June 9, 2017

By Skylar Schneider, Executive Assistant

Contact: Chelsea Matzen, 202-554-1600

This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will be extending the compliance dates for agricultural water requirements established by the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) produce safety rule (PSR). This extension does not include sprouts, however. The agricultural water requirements are necessary in ensuring public health, as agricultural water may carry pathogens and contaminate produce. While the exact length of extension is under consideration, the FDA intends to establish the compliance date at a later time using appropriate procedures.

The FDA announced earlier this year that it would work to simplify the agricultural water standards, as some of the requirements were too complex for stakeholders to implement. By extending the compliance dates, the FDA is showing further willingness to address the concerns of the stakeholders and give farms an opportunity to review their practices regarding agricultural water.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway praised the FDA’s decision to extend the deadline, stating, “I commend the FDA for providing this needed flexibility…This extension provides producers the time necessary to come into compliance while still protecting public health.”