Blunt welcomes more input on FSMA

The FDA recently heeded a bipartisan effort led by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to repurpose key language of the Food Safety Modernization Act to allow for additional public comment.

In March, the FDA introduced two rules that would implement the FSMA. The rules address preventative controls as well as the growing, harvesting, packaging and holding of produce for human consumption.

“I’m pleased the FDA has agreed to issue a second draft of proposed rules and give farmers and businesses the opportunity to provide additional input,” Blunt said.

Blunt was joined by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) and Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) in lobbying the FDA for more time for public comment.

Seventy-five members of Congress supported the effort last month.

“I thank Sen. Shaheen and my colleagues in the House and Senate for their work to alleviate the impact of these burdensome regulations on farm families in Missouri and nationwide,” Blunt said.

FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor said the agency held more than 150 meetings across the country to glean input.

“…We have heard the concern that these provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers,” Taylor said.