“United has been working with FDA and border associations in support of increased cooperation, and we look forward to continued progress under this agreement.”
At the Produce Marketing Association, former FDA official and PMA vice president for food safety and technology Jim Gorny said the document is a step toward an integrated and harmonized approach.
Courtesy FDAFDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, (foreground), and Mike Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner, visit the Monteblanco facility of Hongos de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., one of Mexico’s largest fresh mushroom producers.“As our largest fresh produce trading partner, Mexico is an important contributor to the global produce supply chain and assuring continuity of commerce with the implementation of the new Food Safety Modernization Act needs to be high priority for both government and industry,” Gorny said.
Hamburg noted in her blog that about a third of the foods regulated by FDA come from Mexico. The FDA estimates about $4.6 billion in fresh vegetables and $3.1 billion in fresh fruits, excluding bananas, are exported to the U.S. annually.
Hamburg also described a stop she and Taylor made at a mushroom growing operation, Hongos de Mexico, that exports part of its daily production of 60,000 pounds of mushrooms to the U.S.
“In addition to being an enlightening education on the process of growing and packing mushrooms, our visit to the Monteblanco facility was a living example of the critical role the private sector plays to ensure the safety of products for consumers in the U.S. and around the world,” Hamburg wrote in her blog.
“(The) Produce Safety Partnership Statement of Intent is just the latest example of the successful collaboration to reduce the increased risk of foodborne illnesses that naturally comes with a more globalized market. The partnership will support our work to implement preventive practices and verification measures to ensure the safety of fresh and minimally produced fruits and vegetables.”