For the first time in perhaps 75 years, sweeping changes to the nation's food safety laws are underway, generally shifting the focus away from reacting to food safety problems and towards preventing them. The first two proposed rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are out for comment. As part of its outreach and education efforts, the Oregon Department of Agriculture urges farmers and processors to take a close look at the rules and provide feedback.
"Now is the time for farmers and processors to pay attention and provide comment on the draft rules the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed," says ODA Director Katy Coba. "FDA is trying to figure out how to make these rules workable at the time they are implemented. The proposed rules are extremely comprehensive and very complex. I think it's starting to hit our producers and processors just how big these proposed changes are."
"I'm appreciative of FDA's approach to drafting these rules and being willing to reach out to all the partners," she says. "It's now incumbent upon the rest of us to engage with FDA, make good comments, or ask for clarification if needed."
Coba emphasizes that the rules are not a done deal. Comments offered by Oregon producers and processors- along with those provided across the US- will help make FSMA reasonable and effective. For more information, click here.