Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

FDA is Seeking Input Before Developing New Produce Food Safety Rules

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Gordon Johnson Extension Fruit & Vegetable Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that by the end of 2010, the agency will issue a proposed rule to establish safety standards for the production and packing of fresh produce. The stated goal is “to reduce the risk of illness associated with fresh produce”.

Unlike past rule making efforts where experts devise the rules and the FDA seeks comments on the proposed rules, they are asking for input beforehand. In other words, they want your guidance in developing the rules. The FDA has stated that they need “the expertise and on-the-ground knowledge of those who grow, harvest and pack fresh produce”. They further state that “Doing it this way will help (the FDA) develop the scope of the rule to reflect the realities of production and packing in produce operations”.

To seek input, the FDA has opened a docket (Federal Register notice location: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-3409.pdf) to receive information before a proposed rule is written. You may input your comments electronically to the FDA by going to www.Regulations.gov and entering the following in the “Keyword” field: FDA-2010-N-0085. This will take you directly to the docket, “Preventive Controls for Fresh Produce: Request for Comments”. In the far right of the screen under “Actions”, click on “Submit a Comment”. A page will come up asking for some information about you or your organization. You can then type your comment directly into the field provided and/or you can attach any related documents to your comment. Press “Submit” and then you will be able to view your comment and comments others have submitted.

If you prefer to submit written comments, write the docket number at the top of the pages in your written submissions (FDA-2010-N-0085) and mail comments to:

Division of Dockets Management
HFA-305
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, Maryland 20852

The comment period for this “Preventive Controls for Fresh Produce: Request for Comments” docket ends on May 24, 2010 so get your comments in soon.

In Delaware, the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association will be submitting both electronic and written comments to the FDA on behalf of its members. A committee of the FVGAD is being set up to do this. Any members wishing to serve on that committee should contact Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable and Fruit Specialist at the University of Delaware, gcjohn@udel.edu, phone (302) 856-7303.

DE and NJ Sign Reciprocity Agreement for Farm Vehicles to Cross State Line

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Anna Stoops, Extension Ag Agent, New Castle Co.; stoops@udel.edu

It’s been an issue discussed at New Castle County Farm Bureau meetings and an issue on the minds of Delaware agriculture producers who haul their products across the Delaware state line into New Jersey. Until this past February, producers hauling agricultural products into NJ were required to have commercial vehicle registrations to cross the state line, which can cost significantly more than the Farm Vehicle registration (‘FT’ tag) that is offered to Delaware ag producers who haul their own products within the state. Thanks to the efforts of Delaware Department of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Transportation, New Jersey Department of Agriculture and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, with this reciprocity agreement DE ag producers who haul their own products in their own properly State of Delaware-registered Farm Vehicles may now transport their product across the state line into New Jersey without a special permit or commercial tag (and vice versa).

I’ve talked to several producers who haul over the state line, and this agreement is a welcome one. In theory, this agreement allows properly tagged and licensed DE ag producers to drive across state lines without being stopped by law enforcement and being cited for violation. However, you can still be pulled over and cited for violation of New Jersey or Delaware transportation laws if you are out of compliance with current transportation regulations/requirements or your vehicle load is overweight. The truck enforcement units are out there.

It is a good idea to carry the reciprocity agreement with you when transporting across state lines. Until this agreement becomes well-known, you may still be stopped in NJ for having DE “FT” registered tags, and it’s a good idea to have the agreement in hand. The agreement can be found at: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/pdf/mvcdelfarm.pdf

Along with the Farm Vehicle registration reciprocity, Delaware and New Jersey also signed a separate agreement so that now both states recognize each others’ commercial driver’s license exemption regulations for farmers. Meaning, if you have properly and legally acquired a valid driver’s license in Delaware and transport your own agricultural commodity in your own properly and legally registered farm vehicle, you are now exempt from obtaining a commercial driver’s license to haul into the state of New Jersey. This agreement may be found at: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/pdf/delcdlfarmers.pdf

For more detailed information and specific information on NJ farm vehicle regulations see the following links: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/news/press/2009/approved/press090218.html

www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/farmermotorvehicles.html#8 .

For more detailed information on Delaware Department of Transportation code relating to farm vehicle regulations see the following link: http://regulations.delaware.gov/register/february2009/final/12%20DE%20Reg%201114%2002-01-09.htm