The best way to fix FSMA and ensure safe food AND sustainable farms for our future is to COMMENT ON THE RULES. This is how FDA is officially collecting input from farmers, processors, experts, and everyone who eats – anyone can and should comment!
You can comment on the FDA’s reproposed new rules either ONLINE or via the MAIL. Commenting on the rules is a little different than signing a petition – you need to actually type / paste / write comments and share them with FDA either through an online tool or by sending them in the mail. Our instructions below show you how – and give you a sample comment to use!
The best way to comment on the proposed rules is through the government website Regulations.gov. Here’s how:
1. Do your homework! Check out our FSMA overview, issues page, and guidance on what to say. You don’t need to be an expert – but a little familiarity will help you tell your story. Got questions? You can still comment! If the rules are unclear, FDA needs to know that too. Download our sample comments for FARMERS or for CONSUMERS to help you get started!
2. Click on the appropriate commenting page in Regulations.gov – either the Produce Rule or the Preventive Controls Rule. You can submit the same set of comments to each rule if your comments address both rules.
3. Add your comments – you can type or paste them into the box or upload a separate file using the “Upload File(s)” button. Whatever you do, prepare your thoughts ahead of time using a word processor like Word or good old-fashioned pen and paper! There is a 5000-character limit for the box – this is about one and a half pages of single-spaced typed text or around 700-750 words – if you attach a separate file it can be as long as you’d like. If you think you have more to say, you should UPLOAD a separate document with your longer comments instead and type “See attached file” in the box.
4. Enter your first and last name (or opt to remain anonymous) and select your interest group category – there are many options, including “Individual Consumer” and “Food Industry” (“Food Industry” is what you should choose if you are a farmer or food processor).
5. Click the “Continue” link to preview your comments. Note: you cannot edit your comment once you submit it – but if you see a mistake, you can click the “Edit” button at the bottom to go back and make changes.
6. Click “Submit Comment” to officially submit your comment to FDA.
7. A screen will appear with a confirmation number for your comment. Copy this down – you can use it later to ensure your comment was received. Your comment may not appear on Regulations.gov right away!
FDA will accept comments by mail on the re-proposed rules. They must be postmarked by December 15! The mailing address is:
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
All submissions received must include the following:
If you want to comment on both rules, you can mail them together but must label your comments with BOTH of those docket numbers.
Note: FDA states that all comments received by mail may be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
FSMA commenting from Tilth Producers of Washington on Vimeo.
We’ve developed SAMPLE COMMENTS FOR FARMERS AND CONSUMERS to help you write your comments! Download samples for FARMERS or for CONSUMERS.
Here are some general guidelines to help your comment have its maximum impact: