USA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) have announced a new corporate agreement for the implementation of the produce safety rule.
The Produce Safety rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
The agreement will provide critical information and resources to help state and territorial regulatory agencies plan and carry out implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
The cooperative agreement will provide funding that will allow NASDA to assist state and territorial produce safety regulatory programs in developing produce safety programs that encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables.
It also seeks to strengthen the understanding of the Produce Safety Rule, and compliance with the Produce Safety Rule’s requirements.
FDA began the multi-year funding of NASDA in 2014 to help implement the Produce Rule, during which the association developed the NASDA Model Prdouce Safety Implementation Framework for states to use as a roadmap to implement the Produce Safety Rule.
Under the new five-year cooperative agreement, NASDA will work with the agency to plan and host an annual National Consortium meeting of state and territorial regulatory agencies involved with implementation of the Produce Safety Rule.
The National Consortium Meeting will serve to provide program updates, sharing best practices, and providing the FDA with feedback on opportunities for enhancements and program adjustments.
Additionally, NASDA will work closely with the FDA to implement and update the On-Farm Readiness Review system and develop a national produce safety regulatory program that promotes a uniform foundation of produce safety.
The FDA noted that the new agreement advances the agency’s efforts to develop a nationally integrated food safety system by helping to ensure consistency of state and territorial produce safety regulatory programs with the Produce Safety Rule.
“NASDA members have an essential role in helping to implement the FSMA Produce Safety Rule,” said NASDA chief executive Dr. Barbara P. Glenn.
“We thank the FDA for renewing their commitment to this model of cooperative federalism as we continue to work towards the proactive and integrated food safety system envisioned by Congress in 2010.”
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.
NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating a consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.