WASHINGTON – The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of proposed revisions to rules slated to go into effect in 2015 under the Food Safety Modernization Act.

FDA said the proposed revisions take into account public comments that have led to changes in the agencies' thinking on certain provisions such as produce-safety; preventive controls for human food; preventive controls for animal food and the foreign supplier verification program.

“Based on valuable input from farmers, consumers, the food-industry and academic experts, the FDA is proposing to update these four proposed rules to ensure a more flexible and targeted means to ensure food safety,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.

For example, the revisions clarify that food processors that create by-products used as animal food and are already complying with FDA human food safety requirements — such as producers of wet spent grains — would not need to comply with the full animal food rule if they are already complying with the human-food rule. Additionally, changes to the foreign-supplier verification proposed rule allow importers more flexibility to determine appropriate supplier verification protocols based on risk and previous experience with their suppliers.

“Ensuring a safe and high-quality food supply is one of the FDA’s highest priorities, and we have worked very hard to gather and respond to comments from farmers and other stakeholders regarding the major proposed FSMA regulations,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg. “The FDA believes these updated proposed rules will lead to a modern, science-based food safety system that will better protect American consumers from potentially hazardous food. We look forward to public comment on these proposals.”