December 20, 2013
FDA has announced that it will be seeking additional public comment on revised portions of its new rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Mike Taylor, FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, cited the volume of feedback from concerned farmers, researchers, and consumers as influencing FDA’s conclusion that the rules were in need of major changes. NSAC conducted a major public education campaign on the rulemaking.
FDA said it will for sure revise areas of the rules dealing with water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, provisions affecting “mixed-use facilities” (farms that engage in value-added processing), and due process considerations for farms that are eligible for qualified exemptions from the new regulations. In addition, FDA indicates that additional issues needing revision may be added to the list as they complete the review of the public comments.
FDA expects to have revised proposals ready for public review and comment by early summer. It is not yet known how long the second comment period will last. As we did with the initial proposed rules, NSAC will again be in the forefront of educating farmers and consumers about the revised proposals once they become available.
NSAC issued a statement welcoming FDA’s decision to release revised versions of these regulations and calling for the list of areas under new consideration to be expanded to address additional concerns of the sustainable agriculture community.
The announcement also drew approval from Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who authored a key amendment to the original FSMA legislation protecting farmers selling locally, as well as Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA), and the entire Vermont Congressional delegation.
Categories: Food Safety