Friday, February 26, 2010

FDA Seeks Comments on Fresh Produce Safety

The NC Farm Bureau President, Debbie Hamrick, is in the process of traveling all around NC collecting comments from farmers about the impacts of fresh produce safety regulations on small and medium size farms in NC. Her goal is to submit your concerns, comments, suggestions and experise directly to the folks writing the legislation.

If you would like to submit your comments directly to the Food and Drug Administration, here is your opportunity. This will impact all producers and you should let your thoughts be heard!

From the FDA:
"The Food and Drug Administration has announced that by the end of 2010, the agency will issue a proposed rule to establish safety standards for the production and packaging of produce.

The ultimate purpose for such standards is a goal we all share: to reduce the risk of illness associatied with fresh produce.

The usual process is for FDA to issue a proposed rule and then take comments. But this time, we want to go one step further - we want to actively engage our stakeholders while we're still in the development phase of such a rule.

That's why we have opned a docket (Federal Register notice location: to receive information before a proposed rule is written. Doing it this way will help us develop the scope of the rule to reflect the realities of production and packing in produce operations.

The discussion on this complex and diverse segment of our food supply needs to be fueled and informed by the expertise and on-the-ground knowledge of those who grow, harvest and pack fresh produce.

That's why we need to hear from you. We urge you and your colleagues to think about and submit comments to us under this docket over the next 90 days.

In addition, we hope you will "spread the word" to groups throughout your area of the country and areas of expertise - so that all sectors that may be affected by the rulemaking to come will know this opportuniity to get their views heard and will take advantage of it.

Below are some tips on how to submit comments through You can also submit comments by mail.

Electronically, at

The multi-agency Web site, serves as a clearinghouse for materials related to FDA rulemaking and is FDA's official on-line comment system.

The easiest way to get to the docket is to enter the docket number.

On the homepage, enter the following in the "Keyword" field"


This will take you directly to the docket. "Preventative Controls for Fresh Produce: Request for Comments"

In the far right of the screen under Actions, click on "Submit a Comment". A page will come up asking for some information about you or yoiur organization.

You can then type your comment directly into the field provided and/or you can attach any related documents to your comment.

Press "Submit".
You will be able to view your comment and comments others have submitted.

To submit written comments:
Include docket number at the top of the pages in your written submissions. Again, the docket number is FDA-2010-N-0085.

Mail Comments to
Divisions of Dockets Management
Food and Drup Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, Maryland 20852

The comment period for this docket ends on May 24, 2010"

Please let your voice and opinions and comments be heard! This will affect all vegetable and fruit producers in our country - especially the small and medium sized farms in WNC and throughout the east coast.

To learn more about Fresh Produce Safety, visit the new Fresh Produce Safety Blog.

No comments: