored as stringently as supplements are, Xtend-Life recognizes that any products applied to the skin will be absorbed by the body. For this reason, Xtend-Life develops skin care products by the same standards that we do our supplements, including formulation, ingredients, and manufacturing.

You can learn more here:

NZ food safety recognition by United States momentous (MPI news release)

A New Partnership with New Zealand (FDA blog)

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