The proposed rule stems from the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and is intended to set standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables to minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences for consumers. The rule focuses on five routes for contamination of produce: agricultural water; biological soil amendments of animal origin; health and hygiene; animals in the growing area; and equipment, tools and buildings.
The proposed produce rule covers most fruits and vegetables while they are in their raw or natural state. It would not apply to raw commodities that are rarely consumed raw, those produced for personal or on-farm consumption, and those destined for commercial processing.
This extensive proposed rule totals more than 500 pages and comments are due within 120 days. Farm Bureau is reviewing the rule to identify areas that will affect Ohio produce growers and to determine how we will respond.
Anyone is welcome to provide input directly to the FDA, however, Ohio Farm Bureau plans to file comments, and the organization will be creating several opportunities for those in the Specialty Crop area to provide feedback and input for Farm Bureau’s comments.
The following link provides the full language of the rule: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-00123_PI.pdf If you have any questions, please contact Yvonne Lesicko, senior director of legislative and regulatory policy at 614-246-8278 or [email protected].