February 15, 2013

Extension granted for FSMA comment deadline

FDA has approved a request made by United Fresh to extend the comment period for the information collection provisions of two proposed rules related to the Food Safety Modernization Act. The deadline, which was Feb. 15, was extended to May 16.

The information collection provisions are requested and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The extended deadline matches the May 16 deadline for submitting comments to the two overall proposed rules, known as the produce rule and the preventive controls rule.

In its request, United said an extension is necessary to provide sufficient time for the industry to examine and respond to the complex and substantial changes proposed for the fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, as well as all other food industries in the United States.

United Fresh said it is likely to soon make a formal request for additional time beyond May 16 to provide comments on both proposed rules.

“United is in the midst of a very exhaustive review process with our members,” said David Gombas, United’s senior vice president of food safety and technology. “The proposed rules are part of a larger suite of rules that are all interrelated and will have far reaching effects on the industry.”

The FDA has yet to release its draft rules for Foreign Supplier Verification, Preventive Controls for Animal Feed, and Accredited Third-Party Certification, which will also be part of the FSMA regulatory framework. .

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