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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of April 1 2018.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 3]
[Revised as of April 1, 2018]
[CITE: 21CFR170]





TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER B--FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION (CONTINUED)
 
PART 170FOOD ADDITIVES
 

Subpart E--Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Notice

Sec. 170.203 Definitions.

The definitions and interpretations of terms in 170.3 apply to such terms when used in this subpart. The following definitions also apply:

Amendment means any data and information that you submit regarding a filed GRAS notice before we respond to your notice by letter in accordance with 170.265(b)(1) or cease to evaluate your notice in accordance with 170.265(b)(3).

GRAS means generally recognized as safe.

GRAS notice means a submission that informs us of your view that a substance is not subject to the premarket approval requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act based on your conclusion that the substance is GRAS under the conditions of its intended use in accordance with 170.30.

Notified substance means the substance that is the subject of your GRAS notice.

Notifier means the person (e.g., an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity) who is responsible for the GRAS notice, even if another person (such as an attorney, agent, or qualified expert) prepares or submits the notice or provides an opinion about the basis for a conclusion of GRAS status.

Qualified expert means an individual who is qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety of substances under the conditions of their intended use in food.

Supplement means any data and information that you submit regarding a filed GRAS notice after we respond to your notice by letter in accordance with 170.265(b)(1) or cease to evaluate your notice in accordance with 170.265(b)(3).

We, our, and us refer to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

You and your refer to a notifier.

Sec. 170.205 Opportunity to submit a GRAS notice.

Any person may notify FDA of a view that a substance is not subject to the premarket approval requirements of section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act based on that person's conclusion that the substance is GRAS under the conditions of its intended use.

Sec. 170.210 How to send your GRAS notice to FDA.

(a) Send your GRAS notice to the Office of Food Additive Safety (HFS-200), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740.

(b) When you submit your GRAS notice, you may do so either in an electronic format that is accessible for our evaluation or on paper. If you send your GRAS notice on paper, a single paper copy is sufficient.

Sec. 170.215 Incorporation into a GRAS notice.

You may incorporate into your GRAS notice either specifically identified data and information that you previously submitted to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), or specifically identified publicly available data and information submitted by another party, when such data and information remain in CFSAN's records, such as data and information contained in a previous GRAS notice or a food additive petition.

Sec. 170.220 General requirements applicable to a GRAS notice.

(a) A GRAS notice has seven parts as required by 170.225 through 170.255. You must submit the data and information specified in each of these parts on separate pages or sets of pages.

(b) You must include each of the seven parts in your GRAS notice. If you do not include a part, you must include with your GRAS notice an explanation of why that part does not apply to your GRAS notice.

Sec. 170.225 Part 1 of a GRAS notice: Signed statements and certification.

(a) Part 1 of your GRAS notice must be dated and signed by a responsible official of your organization, or by your attorney or agent.

(b) Except as required by paragraph (c)(8) of this section, you must not include any information that is trade secret or confidential commercial information in Part 1 of your GRAS notice.

(c) In Part 1 of your GRAS notice, you must:

(1) Inform us that you are submitting a GRAS notice in accordance with this subpart;

(2) Provide the name and address of your organization;

(3) Provide the name of the notified substance, using an appropriately descriptive term;

(4) Describe the intended conditions of use of the notified substance, including the foods in which the substance will be used, the levels of use in such foods, and the purposes for which the substance will be used, including, when appropriate, a description of a subpopulation expected to consume the notified substance;

(5) Inform us of the statutory basis for your conclusion of GRAS status (i.e., through scientific procedures in accordance with 170.30(a) and (b) or through experience based on common use in food in accordance with 170.30(a) and (c));

(6) State your view that the notified substance is not subject to the premarket approval requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act based on your conclusion that the notified substance is GRAS under the conditions of its intended use;

(7) State that, if we ask to see the data and information that are the basis for your conclusion of GRAS status, either during or after our evaluation of your notice, you will:

(i) Agree to make the data and information available to us; and

(ii) Agree to both of the following procedures for making the data and information available to us:

(A) Upon our request, you will allow us to review and copy the data and information during customary business hours at the address you specify for where these data and information will be available to us; and

(B) Upon our request, you will provide us with a complete copy of the data and information either in an electronic format that is accessible for our evaluation or on paper;

(8) State your view as to whether any of the data and information in Parts 2 through 7 of your GRAS notice are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 (e.g., as trade secret or as commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential).

(9) Certify that, to the best of your knowledge, your GRAS notice is a complete, representative, and balanced submission that includes unfavorable information, as well as favorable information, known to you and pertinent to the evaluation of the safety and GRAS status of the use of the substance;

(10) State both the name and position or title of the person who signs the GRAS notice; and

(11) When applicable, state as required by 170.270 whether you:

(i) Authorize us to send any trade secrets to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; or

(ii) Ask us to exclude any trade secrets from the copy of the GRAS notice that we will send to FSIS.

