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STOP Foodborne Illness Commends White House Administration On Release Of First Proposed Rules From Food Safety Modernization Act

The Public Can Comment on the Rules to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Before They're Enacted

CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- STOP Foodborne Illness (http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org) applauds the White House Administration's action today of releasing for public comment two proposed rules that would implement important aspects of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama two years ago to the day. These rules are:

  • Produce: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
  • Preventative Controls for Human Food: Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food

When implemented, these rules will help prevent the escalating problem in the United States of contaminated foods, which can cause short term illness, long-term chronic health issues and even lead to death.

"We're eager to review these proposals and look forward to commenting in order to prevent food safety problems, and the foodborne illnesses resulting from them. This proactive prevention created by FSMA will replace the current reactive course of action that currently takes place when a food contamination problem arises," said Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness.

When fully implemented, FSMA will be a long overdue overhaul of the out-of-date food safety laws currently in place. It will help prevent outbreaks of food contamination such as last August's outbreak of salmonella in cantaloupes that killed three and sickened 261 people in 24 states.

"The deaths and illnesses resulting from last year's massive cantaloupe salmonella outbreak may have been prevented if FSMA had already been enacted," according to Schlunegger. "Today's release of rules for comment is an exciting step forward indicating the White House is committed to enacting FSMA this year."

The safety of the U.S. human food system is only one component of FSMA.

"With 2013 beginning with the release of the first proposed rules, we eagerly await further release of other proposals, including those related to food imports and pet food safety," commented Schlunegger. "Another important element of FSMA is accreditation standards for third-part auditors. We encourage the White House administration to timely roll-out the rest of the proposals, taking us that much closer and quicker to a safer food system."  

STOP Foodborne Illness (http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org) is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policy, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. This year marks STOP's 20th anniversary.

For more information on the Food Safety Modernization Act and its rules visit  http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA.

SOURCE STOP Foodborne Illness

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