FDA Provides $21.8 Million for Produce Safety Rule Implementation
The funds will help local farmers with implementation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded a $21.8 million to help 42 states implement the Food Safety Modernization Act's produce safety rule, which sets science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
"As efforts for a nationally integrated food safety system advance, this funding will play a vital role in establishing programs at the state level to educate growers and provide technical assistance to ensure high rates of compliance with the produce safety rule," said Melinda Plaisier, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs at FDA.
The agreement between FDA and the states provides awardees with the resources to formulate a multi-year plant to implement a produce safety system; develop and provide education, outreach and technical assistance; and develop programs to address the specific and unique needs of growers in their farming communities.
States have been classified into five tiers of funding based on the number of farms growing produce.
"The states were key partners to the FDA as FSMA's produce safety provisions were being developed. Today's funding announcement demonstrates the FDA's commitment to keep working closely with the states as we begin to implement the provisions," said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at FDA. "A robust federal-state partnership in produce safety will help protect American consumers from foodborne illness and benefit public health."