January 16, 2018

FDA Extends Deadline For Food Safety Rules, Again

Although two proposed rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are already more than a year overdue, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending for the second time the comment period on both of them. The Agency will now be accepting comments on the preventative controls and produce safety rules, formally known as  the “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food” and “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” until September 16, 2013.

fda-ft“These overdue rules, along with the others still delayed, must be finalized and implemented to better ensure the safety of our food. Time and again, I have asked this to be done in a robust, timely fashion. Unfortunately, special interests are still winning and American consumers are losing as we all wait for a law signed more than two years ago to finally go into effect. American families deserve better and I will question Commissioner Hamburg closely about this when she testifies before Congress this Friday,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in a statement responding to the delay.

The FDA cited written requests from stakeholders who say they need more time to  “respond fully to FDA’s specific requests for comments and to allow potential respondents to thoroughly evaluate and address pertinent issues in the two proposed rules,” in its decision to extend the deadline. Earlier this month, the agency  extended the comment period for pilot programs that trace food from farm to table.

The preventative controls and produce safety rule are the first of five proposed rules that “would establish the foundation of, and central framework for, the modern food safety system envisioned by Congress in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA),” according to the agency. The other three proposed rules, Preventive Controls for Animal Food; Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP); and Accreditation of Third Party Auditors, are under still under review.

 

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