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FDA Needs Your Input Before Delveloping Produce Food Safety Rules

February 26, 2010

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 packing of fresh produce.

The ultimate purpose for such standards is a goal we all share: to reduce the risk of illness associated 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 opened a docket (Federal Register notice location: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-3409.pdf 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 about this opportunity to get their views heard and will take advantage of it.

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

Electronically, at www.Regulations.gov

The multi-agency Web site, Regulations.gov 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 Regulations.gov home page, enter the following in the “Keyword” field:

FDA-2010-N-0085

This will take you directly to the docket, “Preventive 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 your 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.
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To submit written comments:

(NOTE: Be sure to include the docket number at the top of the pages in your written submissions. The docket number is FDA-2010-N-0085)

Mail comments to:

Division of Dockets Management
HFA-305
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, Maryland 20852

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

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