Mexico to conform to U.S. food safety act

03/26/2012 09:37:00 AM
Greg Johnson

Greg JohnsonOctavio Carranza (from left), director general of agro alimentary food safety, aquiculture and fisheries of SENASICA in Mexico, Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, discuss food safety issues at the America Trades Produce conference in Tubac, Ariz. TUBAC, Ariz. — Once it officially comes out, the Food Safety Modernization Act won’t affect just U.S. produce companies.

Octavio Carranza, director general of agro alimentary food safety, aquiculture and fisheries of SENASICA, which oversees phytosanitary and food safety issues in Mexico, said Mexico’s food safety program is designed to be compatible with FSMA and other international standards.

He said once the act is in place in the U.S., Mexico will recogize the system.

Carranza spoke March 22 at the America Trades Produce conference, hosted by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and the Texas Produce Association.

Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, said FSMA is in its final stages of review.

“In order to get the regulations right, we need to have a robust dialogue” with the industry, he said.

Taylor also said FDA has a high priority to create a framework for accredited third-party inspections.

As far as FSMA’s compatibility with Mexico, Taylor said FDA has run some pilot programs, but he couldn’t speak about the progress.

FDA’s senior advisor for food safety Jim Gorny echoed Taylor’s emphasis on goverment working with businesses.

“Stakeholder input is critical,” he said. “You know your businesses better than we will ever know.”

The 2nd annual conference was March 21-23 in Tubac.

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