FDA to Issue Two Revised FSMA Rules Next Summer

December 19th, 2013

[NOTE: This is a big interim victory for the many Cornucopia members who made their voices heard by either executing a proxy letter and/or submitting comments directly to the FDA on their (less than user-friendly) website.  Besides for The Cornucopia Institute, many other NGOs involved in the Good Food Movement also encouraged their members to chime in on this important issue. 

The language of Mr. Taylor’s announcement leads us to believe that many of the areas we focused on are going to be the subject of material revisions.   We will be meeting with FDA officials and will alert our farmer-members, and their loyal urban-allies, as soon as the new draft rule is published.  We will of course supply a full analysis at that time.]

Food Safety News

fda2The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will propose revised rule language and open another comment period on two of the proposed rules affecting farmers under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

FDA plans to issue revised rules for the proposed rules on produce safety and preventive controls for human food by early next summer.

The changes will encompass water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, certain provisions affecting mixed-use facilities, and procedures used to withdraw the qualified exemption to these requirements for certain farms.

“We believe that this decision to change  these proposed rules — in response to the careful consideration of many people involved in supplying our food — is critical to fulfilling our commitment to getting them right,” FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Michael Taylor, wrote on the agency’s blog. “As we consider the comments we’ve received, we may decide to include other changes for public comment.”

FDA will again seek comments, but only on the revised sections of the rules. After all, the agency is still under court order deadlines for finalizing the rules.

In participating in more than 150 meetings and by travelling to numerous farms to seek input on the rules, “we have heard concerns that certain provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers,” Taylor said.

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