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United Fresh

Letter From the Editor: Produce Growers Get Early Christmas Present

Opinion

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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Mike Taylor. Produce farmers and processors got an early Christmas present on Dec. 19 when Taylor, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, made it official. The produce safety and preventive control rules to implement the Food Safety… Continue Reading

Produce Association Joins Call for Makeover of FSMA Rules

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A late-blooming plan to ease the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s current rulemaking to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has picked up a powerful lobbying ally. The Hagstrom Report, the digital agricultural news service available by subscription, on Wednesday reported that the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) is getting behind an effort to… Continue Reading

FDA Considering Extension of FSMA Produce Safety Comment Deadline

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering extending the May 16 comment deadline on the produce safety rule in response to multiple requests by stakeholders, an agency official said Monday. “That’s seriously being considered,” said James Gorny, the agency’s Senior Adviser for Produce Safety, when asked about the possibility of an extension during a… Continue Reading

The Best of Food Safety: The Food Industry

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Last week, Food Safety News acknowledged leaders in government, education, non-government organizations, consumer groups and the media who help keep our food supply safe.  Today we end our series focusing on food safety leaders by naming names in the food industry. Of course, no list is ever complete so if you think we’ve forgotten someone, please leave us… Continue Reading

United Fresh Asks FDA to Extend Comment Period for FSMA Feedback

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United Fresh announced this week the association has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend the comment period on certain provisions in the proposed Produce and Preventive Controls Rules, the drafts of which were released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for comment last month. Several provisions currently… Continue Reading

Nearly 80 Percent of Produce Growers Will Be Exempt from New Food Safety Rule

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According to produce industry experts, there are no real surprises in the lengthy proposed rule for produce safety, which has been widely hailed as a big step toward a preventive food safety system. For the most part, the proposal, which would for the first time mandate preventative practices across the industry, follows well known best… Continue Reading

Cutting 80 Percent of Pathogen Testing for Produce, USDA Begins Shutdown of MDP

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After months of uncertainty over the future of the program, the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Microbiological Data Program, which tests produce for disease-causing pathogens like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria, has officially gone into shutdown mode, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed Tuesday. Department officials told states that participate in the $4.5 million program… Continue Reading

Romney and Obama Take Questions on Food Policy

While food and agriculture policy often take a back seat during presidential elections, the United Fresh Produce Association got both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the record regarding some key food issues this week. The association on Thursday released both campaigns’ responses to its policy questionnaire, which focused on immigration, taxes, environmental regulations and… Continue Reading

Town Hall Meetings Bring Produce Growers Up to Date

Their first harvest of organic blueberries behind them, Karen and Spencer Fuentes, who farm north of Seattle, are eager “to absorb all the information they can get” about growing and selling their berries. With that in mind, they attended a February 21 Town Hall meeting in Burlington, WA — one of 10 Town Halls hosted… Continue Reading