The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  is funding 46 state agriculture departments and one territory with a total of $32.5 million to help implement the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) was quick to salute the funding commitments.

“NASDA Members have a long history of successfully working with farmers to grow our safe food supply,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn. “We praise the FDA for making their largest funding commitment to date as we work cooperatively towards the proactive and integrated food safety system envisioned by Congress in 2011.”

FDA received funding to initiate the integrated food safety system in 2016. The number of states receiving funding to implement the Produce Safety rule has grown from 42 in 2016 to now 46 and a territory. Funding has steadily grown from $21.8 to $32.5 million. The state agency cooperating with FDA in 44 of the states is the department of agriculture. The vast majority of funding recipients are operating education and outreach programming as well as compliance and enforcement. FDA will have a presence in states and territories who have not applied to cooperatively implement the rule.

NASDA and FDA entered into a cooperative agreement in 2014 and have been working together on the strategy for FSMA implementation funds. As a part of the cooperative effort, NASDA has developed a proposed NASDA Model Produce Safety Implementation Framework for states to consider as they contemplate the implementation of the Produce Safety Rule. NASDA has also developed an On-Farm Readiness Review Process, in conjunction with the FDA and Extension services, to offer a voluntary, non-regulatory opportunity to assess a farm’s readiness for FSMA compliance.

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.  NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating a consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)