Pre-FDA food safety meeting generates 'passion' - The Packer

Pre-FDA food safety meeting generates 'passion'

02/27/2013 05:12:00 PM
Tom Karst

click image to zoomUnited  Fresh Produce Assn. discusses food safety.Courtesy United Fresh Produce Assn.United Fresh Produce Association members on Feb. 27 discuss the Food and Drug Administration's proposed regulations as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. United Fresh plans to comment on the proposed rules at a Feb. 28 public hearing in Washington, D.C.(UPDATED COVERAGE, Feb. 28) The Food and Drug Administration’s first meeting on proposed food safety rules will be Feb. 28-March 1, and a closer look at the proposed regulations has generated plenty of passion, one industry leader said.

Before the FDA meeting, the United Fresh Produce Association convened two working groups Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the FDA’s proposed rules. United Fresh officials will comment on the rules at the FDA’s Feb. 28 meeting, said Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications.

Gilmer said that the working groups — one addressing the produce safety rule and the other examining the preventive control safety rule for food facilities — had spirited discussions Feb. 27.

The groups exposed some concerns about FDA assumptions about the science of the proposed regulations, Gilmer said.

In testimony Feb. 28, David Gombas, United Fresh’s senior vice president of food safety and technology, said the industry remains concerned about exemptions for smaller operations. In addition, he said there are concerns on how the produce safety rule will relate to other rules coming from the FDA.

The FDA has public comment meetings on the proposed food safety rules, March 11 in Chicago and March 27 in Portland, Ore.

The United Fresh groups plan to meet online or in person just before each of those meetings

“It may depend on how much progress we’re making in the next couple of days,” Gilmer said Feb. 27.

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TN  |  February, 28, 2013 at 03:00 PM

How do we as farmers comment on this? The regulation that we would have to either chlorinate our irrigation water or test weekly is ridiculous and financially prohibitive. Our highest CFB count last year was 11!

Dinuba  |  February, 28, 2013 at 11:14 PM

When will it stop. Between the global gap insanity and the FDA, maybe its time we just get all our produce from other countries so we dont have to worry about food safety. Oh I forgot, that food comes from the grocery store.

Ellijay, Ga  |  March, 05, 2013 at 09:10 AM

Great! More regulations. More inspectors. More useless government jobs.

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