Sep 9, 2016FDA awards $21.8 million for produce safety rule implementation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded a total of $21.8 million to support 42 states to help implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule. The rule, which the FDA finalized in November 2015, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
In March 2016, the FDA announced the funding opportunity, which was available to all states and U.S. territories, to begin the planning for and development of a state produce safety program.
The cooperative agreement between the FDA and the states provides awardees with the resources to formulate a multi-year plan to implement a produce safety system, develop and provide education, outreach and technical assistance, and develop programs to address the specific and unique needs of the growers in their farming communities.
States and territories were classified into five tiers of funding eligibility based on the estimated number of farms growing covered produce within their jurisdictions. The funding opportunity is for five years, subject to the availability of funding from Congress. Further information on state awardees can be found at the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program website.
Larger farms will need to comply with certain aspects of the produce safety rule requirements beginning in January 2018, with smaller produce operations having additional time to comply.