A food safety update straight from DC to you:
At yesterday’s Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee hearing yesterday, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced that the comment period for two new food safety rules – a part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed two years ago – would be extended by 120 days.
In response to a question on the comment period timeframe, the commissioner stated that “we appreciate these are complex rules, the proposed rules, to go through and analyze, and we do intend to extend the comment period so we can hear all the concerns and address them fully.” This is welcome news for farmers and consumers who are in the process of analyzing and preparing comments on the nearly 2,000 pages of proposed regulations.
The comment period was originally set to close on May 16, and with the extension, the comment period is now scheduled to close in mid-September. The two proposed rules set standards for produce safety and standards for facilities that process food for human consumption.
For more information about the new proposed food safety regulations, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s FSMA Action Center. There is information about what the proposed rules are, how to get involved in the comment process, and information about who is affected.