The Food and Drug Administration will propose revised rule language on two of the proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act that affect farmers. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor says the agency believes this decision was made in response to the careful consideration of many people involved in supplying our food and is critical to fulfilling a commitment to getting them right. The plan is to issue revised rules for the proposed rules on produce safety and preventive controls for human food by early next summer. Among other things – the changes will encompass water quality standards and testing and standards for using manure and compost. FDA will seek comments on the revised sections of the rule.
Positive Responses to FDA Decision
The American Feed Industry Association and United Fresh both responded positively to the FDA’s plan to make changes to proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules. According to AFIA President and CEO Joel Newman – the decision shows the agency’s recognition of the complexity of the rules and their willingness to take the extra step to ensure the final rules will be as practical as possible for implementation by the industry. He says AFIA acknowledges FDA’s intent to make these rules well suited for everyone involved in various industry segments. Newman says this is a positive sign for the future of the Food Safety Modernization Act. United Fresh Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology David Gombas says his group is encouraged that FDA took the extensive input received from produce farmers and others in the agricultural sector on the proposed Produce Safety and Preventive Controls rules seriously. He says United Fresh appreciates the agency’s willingness to rethink these provisions and propose requirements that are more science and risk-based. Gombas says it’s critical that FDA get these FSMA rules right – and United Fresh believes this is a step in the right direction.