Comments on Food Safety Modernization Act Due November 15, 2013
The Food Safety Modernization Act is the first major update of federal food safety laws since 1938 and gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad new powers to prevent food safety problems, detect and respond to food safety issues, and improve the safety of imported foods.
Two of the proposed rules, will have significant impacts for Vermont farmers and food processors, so it is important for food producers and consumers to educate themselves about the proposed rules and submit comments.
- The Produce Rule covers the production of raw agricultural commodities (produce). If you grow, harvest, pack or hold fruits or vegetables, you may be subject to part or all of the Produce Rule depending on the gross total yearly food sales of your farm.
- The Preventive Control Rule addresses facilities that process food for human consumption (value-added farms, food hubs, or processing facilities). If you operate a facility where you manufacture, process, pack or hold food (i.e., transform a product in any way) this would be considered "manufacturing" and you would fall under the Preventive Controls Rules.
Farms that produce value-added products have the potential to fall under both rules. Both Rules are in the proposed stage and the open comment period closes November 15, 2013.
UVM Extension is hosting a webinar for farmers on FSMA on November 4, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. that will go over the elements of a strong comment, give examples of talking points for different types of farms, identify alternatives to the proposed rules, and walk you through how to submit comments on-line. Space is limited; register at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/173761087. If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Ginger Nickerson at 802-505-8189 by November 3, 2013.
To learn more:
- Center For Sustainable Agriculture - http://go.uvm.edu/dm2f5 (links to webinars and factsheets)
- "Understanding and Commenting on the Food Safety Moderniziation Act Proposed Rules," Vermont Vegetable & Berry - http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/Understanding_FSMA_Rule.pdf
- University of New Hampshire FSMA - http://extension.unh.edu/Food-Safety-Modernization-Act-FSMA
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition - http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma
- FDA - http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/default.htm
- American Farmland Trust recorded webinar (expect to wait for file to load) - http://www.farmland.org/programs/states/ma/Food-Safety-Modernization-Act.asp
To Submit Comments:
- Online - http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2011-N-0921-0028
- Comments must include agency name (FDA) and docket number