The FDA will soon announce a two-year delay on a rule setting water-quality standards for large produce farms, said Frank Yiannas, the agency’s deputy commissioner for food safety, on Thursday.
Even though the deadline for large facilities to comply with the FDA's rigorous new "preventive controls rule for human food" is Sept. 16, the need for additional training means the agency's inspectors likely won't start enforcing it until January, according to Food Safety News.
Elanor Starmer, a senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, was named acting administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service following the departure of agency chief Anne Alonzo, said a USDA spokesman.
The chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees USDA and FDA will press for money for the FDA if there is an agreement by the White House and Congress to raise spending caps, said Agri-Pulse.
Fourteen Democrats in Congress asked the FDA to help small farmers comply with new food safety laws due next spring, said The Hill newspaper.
The USDA-FDA appropriations bill awaiting a vote in the Senate "short-changes food safety needs" and "under-funds efforts to address the challenge of child poverty" while carrying harmful "ideological provisions," said the White House budget office.
A Politico investigation concludes that, "The Obama administration and Congress have all but squandered an opportunity to give the anemic Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for the safety of 80 percent of the food supply, a level of oversight the public has long assumed it already had.
President Obama has proposed creating a new agency at the Health and Humans Services Department that would consolidate the food-safety activities of FDA and USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "The new agency would be charged with pursuing a modern, science-based food safety regulatory regime drawing on best practices of both agencies, with strong enforcement and recall mechanisms, expertise in risk assessment, and enforcement and research efforts across all food types based on...
Margaret Hamburg, head of the FDA for six years, says she will step down as commissioner at the end of March. She announced the decision in a letter to employees, in which she praised the FDA's accomplishments...
In a long-form story, Modern Farmer describes the evolution of food safety operations at FDA. "Over the last century, there’d been a shift toward large, centralized food distribution systems.
The government has erased from its books the regulations for two export subsidy programs, the Export Enhancement Program and Dairy Export Incentive Program, that were mothballed years ago.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group for foodmakers, "will give the Food and Drug Administration access to a large database of safety information for chemicals used in processed foods, from Twinkies to almond milk," says Politico.