FDA Food Safety Modernization Act:
Impact on growers

"FDA has begun work on a regulation to establish enforceable standards for produce safety under our current authorities. The regulation will be based on the prevention-oriented public health principles embraced by the Working Group. It will capitalize on what we have learned over the past decade, since we published our ‘good agricultural practices’ guidelines in 1998. The regulation also will utilize the progress industry has made in establishing quantitative metrics for the control of some of the factors affecting produce safety by incorporating appropriate measures of success. These metrics, or measures, will improve our ability to verify that certain measures or practices are being carried out and are effective."

"Together with its federal and state partners, FDA will work to plan and implement an inspection and enforcement program to ensure high rates of compliance with the produce safety regulation. If Congress passes food safety legislation that includes explicit authority to require preventive controls, FDA would modify and update this rulemaking in light of the new authority. Yet it also means that real progress in food safety requires renewed attention to the global food supply."
-- Congressional Testimony, of Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), July 29, 2009

Concurrent with the new legislation passed by Congress, the FDA is developing science-based standards for produce that enters interstate commerce in the United States which will impact the majority of growers.

At the same time, firms downstream from growers will face a host of new food safety requirements as a result of the new legislation, many of which relate to the integrity of their supply chains. This will include new certification requirements for imported food that is determined to be high-risk. Companies will need to provide assurance that the food they import complies with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This could have a major impact on growers' relationships with customers.