FDA commissioner announces extension of FSMA comment period

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced the agency’s intention to extend the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) comment period by 120 days. Hamburg made the remarks during a Senate Appropriation Committee hearing.

The comment period was originally set to end May 16. A group of more than 80 produce industry organizations sent a letter April 11 to Hamburg requesting an extension of the comment period on the preventive controls and produce safety rules of FSMA by at least 180 days.

“We do intend to extend the comment period so we can hear all the concerns and address them fully,” said Hamburg, in response to a question by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri. “I do think it’s a reasonable request.”

When Blunt asked if the comment period would be extended by 180 days, Hamburg replied, “I think 120 days.”

In a statement, the United Fresh Produce Association praised the statement by Hamburg. “United Fresh appreciates FDA’s willingness to provide more time for review of the proposed FSMA rules and looks forward to working with industry stakeholders and FDA during the deliberative review process,” according to the statement.

Originally posted Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013

Tags: congress, fda, food safety, fsma, united fresh