The new alliance is a three-year, $1.15 million partnership funded by FDA and USDA. It will be housed at
Key elements of the alliance’s work include:
In 2011, FDA is expected to issue a proposed rule on the safe production, harvesting and packing of produce. The alliance is aimed at giving produce growers and packers training and educational materials as well as opportunities to learn about current risk- and science-based best food safety practices and future regulatory requirements.
The alliance will have representatives from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), land grant universities, growers and shippers, produce trade organizations and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, joining FDA, AMS and Cornell officials on the alliance’s steering committee.
“In our 12-plus years of working with growers and packers on how best to implement GAPs, we have seen how much they want to do the right thing and meet the industry demand for food safety,” says Betsy Bihn, coordinator of Cornell University’s National GAPs Program. “What growers and packers want is science-based information they can use in the fields and the packing houses to improve food safety practices in practical ways. Our goal is to meet that need today and down the road as FDA moves forward in its rule-making process.”
The FDA and USDA will issue updates on the progress and activities of the Produce Safety Alliance in the coming months. For more information, visit the FDA Web page: Fruits, Vegetables & Juices and/or the FDA Web page: Produce Safety Information.