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Food Safety Modernization Act
FDA urged ‘to get it right’

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig is urging the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act draft rules to limit the negative impact to Pennsylvania’s produce and food processing industries.

“The Food Safety Modernization Act is the most sweeping food policy reform in 70 years, and we need to get it right,” said Greig. “While we need reforms to keep consumers safe, parts of these proposed rules don’t make sense for agriculture. They don’t reflect the realities of food production and could force small growers out of business.”

Greig submitted comments, developed with the state’s agriculture industry, to the FDA in two documents covering the act’s proposed produce and preventative control rules, calling for:

Training and education to effectively implement the final rules;

Standards that do not put domestic producers and processors at a competitive disadvantage with imported food and produce;

Clarification for water quality standards for agricultural use; and

Recognition of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, which establishes a set of scientific standards for the high quality and safe production of milk for pasteurization in all 50 states, as meeting preventative control requirements without adding an additional set of regulations.

Greig also asked the FDA to add a second comment period to allow additional producer input and more time to address concerns.

FDA faces a federal court order to finalize rules by June 2015.

“We need time to get this right for our producers, processors and consumers,” said Greig. “The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will continue to work with stakeholders and the FDA in developing an effective food safety program.”

For a copy of Greig’s comments to the FDA, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us.