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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on December 2nd that SGS United States Testing Company (USTC) has been selected to take part in Phase II of its pilot program to evaluate third-party certification programs for foreign processors of aquacultured shrimp.

The pilot program responds to a recommendation in the President’s Action Plan for Import Safety, issued in November 2007, which called for the development of voluntary third-party certification programs for foreign producers who export to the United States.

The FDA’s Food Protection Plan, also issued last November, emphasizes qualified and legitimate third party certification as a way to help verify the safety of products from both foreign and domestic food companies.

The pilot will allow the FDA to identify and address technical and operational issues in assessing certification programs and processing certifications. This information will assist the agency in moving towards broader recognition of voluntary third-party certification programs.

Five countries within the SGS Asian food network, including SGS Thailand, SGS Indonesia, SGS Vietnam, SGS China and SGS India, will participate in the pilot scheme which will run through June 2009. A total of 10 clients based in these 5 countries have volunteered to take part in the pilot.

Says Rob Parrish, Global VP of CTS Food Services, “Our acceptance onto the FDA pilot is vindication of our years of experience in creating and delivering quality solutions to shrimp supply chains around the world“.

SGS is the market leader in food safety management certification with over 10,000 certificates issued. SGS is also a leading service provider in the area of food safety testing and inspections.

Kevin Edwards
SGS US Testing Company, Inc.
291 Fairfield Ave,
07004, Fairfield, USA
t: 973-575-5252 (o)
Website: www.us.sgs.com

About SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 53,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.