The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the award of a cooperative agreement with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) to provide critical information and resources to help state and territorial regulatory agencies plan and help carry out implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
The cooperative agreement will provide funding that will allow NASDA to assist state and territorial produce safety regulatory programs in developing produce safety programs that encourage the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables, understanding of the Produce Safety Rule, and compliance with the Produce Safety Rule’s requirements. This advances the agency’s efforts to develop a nationally integrated food safety system by helping to ensure consistency of state and territorial produce safety regulatory programs with the Produce Safety Rule.
As part of the five-year cooperative agreement, NASDA will also work with the agency to plan and host an annual National Consortium meeting of state and territorial regulatory agencies involved with implementation of the Produce Safety Rule for the purpose of providing program updates, sharing best practices, and providing the FDA with feedback on opportunities for enhancements and program adjustments. Additionally, NASDA will work closely with the FDA to implement and update the On-Farm Readiness Review system and develop a national produce safety regulatory program that promotes a uniform foundation of produce safety.