NASDA renews cooperative pact with FDA on Produce Safety Rule

By Daniel Enoch

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LINCOLN, Neb., Sept. 25, 2016 - The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has renewed a cooperative agreement with the FDA related to the implementation of the Produce Safety Rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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NASDA says the “expanded scope” of the cooperative agreement will let its members provide leadership and support for the On-Farm Readiness Review Project, a concept that NASDA developed with FDA that allows growers to receive a pre-assessment of how they stand in terms of produce safety rule compliance.

The agreement, announced over the weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska, where NASDA was holding its annual meeting, also provides an opportunity for the group to bring together FDA leadership and state leadership to establish a National Consortium for Produce Safety Program Development.

“NASDA will continue to play a leadership role with the states, working to assist them in developing produce safety programs that meet the unique needs of each state, while remaining aligned and consistent nationally,” said Greg Ibach, NASDA president and Nebraska's Director of Agriculture. “NASDA looks forward to continued collaboration with the FDA and the states on implementation of the Produce Safety Rule.”

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At the meeting, where NASDA celebrated its 100th anniversary, the group also elected a new slate of officers for the coming year. Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture Michael G. Strain will serve as NASDA's 2016-2017 president. Strain will host the 2017 NASDA Annual Meeting in New Orleans from Sept. 11-14.

“A new president, new administration, and new Congress will provide us with huge opportunities to amplify NASDA's unique voice over the next year,” Strain said in a release. “I look forward to working with my counterparts in the states to realize our call to action for a renewed commitment to state-federal partnerships for the advancement of America's farmers and ranchers.”


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