FDA to extend compliance dates for agriculture water compliance

The Hagstrom Report

The Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule that would extend the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act by an additional two to four years for produce other than sprouts.

The proposed extension, announced Sept. 12, will give the FDA time to take another look at the water standards to ensure they are feasible for farmers in all regions of the country, while protecting public health, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a speech to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture meeting in New Orleans.

The new agricultural water compliance date the FDA proposed for the largest farms is Jan. 26, 2022. Small farms and very small farms would have until Jan. 26, 2023 and Jan. 26, 2024, respectively.

The proposed rule is open for public comment for 60 days.

“We are pleased that states will have more time to deploy educational tools for our producers based on that guidance and to implement the On-Farm Readiness Review Process, which is consistent with the FDA decision to emphasize education,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture President Michael Strain.

“FDA is showing support of an important transition from the reactive programs that have existed in the past to the preventive programs of the future,” said Strain, who is the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry.