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FDA Will Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Food Safety Modernization Act April 23-24

FDA Will Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Food Safety Modernization Act April 23-24

VT Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, Will Share State Stakeholder Perspectives

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting, Food Safety Modernization Act: Focus on Implementation Strategy for Prevention–Oriented Food Safety Standards, in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24. This meeting will provide information about FDA’s operational strategy for Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation and offer participants the opportunity to advise FDA on this strategy.

FSMA will set new food safety standards that will affect farmers, food and feed facilities, importers and others who supply the nation’s food.

Registration for in-person attendance is now closed; however registration to attend via live webcast is still open. Webcast capacity is limited, and early registration is encouraged. The full meeting agenda and webcast registration are available at http://bit.ly/1D5VYGf. Questions and comments about FSMA implementation may be submitted to FDA through May 26, 2015 at http://1.usa.gov/1HxP6rD.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture will simulcast the listening session in the Agency’s conference room on Thursday, April 23 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.  A limited number of seats are available. To RSVP, contact Kristina Sweet at kristina.sweet@state.vt.us or (802) 522-7811.

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture and past president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), Chuck Ross, will share stakeholder perspectives during the Government Partners Perspectives panel at 11:40 AM on Thursday, April 23.

“FDA’s hosting of this implementation strategy meeting brings attention to the importance of the Food Safety Modernization Act to our agricultural communities,” said Secretary Ross. “While compliance by 2020 appears a long way off, states must remain attentive to the process and will gain additional information at this strategy session as to how the FDA plans to implement FSMA and its implications to consumers and producers both.”

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, grants FDA broad new regulatory authority over many types of food production, processing, and distribution. FDA has proposed 7 major rules to implement FSMA, which will be finalized in 2015 and 2016 and implemented over the next 2 to 5 years. FSMA represents the largest update to the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act since 1938.

Since FDA initially published proposed rules in January 2013, VAAFM has forged strong partnerships with NASDA and FDA, which brought the perspectives and experiences of Vermont producers to the forefront during the rulemaking process. In addition, Vermont is one of five states represented by a joint NASDA-FDA working group on FSMA implementation. VAAFM will continue to work closely with these national partners as rules are finalized and throughout implementation.

Visit the Vermont Agency of Agriculture’s Food Safety Modernization Act page at http://agriculture.vermont.gov/food_safety_consumer_protection/fsma and the Vermont Produce Safety page at http://agriculture.vermont.gov/food_safety_consumer_protection/produce_safety for more information about FSMA and its impact on Vermont.