FDA Extends FSMA Comment Period by 120 Days

At a Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on April 18, 2013, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced that FDA intends to extend the comment period for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules by another 120 days. The comment period deadline was May 16, 2013, and with the extension, will now close in mid-September.

We are pleased with this decision as the two proposed rules, part of the implementation of FSMA, set standards that will certainly impact growers. Some subcommittee members expressed concern that the new regulations will place a significant burden on small entities, and that a “one size fits all” approach may force some producers out of the market.

Tilth Producers agrees with the need for an extension as it provides an opportunity for organic and sustainable growers to learn more and provide comments. It is a complicated rule, and while only 100 to 150 pages of the 1700+ pages of proposed regulations may be pertinent to our growers, the nuances and details take time to understand. We encourage all Tilth members to attend webinars and/or workshops hosted by FDA and others to learn as much as possible, and to provide comments to FDA.

Find more valuable information about the Food Safety Modernization Act on the websites of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Or attend an overview workshops hosted by WSU Extension or FDA.

View NSAC’s  FSMA 101: Overview and Background

View OTA’s  Summary of the Produce Safety Rule  

View NSAC’S  Am I Affected?

View OTA’s  Summary of Who Would be Covered by the Rule

View NSAC’S  Speak Out Today!

View FDA’s FSMA information homepage