Five years ago the California leafy greens industry invited government regulators into their fields with an unprecedented program to verify through mandatory government audit that a set of science-based food safety practices was being followed on leafy greens farms. Today, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement is eagerly waiting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue further produce safety regulations by way of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
To be honest, we are looking forward to seeing what is in the proposed new rules and are eager to work more closely with FDA toward the common goal of protecting public health. The rule should have been released by now and we find ourselves in agreement with a recent statement by the Consumer Federation of America, who called for the FSMA rules, which are under review at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to be immediately issued.
At the LGMA, we believe that the best food safety program is one like ours which is a strong collaboration between government and farming communities. We have already reached out to FDA pledging our commitment to work with them on this important new law. With luck, details of FSMA will soon be known, consumers will have additional assurances the food supply is safe and there will be a clear path for us all to follow.