FDA proposes extension of FSMA water rule compliance
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to extend the compliance dates for the pre-harvest agricultural water provisions as outlined in the recent 2021 agricultural water proposed rule.
The 2021 agricultural water proposed rule, if finalized, would require farms to conduct annual systems-based agricultural water assessments to determine and guide appropriate measures to minimize potential risks associated with pre-harvest agricultural water.
The FDA is now proposing extended compliance dates for those proposed pre-harvest requirements and is also providing clarifying information about the enforcement discretion policy for the harvest and post-harvest agricultural water requirements.
The supplemental rulemaking proposes to establish the following compliance dates for the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for covered produce other than sprouts:
▪ Two years and nine months after the effective date of a final rule for very small businesses;
▪ One year and nine months after the effective date of a final rule for small businesses; and
▪ Nine months after the effective date of a final rule for all other businesses.
FDA said it intends to continue enforcement discretion for the harvest and post-harvest agricultural water requirements of the Produce Safety regulation until the following dates:
▪ January 26, 2025, for very small businesses;
▪ January 26, 2024, for small businesses; and
▪ January 26, 2023, for all other businesses.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday for events with Democratic Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gov. Jared Polis, also a Democrat.
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