study. The Committees process for evaluating FDA materials required a determination about which types of available documents were pertinent to the question of adequate implementation. The Committee recognized that it would need to develop a set of criteria to evaluate the adequacy of Federal implementation and make recommendations concerning the status of State requirements. The process by which the Committee established its criteria and the steps taken in choosing which FDA materials to use are reviewed in Chapter 4.
It was also necessary to review State activity in the areas under study to determine the full impact of preemption on State and local requirements, and the Committee soon discovered that there is no easy way to identify such activities. On several occasions, the Committee used electronic mail, letters, and fliers to request information from the States and selected local jurisdictions about those of their statutes and regulations that parallel the six provisions of FDCA Section 403 under study (Appendix E). At the request of the Committee, FDA twice sent communications through its electronic mail bulletin board, NRSTEN (National, Regional, and State Telecommunication Network), to elicit this information. The NRSTEN system reaches a wide audience of food and drug regulators and professional associations (Table 2-1). From an initial and follow-up request, all 50 States responded by providing the Committee with their basic food laws and regulations related to the misbranding provisions under study (Appendix F).
The Committee also sent a letter containing a set of six questions (Appendix C) to all State governors and principal food regulatory officials, selected local jurisdictions, approximately 25 consumer groups, and several national associations of food regulatory officials/professionals. The letter requested information concerning the views of the addressee on the adequacy of Federal implementation in the areas under study and conflicting State or local requirements that might be preempted. Members of the Committee also made presentations about the study and distributed a flier (containing information identical to that in the letters) at the annual meetings of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO; approximately 250 contacts); the National Association of Consumer Affairs Administrators (NACAA; approximately 200 contacts); the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA; 30 contacts); and the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM; 300 contacts). The Committee received responses from 37 of 50 States providing additional information for its deliberations (Appendix D). The response from those other than State officials was very limited. The complete list of individuals who provided information to the Committee is contained in Appendix E. Virtually no information on the impact of implementation of State and local requirements on public health and nutrition was provided to the Committee.