While Food Safety News and other news outlets have already reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration planned to extend the comment period for the preventive controls and produce safety rules when the agency released its import and third-party certification proposals, the FDA made that move official on Thursday.
The agency issued Federal Register notices to formally extend the comment periods on the proposed rules, Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption. The comment period has been extended 60 days until Nov. 15, 2013.
“This is the second and final extension of the comment period for these two rules,” FDA said. “The extension of the comment period also applies to the information collection provisions associated with the proposed rules.”
FDA is taking this action to allow interested persons the opportunity to consider the interrelationships between these two proposals, which were published on Jan. 16, 2013, and the two new proposed rules that were published on July 29, 2013, Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals and the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications.
These four proposed rules are part of the foundation of, and central framework for, the modern food safety system envisioned by Congress in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).