January 6, 2014

FDA Revises Key Provisions of

Proposed FSMA Affecting Farmers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced TODAY that they will propose revised rule language and open another comment period on two Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules, Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Food. FDA anticipates rule language to be published by early summer 2014 to be followed by a public comment period.
The changes encompass key provisions associated with water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, certain requirements affecting mixed-used facilities, and procedures for withdrawing the qualified exemption for certain farms. Additional revisions may follow FDA’s initial review of the over 25,000 comments received on these two proposed food safety rules.

“Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) is a strong advocate of food safety for both consumers and producers. It’s absolutely critical that the rules are written right to begin with.” said Secretary Chuck Ross. “We will closely examine the revised proposed rules from FDA to ensure that this second round best fits the community-based, diversified agriculture that is so essential to Vermont and New England.”

FSMA remains the most sweeping reform of our nation’s food safety laws in more than 70 years and was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.

The Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce rule, published January 2013, proposes enforceable safety standards for the production and harvesting of produce on farms.

The Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule, published January 2013, would require makers of food to be sold in the United States, whether produced at a foreign- or domestic-based facility, to develop a formal plan for preventing food products from causing foodborne illness.

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