From the office of Doc Hastings
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Thursday announced it will make revisions to several sections of its proposed rule governing the “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption,” including the water quality standards and testing provisions. “I am encouraged by the news today from the FDA that they will be making changes to the proposed water quality standards and testing provisions included in their draft food safety regulations, which in their current form are unworkable, unnecessary, and could force Central Washington growers out of business” said Hastings. “I hope that these changes will take into account the level of risk and the growing conditions of different types of crops. While I am reserving judgment until I see their new proposal, I’m pleased that the FDA has officially committed to allowing more input from the public on any new changes they propose.” In November, Hastings sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg expressing concern over these draft regulations. Earlier in November, Hastings and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) met with FDA officials, where Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor committed to address growers' concerns about the proposed regulations and to provide additional opportunity for farmers to give input prior to the rule being finalized.