Sec. 170.230 Part 2 of a GRAS notice: Identity, method of manufacture, specifications, and physical or technical effect.

In Part 2 of your GRAS notice, you must include:

(a) Scientific data and information that identifies the notified substance.

(1) Examples of appropriate data and information include the chemical name, applicable registry numbers (such as a Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number or an Enzyme Commission (EC) number), empirical formula, structural formula, quantitative composition, and characteristic properties.

(2) When the source of a notified substance is a biological material, you must include data and information sufficient to identify:

(i) The taxonomic source (e.g., genus, species) including, as applicable, data and information at the sub-species level (e.g., variety, strain);

(ii) The part of any plant or animal used as the source; and

(iii) Any known toxicants that could be in the source;

(b) A description of the method of manufacture of the notified substance in sufficient detail to evaluate the safety of the notified substance as manufactured;

(c) Specifications for food-grade material; and

(d) When necessary to demonstrate safety, relevant data and information bearing on the physical or other technical effect the notified substance is intended to produce, including the quantity of the notified substance required to produce such effect.

Sec. 170.235 Part 3 of a GRAS notice: Dietary exposure.

In part 3 of your GRAS notice, you must provide data and information about dietary exposure (i.e., the amount of relevant substances that consumers are likely to eat or drink as part of a total diet), regardless of whether your conclusion of GRAS status is through scientific procedures or through experience based on common use in food, as follows:

(a) You must provide an estimate of dietary exposure to the notified substance that includes exposure from its intended use and all sources in the diet; and

(b) When applicable, you must provide an estimate of dietary exposure to any other substance that is expected to be formed in or on food because of the use of the notified substance (e.g., hydrolytic products or reaction products);

(c) When applicable, you must provide an estimate of dietary exposure to any other substance that is present with the notified substance either naturally or due to its manufacture (e.g., contaminants or by-products);

(d) You must describe the source of any food consumption data that you use to estimate dietary exposure in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section; and

(e) You must explain any assumptions you made to estimate dietary exposure in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section.

Sec. 170.240 Part 4 of a GRAS notice: Self-limiting levels of use.

In circumstances where the amount of the notified substance that can be added to food is limited because food containing levels of the notified substance above a particular level would become unpalatable or technologically impractical, in Part 4 of your GRAS notice you must include data and information on such self-limiting levels of use.

Sec. 170.245 Part 5 of a GRAS notice: Experience based on common use in food before 1958.

If the statutory basis for your conclusion of GRAS status is through experience based on common use in food, in Part 5 of your GRAS notice you must include evidence of a substantial history of consumption of the notified substance for food use by a significant number of consumers prior to January 1, 1958.

Sec. 170.250 Part 6 of a GRAS notice: Narrative.

In Part 6 of your GRAS notice, you must include a narrative that provides the basis for your conclusion of GRAS status, in which:

(a)(1) You must explain why the data and information in your notice provide a basis for your view that the notified substance is safe under the conditions of its intended use. In your explanation, you must address the safety of the notified substance, considering all dietary sources and taking into account any chemically or pharmacologically related substances in such diet;

(2) In your explanation, you must identify what specific data and information that you discuss in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section are generally available, and what specific data and information that you discuss in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section are not generally available, by providing citations to the list of data and information that you include in Part 7 of your GRAS notice in accordance with 170.255;

(b) You must explain how the generally available data and information that you rely on to establish safety in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section provide a basis for your conclusion that the notified substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, to be safe under the conditions of its intended use;

(c) You must either:

(1) Identify, discuss, and place in context, data and information that are, or may appear to be, inconsistent with your conclusion of GRAS status, regardless of whether those data and information are generally available; or

(2) State that you have reviewed the available data and information and are not aware of any data and information that are, or may appear to be, inconsistent with your conclusion of GRAS status;

(d) If you view any of the data and information in your notice as exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must identify the specific data and information; and

(e) For non-public, safety-related data and information considered in reaching a conclusion of GRAS status, you must explain how there could be a basis for a conclusion of GRAS status if qualified experts do not have access to such data and information.

Sec. 170.255 Part 7 of a GRAS notice: List of supporting data and information in your GRAS notice.

(a) In part 7 of your GRAS notice, you must include a list of all of the data and information that you discuss in Part 6 of your GRAS notice to provide a basis for your view that the notified substance is safe under the conditions of its intended use as described in accordance with 170.250(a)(1).

(b) You must specify which data and information that you list in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section are generally available, and which data and information are not generally available.

