FDA has set aside $19 million to help state agencies support implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Specifically, these funds will be used to support implementation of the Produce Safety rule, which became final in November 2015 and establishes enforceable safety standards for the production and harvesting of produce on farms.
Implementation of the produce rule is dependent on partnerships between FDA and the states, both to deliver education and technical assistance and to provide on-going inspection, compliance, and oversight. To support that partnership, FDA announced the availability of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for cooperative agreements with state regulatory agencies to help plan for and develop the infrastructure needed to implement the Produce Safety Rule. This collaboration with states is crucial to successful FSMA implementation because it will help ensure the quality, coordination, consistency, and effectiveness of state and federal efforts to protect the food supply.
The funding opportunity is available to all states and US territories and is especially relevant to those states with the largest number of covered produce farms under the FSMA Produce Rule, to begin the planning for and development of a state produce safety program. FDA encourages applicants to utilize these funds for planning, infrastructure building, training and education, and other related activities. Up to 55 awards may be awarded. Funding availability for this FOA is $19 million for fiscal year (FY) 2016 and will continue for five years, subject to availability of funding from Congress.