FDA seeks help for food safety compliance - The Packer

FDA seeks help for food safety compliance

05/05/2014 12:49:00 PM
Tom Karst

Saying it is unable to single-handedly oversee compliance of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Food and Drug Administration is emphasising voluntary compliance and other measures.

Through the Food Safety Modernization Act Operational Strategy document, the FDA says public health will be improved through prevention, voluntary compliance, risk-based oversight and expanded cooperation in the food safety community, according to a news release.

In a blog post about the document, called “We’re Reinventing Ourselves to Keep Your Food Safe,” FDA officials Michael Taylor and Howard Sklamberg said the new approach will be a “springboard for discussion.”

“And we know discussion is needed, because the strategy that will make FSMA a success requires significant change in how we at FDA do our work and how we work with our partners,” according to the blog.

The FDA has been focused on creating regulations related to the food safety law, passed by Congress in 2010, the agency said the next phase will focus on ensuring compliance with the rules, the agency said in a release.

“The agency has to design methods to promote widespread voluntary industry compliance with the new rules, as well as establish preventive/public health-focused inspection and sampling programs to oversee compliance,” according to the release.

The agency is developing enforcement strategies to be used when producers, processors, distributors and importers fail to comply voluntarily.

The FDA must change the way it works, according to the release, because of the global scale and complexity of the food system.

“Hundreds of thousands of growers and processors worldwide are producing food for the U.S. market, using increasingly diverse and complicated processes, managing complex and extended supply chains, and making millions of decisions every day that affect food safety,” according to the document. “The burgeoning scale and complexity of the food system make it impossible for FDA on its own, employing our historic approaches, to provide the elevated assurances of food safety envisioned by FSMA and needed to maintain a high level of consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply.”

The FDA document said the that food safety depends “primarily on the food industry.” Food industry managers must commit to implement science- and risk-based preventive measures and manage their operations and supply chains to prove that appropriate measures are being implemented.

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Dave Hamel    
Santa Maria  |  May, 06, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The programs and direction of the FDA's focus needs more attention at the farm level. These regulatory changes will have dramatic impact on the entire agricultural industry. Thanks for the timely story.

Maui  |  May, 06, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Watch for more rules that favor the unfettered and under-regulated use of chemicals in agriculture, support for GMO's and an attempt to kill the organic farming industry from this monster of a lobbyist, Micheal Taylor, a shill for Monsanto. The chemical industry has taken over the FDA, and EPA and is promoting Monsanto's agenda to control the world's food supply. This is wrong and they need to be stopped.

April Ward    
Sacramento, CA  |  May, 06, 2014 at 03:05 PM

The leafy greens farming communities of California and Arizona are pleased to see the inclusion of marketing agreements in the list of groups with which the agency will work on implementation. Read more on our blog: http://www.lgma.ca.gov/blog/fda-cites-need-coordinate- marketing-agreements-food-safety

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