Monday, July 30, 2012 by Lee Mannering
FSMA update: Proposals in “deliberative” phase at OMB
Last week, I read an article on the Food Safety News website that discussed the yet-to-be-published Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed produce safety regulation. You’ll recall that the produce safety proposal – along with proposed rules for preventive controls and foreign supplier verification – have been under administrative review at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since late last year.
In the article, FDA’s Jim Gorny remarked that a possible reason for the lengthy review involves “lining up FDA’s newly proposed regulations with USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative.” Regarding the produce safety rule, he started that the draft “is intended to be the ‘rules of the road’ for the produce industry with three overall goals: reducing the public health burden of produce-related foodborne illness, eliminating disruptions for farmers and shippers and increasing consumer confidence.”
He added that the produce regulations will be flexible and focus on setting standards in a structure much like that used by the USDA Organic program. There will also be some focus on specific commodities, in part to exclude some low risk produce from oversight.
While there seems to be little momentum in the proposals being made public, PMA remains engaged with FDA on FSMA issues. Last week we met with FDA officials to share our and our members’ views about how imports will be affected by changes brought on by FSMA, as well hear FDA’s ideas on how to expedite product across the border.
In the meantime, PMA members can discuss FSMA in the FSMA Community on PMA Xchange and ask questions of PMA staff experts and engage other members in FSMA discussions. We’ve also updated our FSMA resource page to include FAQs on the law, PMA’s comments on rules, FDA resources, and more.