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The United Fresh Produce Association applauds the new timeline to implement rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that was agreed on by the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the Center for Environmental Health.
FDA and the two advocacy groups reached a settlement in a case appealing the strict, court-imposed deadlines for FDA’s publication of final versions of the rules.
“We are encouraged that FDA has been allowed to push back the June 2015 deadline for these rules,” said United’s David Gombas, SVP of food safety and technology. “Each rule represents major changes to the industry and FDA in how the safety of human and animal food is controlled and regulated, both domestically and imported. It’s critical that FDA have the time to ensure that the final rules are right.”
The new deadlines are Aug. 30, 2015, for preventive controls for human food and preventive controls for animal food; Oct. 31, 2015, for produce safety, foreign supplier verification program, and third-party accreditation; March 31, 2016, for sanitary transport; and May 31, 2016, for intentional adulteration.
The settlement also removes any prior deadlines for public comment periods, which CFS said will allow for “more robust public participation throughout the rulemaking process.” In addition, the deadlines for the sanitary transportation and intentional food adulteration rules will also be pushed back to 2016.