The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration are working together to enhance the safety and quality of fresh produce in ways that take into account the wide diversity of farming operations. Agency officials say we are committed to leveraging the expertise of our partner agencies and working together to ensure that our current produce safety and quality activities are complementary and consistent.
While USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is in the midst of evaluating a proposed marketing agreement for the leafy green industry, the FDA is currently developing a proposed produce safety regulation. According to a joint statement, "It is our expectation that these products will take into account the diverse nature of farming operations and that any marketing agreement would conform to any regulations that may be promulgated by FDA."
AMS continues to review comments that have been submitted to USDA on the proposed marketing agreement. FDA has also announced the establishment of a docket to receive information about current practices and conditions for the production and packing of fresh produce and practical approaches to improving produce safety. FDA encourages all interested persons to submit information they believe will contribute to the development of safety standards for fresh produce at the farm and packing house, as well as strategies and cooperative efforts to ensure compliance with those standards.