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FSMA Brings FDA and NASDA Together For National Produce Safety

On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would be working with the National Association of State Departments of Agricultural (NASDA) to create and implement a national produce safety rule.  The agreement between the two agencies will provide the necessary funding and resources to implement the rule.

The partnership between FDA and NASDA is heavily related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), an act working towards changing the focus of food safety from response to prevention.  In November of 2013, NASDA posted publicly on its site a list of comments on FDA’s proposed FSMA rules for produce safety.  Many of NASDA’s comments, such as its suggestion to use a risk-based approach to water safety, are reflected in the recent FDA revisions to the proposed rules.  Along with the comments, NASDA expressed concern that, because FDA had little experience dealing with agricultural policy, FDA’s proposed regulations could result in damage to domestic production of fruit and vegetables.  NASDA also stated that a truly integrated food safety system could only be achieved through cooperation and collaboration between federal, state, and local governments.

In FDA’s news release about the new agreement, Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, said that NASDA’s specialized knowledge of produce safety and local food production activities would help FDA develop a realistic and workable plan.  Outgoing NASDA President Chuck Ross said NASDA would “help FDA develop and implement a national produce safety plan in a way that makes sense to the producers and processors that feed American consumers.”  The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), and other public health partners will join NASDA in the development of the plan.

Registrar Corp is an FDA consulting firm that helps companies comply with FDA regulations.  We will provide updates as the partnership between FDA and NASDA unfolds.  If you have any questions about upcoming FSMA requirements or any other FDA regulations, contact Registrar Corp at 1-757-224-0177 or receive online Live Help from our regulatory specialists: http://www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp.