On Monday, May 9, United Fresh was joined by the Produce Marketing Association, U.S. Apple Association, and representatives of California Citrus Mutual for a meeting with outgoing Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinarian Medicine Mike Taylor and Dr. Stephen Ostroff of FDA to discuss current implementation of the final rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Dr. Ostroff will be taking over for Mike Taylor as Deputy Commissioner at FDA in June.
The meeting was held to address a letter sent by 22 produce organizations asking FDA to review its current requirements for produce facilities under the Preventive Control and Produce Rule regulations. The industry continues to be concerned regarding conflicting standards under each of these rules for produce facilities despite their similarities with business operations. In addition, the letter focuses on encouraging FDA to accelerate their development of curriculum for producers that fall under the produce rule. “Today was a good start to begin a constructive dialogue with FDA on how FSMA rules can present unintended consequences to the produce industry and how we can work together with the agency to find solutions,” said Robert Guenther of United Fresh. “We look forward to ongoing discussions with FDA as FSMA continues to be implemented over the next several years.”