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Existing EDI Systems Sufficient to Meet Bioterrorism Requirements, says GMA

WASHINGTON -- The commonly used Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) will allow manufacturers and others to meet the record-keeping requirements specified in the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, which go into effect on Dec. 9, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

"The food and beverage industry is fully committed to ensuring the security of the food supply," said GMA v.p. of supply chain and technology Pam Stegeman. "Having closely reviewed the Bioterrorism Act with GS1 US [formerly the Uniform Code Council], we are confident that EDI will meet the requirements for record-keeping between manufacturers and retailers effectively and efficiently."

In partnership with GS1 US, GMA examined the available options that would enable companies to comply with the Bioterrorism Act's record-keeping rules. GMA and GS1 US found that EDI meets these requirements, and will have little or no effect on total supply chain costs. EDI is a communication system used by many manufacturers, retailers, and others in the food and beverage industry to track purchases and shipments. Widely used since the early 1980s, EDI increases productivity by replacing the traditional processes of preparing data in paper form.

The Bioterrorism Act requires all people who manufacture, process, pack, transport, receive, hold, or import food to establish and maintain records of transactions for all food products. All affected people must track products "one step up, one step back" through the supply chain, and may use existing paper or electronic systems to do so. The regulations are enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

GS1 US is an industry-supported, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the adoption and implementation of standards-based, global supply chain solutions. GS1 US-based solutions, including EDI transaction sets and bar code identification standards, are currently used by more than 1 million member companies worldwide.
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