National Grain and Feed Association Calls for Changes to FSMA Transport Rules

By Frazer Jones
The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) is calling for changes to the U.S. FDAs current proposed sanitary transportation rules as part of the Foo...

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) is calling for changes to the U.S. FDA’s current proposed sanitary transportation rules as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The non-profit trade association, which represents a broad spectrum of grain and livestock feed-related commercial businesses including feed manufacturers and oilseed processors, grain elevators and feed mills, exporters and allied industries, has asked the FDA to rethink and adjust some of the language and requirements of the new rules which it has deemed excessive and cost prohibitive:

“Given the very significant nature of these regulations, we believe that a second opportunity for stakeholder comment is essential to ensure that the requirements in the final rule are practical, achievable and foster the safe transport and distribution of human and animal food,” read the NGFA comments submitted to FDA on July 30. “Further, we believe FDA has the ability and authority to re-propose the regulations and still comply with the court-ordered deadline to publish a final rule by March 31, 2016.”

 

Food Safety News reported earlier this week that the NGFA has requested such changes to the FSMA transport regulations as:

Developing best practices for food product transportation, with clear educational materials for stronger standardization across the industry;

  • Exemption from scrutiny and inspections when products are being transported between two facilities owned by the same entity;
  • Naming only the last haul carried by bulk trucks or rail cars, instead of the current proposal which recommends transporters having to name the last three hauls;
  • Dropping a current requirement for electronic record keeping, and;
  • Dropping a requirement for mandatory hand-washing facilities, except in cases where human contact with food and potential contamination is an inevitable possibility.

 

In a statement released by the NGFA, the organization argues that these rules don’t offer any sufficient improvements in product safety, while in the meantime they undermine the ability of transporters and rail carriers to do their jobs efficiently and determine clean and safe conditions appropriate for the type of product being shipped. So far, the FDA has not responded with any intention to update their current proposal.

[SOURCE: NGFA via Food Safety News]

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