Biotech Updates

USDA Joins FDA Efforts to Develop New Food Safety Regulations

October 9, 2009

U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) – Fresh Products Branch chief Leanne Skelton will be joining the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for six months to help develop food safety rules to improve, share and exchange produce safety "best practices' and ideas. "We are delighted that the FDA sought USDA's counsel and cooperation as they tackle the challenges of ensuring the safety and availability of fresh produce and healthy foods," said AMS Administrator Rayne Pegg.

USDA and FDA have been conducting farm tours around the country to collect information from the farmers. "It is vitally important for us to hear ideas, concerns, and experiences directly from local growers around the country as we develop rules to help protect the safety of fresh produce from the farm to the table," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. This initiative is in support of the Obama Administration's call for "innovative and aggressive effort to strengthen protections against unsafe food and food-borne illness".

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