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Consumer Federation urges approval of four food safety rules

The Consumer Federation of America is urging the Obama administration to issue four proposed food safety rules that have been delayed for more than two months.

CFA members voted to approve a resolution to the effect last week at their annual meeting, the group announced today.

The rules would implement the Food Safety Modernization Act and by law are supposed to be in place, but in late February, the White House Office of Management and Budget announced that the review of the four proposals had been extended with no estimated date for completion.

The first two rules would put in place risk-based preventive controls for food facilities and risk-based preventive controls for animal feed that would require companies to identify hazards in their production processes and then develop systems of preventive controls to reduce or eliminate those hazards, said Chris Waldrop, director of CFA's Food Policy Institute.

A third rule would set standards for the safe production of fresh fruits and vegetables, and a fourth is the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal for the foreign supplier verification program, which would require importers to provide assurance that foreign suppliers were complying the safety standards and producing food safely, Waldrop added.

“Congress granted FDA essential new food safety authorities aimed at preventing foodborne illness and protecting consumers,” Waldrop said. “But consumers won’t be adequately protected if FDA'’s proposals are stuck in review. The administration should release them so that FDA can move forward in the implementation process.”

Proposed Rules