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FSMA Food Safety Regulations Won’t be Finalized Until Mid-2016

Monday, February 24, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A Feb. 20 deal between the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Food Safety gives the FDA additional time to finalize regulatory changes required by the Food Safety Modernization Act. The consent agreement specifies the following deadlines for these final rules to be sent to the Federal Register for publication.

Aug. 30, 2015 – preventive controls for human and animal food

Oct. 31, 2015 – foreign supplier verification program, produce safety standards, accreditation of third-party auditors

March 31, 2016 – sanitary transportation of food and feed

May 31, 2016 – intentional adulteration of food

The FDA may seek to extend any of these deadlines if it believes a delay is warranted despite its best efforts to issue the rule involved.

Last year, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the FDA to conclude the process of proposing regulatory changes required by the FSMA by Nov. 30, 2013, to close the comment periods on these proposed rules no later than March 31, 2014, and to publish all associated final regulations in the Federal Register no later than June 30, 2015. All of the proposed rules have now been issued (see here, here, here and here), but the consent agreement eliminates the March 31 deadline for submitting comments on them.

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