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Produce Safety Topic of Listening Sessions

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials, academics, and fruit and vegetable growers are engaging in discussion across the country on what new produce safety regulations should look like.

In an ongoing effort to formulate effective produce safety policies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the FDA are inviting the discussion and encouraging public comment to inform the rulemaking process.

To aid the process, Georgetown’s Produce Safety Project (PSP) launched a stakeholders’ discussion series. The project invites a broad array of produce industry stakeholders to “help make certain FDA has all the facts it needs,” when writing the new rules.

The PSP has already held listening sessions in Ohio, New York, and, most recently, last week in Georgia. There is one remaining listening session scheduled, the event will be April 7 in Hyattsville, Maryland.

The FDA established a docket in mid-February to receive information from growers and other stakeholders on improving food safety in the produce industry. The agency said it expects the final rules will “take into account the diverse nature of farming operations.”

“We are committed to leveraging the expertise of our partner agencies and working together to ensure that our current produce safety and quality activities are complementary and consistent,” the agencies said in a joint statement, when the docket was established.

To view the PSP’s listening session schedule or register to participate, see the project’s website. You can also view recent presentations by FDA and USDA officials and outside experts in the PSP listening session media center.

FDA also has a produce safety activities page with more information on the rulemaking process.

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