Leveraging News Aggregator Tools to Maximize Compliance

Posted: Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Global Food Safety Resource

By Sandra Gebauer Kelly

News aggregator tools are an effective and automated way to receive early warnings about regulatory changes that may affect the compliance of your organization’s products. When used properly, news aggregators allow manufacturers to not only be alerted to updates on contaminants and additives, for example, but also to influence the regulation change itself. Here are three tips to maximize the opportunity they represent:

Identify Keywords that Relate to Your Products, Industry and Countries of Sale

Example: your product is cheese, your industry is dairy manufacturing and your region is North America.

Your keywords would then be: dairy, cheese, milk, contaminants and additives, North America, regulation change.

Be sure to identify the news sources that you’d like to reference when you set up your search in  the news aggregator tool you are using. The main sources are governmental bodies that publish regulation updates as they occur. Other sources may include scientific websites, recall tracking sites within your industry and business news sources.


Check the Results of Your Keyword Searches

Many aggregator tools will allow users to select how often they want to review their results. It’s best for manufacturers to review their results weekly, at least, to capture any impending changes. If you know your industry is prone to a higher frequency of regulation updates, you may want to institute daily updates to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, and to give your regulatory compliance team plenty of time to respond to the authorities about the update.

One of the main benefits of early monitoring of regulation updates is that it gives manufacturers the opportunity to favorably influence the regulation changes, as opposed to scrambling to react and modify the product makeup to reflect the regulation change.

Assess the impact of a regulatory update on your product to ensure your product and label are still compliant 

Review your database, paying particular attention to your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system, if you are using one, to understand if and how the regulatory update affects your product’s ability to remain compliant with the regulation change. If deemed not in compliance, a formula-level change may be required, which could extend through to the final label.

There are rare cases in which you may find your product to be so far out of compliance with the new regulation change that the most cost effective approach is to delist or abandon the product development altogether. This is the most undesirable outcome, which is why early and frequent news monitoring and regulation influencing is key.

About the Author

Sandra Gebauer Kelly currently leads the Selerant RSA team in North America, but has worked in regulatory for major CPG companies for more than 18 years. Sandra’s expertise as both a client and provider gives her a unique understanding to the complexities of managing regulatory affairs, global compliance, raw material and data management.


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