Government Relations & Advocacy

shutterstock_125573921ASTA is the voice of the spice industry in the public policy arena

An important member benefit is ASTA’s emphasis on keeping members up to date on regulatory and legislative issues affecting the spice industry. ASTA monitors issues that have the potential to impact the spice industry and works proactively to engage federal decision makers on the outcome of regulations and legislation that effect the spice industry by communicating its position on issues and providing information about the industry to policymakers.

ASTA works in both the regulatory and legislative arena as necessary.  For example, on behalf of its members, ASTA staff tracks pending legislation/bills, hearings, mark-ups, newly enacted laws, and other activities in the United States House and Senate and keeps ASTA members apprised of issues affecting the industry.

Learn about ASTA’s specific advocacy efforts, like ASTA’s response to FDA’s Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens and Risk in Spices and see what Comments and Letters ASTA submitted on this and other issues impacting ASTA members and the spice industry.  Also find out more about ASTA work with Coalitions.

On the legislative front, when there is an issue that directly impacts the spice industry, such as food safety, ASTA communicates with legislators by sending letters, submitting written testimony at hearings, and meeting with congressional staff, as well as requesting that ASTA members email their legislators. ASTA’s Government Relations and Advocacy Committee also meets with congressional staff and federal agency staff to share their expertise as needed. The goal of this communication is for legislators to better understand our industry and take our position into consideration when formulating legislation.

Advocacy with the executive branch of government which implements the laws passed by Congress is focused on three primary federal agencies that regulate the spice industry: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency. ASTA monitors these agencies for issues affecting the spice industry and communicates pertinent information to its members. In addition, ASTA provides the agencies with information and industry expertise in an effort to help regulators formulate regulations that don’t have an adverse affect on the industry.

U.S. Policy and Regulations
The spice industry faces several critical issues in the public policy arena and the requirements placed on business continues to grow.  Find more information in this section on the various topics of interest including a wide variety of food safety topics, importing product into the United States, pesticide residues and labeling requirements.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Reportable Food Registry
Imports/Sanctions/Transport Restrictions
Pesticide Residues
State Regulations

Regulatory Tools & Resources
Complying with U.S. Policy and Regulations can be a daunting task due to the complexities of the requirements and the fact that legal jurisdiction over spices is intertwined across several agencies.  This section provides the fundamentals of regulations and legal definitions for spices and is an excellent resource to check as a starting point when your company is needing to locate legal authorities on spices.

FSMA Risk Assessment Considerations Guide
ASTA FSMA Decision Tree 
Definition of Spice
ASTA Ready-to-Eat FAQs
ASTA Spice List
21 CFR Sec. 101.22(2)(2)
Regulatory Authorities
FDA Online Training Course