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February 11, 2013
Request would extend comment period to May 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - United Fresh has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend the comment period on certain provisions in the proposed Produce and Preventive Controls Rules. Several provisions currently face a comment deadline of February 15. The extension is necessary to provide sufficient time for the industry to examine and respond to the complex and substantial changes proposed for the fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, as well as all other food industries in the United States.

"United is in the midst of a very exhaustive review process with our members," said Dr. David Gombas, United’s senior vice president of food safety and technology. "The proposed rules are part of a larger suite of rules that are all interrelated and will have far reaching effects on the industry. The request is consistent with the time needed to properly respond, especially given that three additional proposed rules, on Foreign Supplier Verification, Preventive Controls for Animal Feed, and Accredited Third-Party Certification, are scheduled to be released in the near future and will also impact the industry."

United Fresh member-driven working groups for the two proposed rules have held several calls and webinars to move the review process forward in preparation for submitting comments to FDA. The working groups will also meet in coordination with FDA's public FSMA hearings February 27 in Washington, DC, March 13 in Chicago, and March 26 in Portland, Oregon.

"United Fresh has consistently supported mandatory, enforceable, commodity-specific food safety practices based on the best available science, applicable to both domestic and foreign produce," said Tom Stenzel, United’s president & CEO. "That support continues through this rulemaking process. We ask that the comment period for those provisions be extended so that United Fresh and other interested parties can have a reasonable opportunity to provide FDA with meaningful input on these important initiatives."

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Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400. 





United Fresh Produce Association
1901 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: 202 303 3400
Fax: 202 303 3433
united@unitedfresh.org