Sec. 170.260 Steps you may take before FDA responds to your GRAS notice.

(a) You may submit a timely amendment to your filed GRAS notice, to update your GRAS notice or in response to a question from us, before we respond to your notice by letter in accordance with 170.265(b)(1) or cease to evaluate your notice in accordance with 170.265(b)(3).

(b) At any time before we respond to your GRAS notice in accordance with 170.265(b)(1), you may request in writing that we cease to evaluate your GRAS notice. Your request does not preclude you from submitting a future GRAS notice in accordance with this subpart with respect to the notified substance.

Sec. 170.265 What FDA will do with a GRAS notice.

(a)(1) We will conduct an initial evaluation of your submission to determine whether to file it as a GRAS notice for evaluation of your view that the notified substance is GRAS under the conditions of its intended use.

(2) If we file your submission as a GRAS notice, we will send you a letter that informs you of the date of filing.

(3) If we do not file your submission as a GRAS notice, we will send you a letter that informs you of that fact and provides our reasons for not filing the submission as a GRAS notice.

(4) We will consider any timely amendment that you submit to a filed GRAS notice, to update your GRAS notice or in response to a question from us, before we respond to you by letter in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, if we deem that doing so is feasible within the timeframes established in paragraph (b) of this section. If we deem that considering your amendment is not feasible within the timeframes established in paragraph (b) of this section or if we have granted your request to cease to evaluate your notice, we will inform you that we are not considering your amendment.

(b)(1) Within 180 days of filing, we will respond to you by letter based on our evaluation of your notice. We may extend the 180 day timeframe by 90 days on an as needed basis.

(2) If we extend the timeframe, we will inform you in writing of the extension as soon as practicable but no later than within 180 days of filing.

(3) If you ask us to cease to evaluate your GRAS notice in accordance with 170.260(b), we will send you a letter informing you of our decision regarding your request.

(c) If circumstances warrant, we will send you a subsequent letter about the notice.

Sec. 170.270 Procedures that apply when the intended conditions of use of a notified substance include use in a product or products subject to regulation by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture.

If the intended conditions of use of the notified substance include use in a product or products subject to regulation by FSIS under statutes that it administers:

(a) When applicable, you must include in your GRAS notice a statement as to whether you:

(1) Authorize us to send any trade secrets to FSIS; or

(2) Ask us to exclude any trade secrets from the copy of the GRAS notice that we will send to FSIS.

(b)(1) We will forward a copy of a GRAS notice or relevant portions thereof to FSIS;

(2) We will exclude any trade secrets unless you have authorized us to do so in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and

(c) We will ask FSIS to advise whether the intended conditions of use comply with applicable statutes and regulations, or, if not, whether the use of the substance would be permitted in products under FSIS' jurisdiction under specified conditions or restrictions.

(d) As appropriate, we will inform you of the advice we receive from FSIS in the letter we send you in accordance with 170.265(b)(1).

Sec. 170.275 Public disclosure of a GRAS notice.

(a) The data and information in a GRAS notice (including data and information submitted in any amendment or supplement to your GRAS notice or incorporated into your GRAS notice) are:

(1) Considered a mandatory, rather than voluntary, submission for purposes of their status under the Freedom of Information Act and our public information requirements in part 20 of this chapter; and

(2) Available for public disclosure in accordance with part 20 of this chapter as of the date that we receive your GRAS notice.

(b) We will make the following readily accessible to the public:

(1) A list of filed GRAS notices, including the information described in 170.225(c)(2) through (c)(5);

(2) The text of any letter that we issue under 170.265(b)(1) or (c); and

(3) The text of any letter that we issue under 170.265(b)(3) if we grant your request that we cease to evaluate your notice.

(c) We will disclose all remaining data and information that are not exempt from public disclosure in accordance with part 20 of this chapter.

Sec. 170.280 Submission of a supplement.

If circumstances warrant, you may submit a supplement to a filed GRAS notice after we respond to your notice by letter in accordance with 170.265(b)(1) or cease to evaluate your notice in accordance with 170.265(b)(3).

Sec. 170.285 Disposition of pending GRAS affirmation petitions.

Because the procedure to submit a GRAS notice is replacing the former process to submit a GRAS affirmation petition, the following will happen to a filed GRAS affirmation petition that is pending on October 17, 2016.

(a) On October 17, 2016, we will close the docket for any GRAS affirmation petition that is still pending as of October 17, 2016.

(b) Any person who submitted a GRAS affirmation petition described in this section may submit a GRAS notice as described in this subpart and request that we incorporate the GRAS affirmation petition as described in 170.215.

Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321, 341, 342, 346a, 348, 371.
Source: 42 FR 14483, Mar. 15, 1977, unless otherwise noted.

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