To ease producer burdens under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revised four proposed rules related to produce safety; preventive controls for human food and animal food; and the foreign supplier verification program. After receiving feedback from consumers and industry stakeholders, the agency has (i) updated water quality testing provisions; (ii) exempted farms with less than $25,000 in sales from produce-safety rules; (iii) addressed the use of spent grains in animal food by clarifying that brewers and distillers subject to the human-food rules do not need to comply with all animal-food rules; and (iv) granted importers more flexibility under the proposed foreign-supplier verification program “to determine appropriate supplier verification measures based on risk and previous experience with their suppliers.” FDA has requested comments on the proposed changes by December 15, 2014.
“Ensuring a safe and high-quality food supply is one of the FDA’s highest priorities, and we have worked very hard to gather and respond to comments from farmers and other stakeholders regarding the major proposed FSMA regulations,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in a September 19, 2014, press release. “The FDA believes these updated proposed rules will lead to a modern, science-based food safety system that will better protect American consumers from potentially hazardous food. We look forward to public comment on these proposals.” See Federal Register, September 29, 2014.