November 25, 2013
With the close of the public comment period for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed regulations on produce safety and preventive controls for facilities that manufacture human food, Congress submitted a number of letters to FDA on important issues in the proposed rules.
House Organic Caucus Sends Letter on Manure and Compost Requirements
The House Organic Caucus, led by Representatives DeFazio (D-OR), Farr (D-CA), Hanna (R-NY), and Kind (D-WI), sent a bipartisan letter to FDA expressing strong concerns about the requirements in the produce regulations for the use of biological soil amendments like manure and compost. As proposed, the regulations conflict with longstanding practices used in sustainable and certified organic production by requiring excessively long intervals between the application of amendments like manure and compost made with animal materials, and harvest of produce. The letter urges FDA to align its standards with and not exceed the current application intervals established in the National Organic Program regulations.
Senators Tester and Hagan Send Letter on Direct and Small Farm and Facility Issues
Senators Tester (D-MT) and Hagan (D-NC) sent a letter to FDA on the implementation of the specific provisions that they championed in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for small farms and facilities selling through short supply chains. The letter highlights specific concerns in the proposed rules to make sure that the regulations fulfill the law’s requirements for a flexible, scale- and supply-chain appropriate approach. The letter also raises concerns about the proposed requirements for biological soil amendments and agricultural water.
Congress Urges FDA to Release a Second Set of Proposed Rules for Public Comment
Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Blunt (R-MO) and Representatives Courtney (D-CT), Gibson (R-NY), and Kuster (D-NH) led a bicameral, bipartisan letter urging FDA to address issues in the proposed rules and release a second set of proposed rules for public comment before finalizing the regulations. Seventy-five members of Congress co-signed the letter, noting that as proposed the rules “would result in a multitude of unintended consequences that would be severely detrimental to national, regional and local agriculture.”
Now that the comment period on the two proposed rules has closed, FDA must read through the public comments it received and revise the regulations. NSAC submitted comprehensive comments on the proposed regulations and supports the call for a second set of proposed rules for public comment before they are finalized.
Categories: Food Safety