Ag food industry wants more time to digest rule

by Laura Lloyd
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ROCKVILLE, Md. – A large group of leading US agricultural and food organizations have requested the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extend the comment period until Aug. 29, 2014, on a proposed rule concerning sanitary transportation of human and animal food that was published in the Feb. 5, 2014, edition of the Federal Register.

Those in favor of the extension of the comment period said, “The proposed rule implementing these provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) represents the first time FDA has developed regulations that would govern the sanitary transportation of human and animal food. The proposed regulations require significant analysis.

“Our initial review has identified several sections of the proposed codified language on which we need additional time to develop significant suggested revisions for consideration by FDA,” the group said. “Our organizations have been working diligently to analyze the proposed rule and prepare constructive and meaningful comments that address the significant issues we have identified thus far.”

The group of organizations from the agriculture and food sectors of the US economy said it believed the FDA has sufficient latitude and time to extend and complete the comment period well before the March 31, 2016, deadline for issuing the final rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food.

The group added that the final rule will be on sanitary transportation of human and animal food “pursuant to the settlement agreement reached between the Agency and the Center for Environmental Health and Center for Food Safety, as approved by the US District Court for the Northern District of California.”
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