The Food Safety Modernization Act imposed new regulations on imported fruits and vegetables but appears to have had little impact on Mexican exports to the United States, according to an analysis by USDA’s Economic Research Service.

Mexican companies “made changes to equipment, invested in new infrastructure, and implemented monitoring programs featuring improved sampling techniques — many of which were connected to ensuring a supply of clean water throughout the production process,” according to the ERS analysis

ERS interviewed officials with 26 companies for the report, and they indicated the biggest challenge for them was training employees to implement the FSMA requirements.

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Half the companies interviewed said the main challenge was training the head of the firm’s food safety program, while nearly a third of the companies said the biggest challenge was training farmworkers. 

Some companies had to set up their own laboratories because of a lack of accredited labs that they could use to test samples from soil, water and surfaces, the ERS report says.

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