Comments on two FSMA rules due Friday

Salad & BreadsticksThere are only two days left to comment on rules that would overhaul preventive controls for human food and produce standards.

The two rules, which stem from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), are set to close for comments Friday. The Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule (also known as the preventive controls rule) requires food producers, domestic or foreign, to have a plan in place for preventing their products from causing foodborne illness  and to have additional plans for corrective actions if issues do occur. Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (also known as the produce rule), aims to create science and risk-based safety standards for produce.

The comment periods for the rules were first extended in April and then again in September. Previously, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they would not extend the comment periods further.

However, there have been several issues reported with Regulations.gov, the portal through which people can comment on proposed rules. Food Safety News reports that the site was down Nov. 4 and 5, and Nov. 11. Will Fantle, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, has called for another 30 day extension on the comment periods to allow those who were unable to comment additional time.

The site currently is up and running. FDA has posted a notice on the FSMA homepage regarding the issues:

“We are aware of the technical problems that regulations.gov has been experiencing, which has affected rulemaking government-wide. This situation has prevented some people from filing comments electronically on the FSMA proposed rules for produce safety and preventive controls for human foods, both of which are closing for comment this Friday, November 15.

Please note that the website is now up and running but that we will continue to monitor this situation. Your comments are important to us. Be assured that if technical issues should [recur] and you are unable to file your comments electronically by Friday, November 15, we will find a way to ensure that your comments are received and considered.” 

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