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Initial Reaction to OSHA Expansion of Diacetyl / Food Flavoring Rulemaking (DAPORS)

Below are a number of quotes which were provided as part of an interview regarding the topic of OSHA Reguatory Agenda item: Food Flavorings / Diacetyl. The SHIB which was published by the agency a couple of months ago has a number of serious flaws.

In the newOSHA Reg Agenda published on December 20, 2010, the agency announced that it will be expanding the diacetyl rulemaking to include many other food flavorings as well. Below are some quotes which were provided.

By the way, it doesn’t look like OSHA will do another SBREFA panel for this expanded rulemaking item. They most certainly should. The small business community that participated in the previous panel had a certain paradigm of thinking (ie: we can always substitute our ways out of the problem among other thoughts) which no longer applies.

OSHA Expansion of Diacetyl (DAPORS) / Food Flavoring Rulemaking:

“When they came out with the SHIB about 6 weeks ago, it was basically signalling that they were going to expand the scope of diacetyl rulemaking. I fully support the rulemaking process, but those rules and guidance materials ought to be based on sound science and data which enables employers to properly and effectively protect their employees against these hazards.”

Regarding the OSHA SHIB on Diacetyl / Food Flavorings:

“This may be the first time OSHA has used the phraseology ‘what employers must do’. That is a highly unusual phrase to be used in the context of a SHIB’s purpose. My question is: which is it?”

“My concern is nobody knows what is causing the problem. Is it diacetyl, is it diacetylwith a combination of other chemicals? We just don’t know. I think it’s important that we don’t just haphazardly presume that all of these chemicals are hazardous when this may not be the case.”

“Furthermore, it’s important to ask what new science or enforcement findings are they using as the basis for this scope expansion?”

“I’m hopeful that the regulators will rely on sound science and data rather than presumptions as inferred in parts of the SHIB.”

“They’re expanding this rulemaking process and they haven’t released any public information on the NEP. That ought to be published so that people can see what they’re finding and start to put the picture together.”- similar to what they did for combustible dust.

“Is OSHA hinting that they are finding significant issues in its latest NEP which is providing the basis for the scope expansion? If so, I would hope that they will publish that information soon so that employers can begin implementing corrective actions without delay.”


Prometrix Consulting, with a staff of former OSHA officials, offers expert consulting and training services to help clients ensure compliance with complex workplace safety and health requirements.

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