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September 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture last week voted to ask the Food and Drug Administration to propose a second draft of its rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act before issuing final regulations. The NASDA press release announcing this action is attached. Based on the NASDA announcement, the United Fresh Produce Association released the following statement:

The United Fresh Produce Association shares the same commitment as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) to advancing a strong national food safety program to implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act. Our industry supported this original legislation to create a strong regulatory framework that would be science-based, commodity-specific and focus on the greatest public health priorities.

Like NASDA, we too have heard a tremendous number of questions raised regarding the complexity of the proposed rules, and whether some aspects of the regulations would truly enhance public health. In a case such as this with the most profound regulatory overhaul of food safety rules in some 70 years, it's critical that FDA get this right. We appreciate that FDA is engaging all stakeholders in extensive dialogue, and anticipate that the public record at the end of the current public comment period will be extensive. Therefore, we join NASDA in its conclusion that this is clearly a situation appropriate for FDA to study all of those public comments, and then issue a revised proposed rule for comment before issuing a final rule.

Our industry incorporates rigorous food safety practices appropriate for specific commodities throughout the produce industry and that are audited today by both government officials and third-party auditors. We look forward to continuing to work with FDA to achieve a strong and appropriate regulatory framework that is protective of public health. After all, the nation's number one public health nutrition goal is to make half of every plate fruits and vegetables.

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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