The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is planning major changes to its proposed produce and preventive-control rules for human food as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Provisions to be changed include those regarding water quality standards and testing, raw manure and compost, mixed-use facilities and exemptions for certain farms, the agency said.
"We have heard the concern that these provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers," stated Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.
FDA expects the proposed changes will be finalized by early summer. The agency said it will seek additional public comment once changes are completed.
"Because this is such a complex regulatory structure, trying to regulate a very broad diverse produce industry with so many types of farms and operations, it is the wisest course to release a second round" of proposed rules, said Ray Gilmer, vice president of issues management and communications at United Fresh.
By Lindsay Beaton
As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
By Tang Yu