FDA Steps Up Outreach on the Proposed Produce Safety Rul


FDA is expanding its outreach to small and medium-sized growers to address questions that have arisen since the proposed rule was issued in January 2013. According to Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA expects and welcomes questions that arise during the rulemaking process. In a new interview, he emphasizes that FDA is committed to developing, with input, a final rule that prevents illnesses but that also is practical and adaptable to a wide diversity of growing conditions and practices.

As part of the expanded outreach, FDA is issuing several new publications focusing on key issues such as agricultural water and alternatives and variances to certain provisions in the proposed rule. FDA will work through a network of key stakeholder organizations to publicize the materials. The materials will appear on a new "Resources for Farmers" section on the FSMA Proposed Rule for Produce Safety page.

Engagement with stakeholders has been, and will continue to be, a priority for FDA, and the agency is planning additional outreach, including targeted outreach on specific areas such as agricultural water that continue to generate questions.

Comments on the proposed rule are due by September 16 and can be submitted on regulations.gov.

Following are the new materials available:

Interview with Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine
Fact Sheet on Agricultural Water and Diagram: Subpart E
Fact Sheet on Alternatives and Variances
Commodities Related to Outbreaks Change Frequently

Additional materials are being developed, including materials regarding mixed-type facilities, and will be posted to the new "Resources for Farmers" section referenced above.