| Food Safety Modernization Act
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a federal food safety law. The comprehensive measure grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad new power to enforce food safety standards on farms. It could impact produce growers, farms that aggregate product with other farms and farms that even minimally process what they produce.
FDA issued two sets of proposed rules for implementing FSMA, the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule. The Produce Safety Rule seeks to reduce the food safety risks in raw produce and the Preventive Controls rule seeks to reduce risks in food processing.
FDA published these proposed rules in January, 2013. The comment period closed on November 22, 2013.
These rules could have a significant impact on agriculture in New England. In response to encouragement from NEFU and other advocacy organizations, FDA held public FSMA hearings in New England. This gave our region’s producers the opportunity to talk face-to-face with the FDA and explain how the proposed rules could impact our farms.
Producers and consumers throughout New England took the time and effort to understand the rules and provide comments to FDA. Based on the input from our members throughout New England, NEFU also filed comments with the FDA. Check out the comments that NEFU filed on the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule. NEFU also collaborated with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition on their comments, which can be found here.
Now it’s time for FDA to respond to the comments and issue a final produce safety and preventive controls rules. We look forward to working with FDA to implement regulations that ensure a safe food supply and that are appropriate for agriculture in New England – as well as throughout the country.