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COMMENT: “Flawed Science” Delays Roll Out of Food and Drug Administration’s “Water Rule”

March 15, 2019


Contact: Reana Kovalcik
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
P: 202-547-5754, E: rkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net 

“Flawed Science” Delays Roll Out of Food and Drug Administration’s “Water Rule”
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition praises the decision to revisit and rethink rule

Washington, DC, March 15, 2019 – Produce farms regulated under the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (“Produce Safety Rule”) now have two additional years to comply with the rule’s agricultural water requirements. In response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to delay this portion of the rule, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) issued the following statement:

“Food safety rules need to be science-based, effective, and practical for all sizes of produce farms,” said NSAC Policy Specialist Kelly Nuckolls. “The current agricultural water requirements were developed by EPA to address primarily viral gastrointestinal illness; there is no scientific basis for the standard’s use in produce production. As written, these requirements would have resulted in significant costs to farmers, and smaller family farms would have borne a disproportionate share of the burden.”

“We commend FDA for acknowledging farmers’ concerns and delaying the agricultural water requirements in Subpart E of the Produce Safety Rule. The FSMA regulations are complex and require immense amounts of research and stakeholder engagement to properly develop. We urge FDA to implement a scientifically rigorous process for revising the agricultural water requirements over the next three years, and look forward to continuing to work together as this process develops.”

NSAC has long advocated for food safety rules that are based on known risks and developed in congress with farmers. The Coalition first voiced concerns around the agricultural water requirements in 2014, issuing comments to the proposed Produce Safety Rule as part of an ongoing dialogue with FDA.


About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net

Categories: Food Safety, Press Releases

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