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  1. Domestic MOUs

MOU 225-75-7001

Memorandum of Understanding
Between The United States Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
and The United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is charged with the enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In fulfilling its responsibilities under the act, FDA directs its activities toward the protection of the public health of the nation by ensuring that foods are safe and wholesome and that products are honestly and informatively labeled. This is accomplished by inspecting the processing and distribution of foods and examining samples thereof, to assure compliance with the act. FDA also promulgates under the act, mandatory standards of identity, quality, and fill of container for food products after appropriate notices and public procedures.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), under authorities established by the Agriculture Marketing Act and the Fish and Wildlife Act, is responsible for (1) the development and advancement of commercial grade standards for fishery products and better health and sanitation standards in the industry and (2) furnishing inspection, analytical, and grading services and issuing certificates to producers, processors, shippers, receivers, or interested parties. Its major purpose is to encourage and assist the industry in improving the quality and safety of its products, and to provide objective information by means of inspection and official certification concerning the class, quality, quantity, identify, or condition of products which will be of maximum assistance to interested parties engaged in the production, processing, and marketing of fish and fishery products.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, under the authority of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Acts, is responsible for the wholesomeness of these products for human consumption as well as the protection and improvement of animal and plant health.


These agencies have certain common or related objectives in carrying out their respective regulatory and service activities. This Memorandum of Understanding sets forth the working arrangements which are being followed or adopted to enable each agency to discharge, as effectively as possible, its responsibilities related to the inspection and standardization activities for industrial fish products intended for animal feed use.

WHEREAS, the parties recognized since early 1966 the need for coordinating efforts to avoid duplication and to provide for the most efficient use of resources; and


WHEREAS, the informal working agreement initiated in 1967 between APPHIS and FDA has been discontinued and NMFS has agreed to continue program operations for industrial fishery products under its voluntary fisheries inspection program; and


WHEREAS, the purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to update, specify and formalize the current phase of an agreement, directed toward elimination of Salmonella from industrial fishery products.



Herbert Friedlander
Deputy Director, Division of Compliance
Bureau of Veterinary Medicine
Food and Drug Administration
Telephone: 301-443-3336


Dr. Irving Sackett
Director of Inspection Services
Fishery Product Inspection and Safety Division
National Marine Fisheries Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Telephone: 202-343-8484


Dr. John W. Walker
Senior Staff Veterinarian, Poultry Diseases, VS
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Department of Agriculture
Telephone: 301-436-8438



A. The National Marine Fisheries Service will:

1. Provide a voluntary Salmonella inspection service for fish meal plants and products under its voluntary fisheries inspection program similar to that previously operated by APHIS.

2. Not carry out inspections and testing of products from plants under FDA investigation or enforcement procedures.

3. Provide the appropriate FDA field office, periodically or on request, with a list of firms participating in Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III of the Salmonella inspection program for fish meal plants along with any pertinent inspectional information data, and to revise such lists as needed.

4. Drop from NMFS-state program firms failing to meet the time schedule requirements of Phase II, or to make corrections recommended by the NMFS cooperative program.

5. Provide the appropriate FDA field office inspectional and analytical data on those plants failing to meet the agreed upon timetable for corrections.

6. Provide FDA headquarters (Bureau of Veterinary Medicine) with periodic reports on program progress.


B. The Food and Drug Administration will:

1. Recognize and support the Salmonella control program offered by the Department of Commerce as providing a desirable means of developing and maintaining Salmonella surveillance for participating fish meal plants.

2. Recognize that the NMFS service provided in connection with voluntary contract inspection of fishmeal processing establishments contributes to and aids FDA in enforcement of pertinent statutes. The NMFS inspection service will not diminish FDA's authority to inspect but should minimize FDA inspections in establishments under NMFS contract inspection. In this regard NMFS inspectors shall routinely notify contract establishments of pertinent FDA requirements and advise them on how to comply and verify compliance. NMFS inspectors may not act as FDA inspectors but their inspections and consultations with FDA should reduce the necessity for FDA inspections.

3. Provide NMFS with a list of firms known by FDA to be manufacturers of industrial fish products intended for animal fee use including those identified as not engaged in interstate commerce.

4. Provide NMFS headquarters with timely status reports on the FDA-State-Industry Cooperative Salmonella Program. Provide timely notification to appropriate NMFS field personnel of all official seizure actions taken by FDA on industrial fish intended for animal feed use which are processed in NMFS inspected plants. This would include the name of the product, name of the plant, and the basis for the action taken.


C. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in USDA will:

1. Support the principle of Salmonella control activities and recognize the value of, and continuation of inspection services of fish meal plants and products by NMFS.


D. It is mutually understood and agreed that:

1. FDA, NMFS, and APHIS, will participate in periodic meetings with each other and with industry to promote better communication and understanding of regulations, policy, and statutory responsibilities, and to serve as a clearing house for questions and problems posed by individual firms.

2. The two agencies, FDA and NMFS, will keep up-to-date records of the work carried out under the provisions of this agreement, such records to be made available to the cooperating parties upon request.

3. The two agencies, FDA and NMFS, will collaborate in furnishing reports of the progress of the work and such other reports as may be mutually agreed upon from time to time between the two parties.

4. The responsibilities assumed by each of the cooperating parties are contingent upon funds being available from which the expenditures legally may be met.

5. This understanding is entered into under the authority of the Economy Act of 1932, as amended (31-USC-686).

6. This Memorandum of Understanding shall become effective upon date of final signature and shall continue indefinitely, but may be modified or discontinued at the request of any party.

Requests for termination or any major change shall be submitted to the other parties for consideration not less than 60 days in advance of the effective date desired.

Approved and Accepted
for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Signed by: Acting Administrator
Date: November 13, 1974

Approved and Accepted
for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Signed by: Robert M. White, Administrator
Date: October 31, 1974

Approved and Accepted
for the Food and Drug Administration

Signed by: A.M. Schmidt
Food and Drug Administration
Date: October 3, 1974

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