Report

PSP Submits Growers' Comments

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The Produce Safety Project (PSP) supports the development by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a mandatory and enforceable produce safety standard for the growing, harvesting and packing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Among other activities, PSP sponsored six stakeholder discussions around the country with the goal of providing a platform for stakeholders, with particular emphasis on growers, to discuss their expertise in promoting produce safety through their current practices and offer input for consideration by FDA as it prepares to propose a produce safety rule.

 

The Produce Safety Project (PSP) – based at Georgetown University and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts - is a research and advocacy organization that supports the development by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a mandatory and enforceable produce safety standard for the growing, harvesting and packing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Among other activities, PSP sponsored six stakeholder discussions around the country with the goal of providing a platform for stakeholders, with particular emphasis on growers, to discuss their expertise in promoting produce safety through their current practices and offer input for consideration by FDA as it prepares to propose a produce safety rule. In addition, the Stakeholders' Discussion Series provided an opportunity for fruit and vegetable growers and other interested stakeholders (extension educators, food retailers, consultants, produce trade association personnel and others) to hear the science
associated with four areas identified as important to produce safety: 1) Irrigation and Foliar Contact Water Quality, 2) Wildlife and Environmental Concerns; 3) Composting Issues; and 4) Worker Health and Hygiene.

These four areas are noted as potential vectors for pathogens and causing food-borne illness outbreaks. Four papers were commissioned by PSP to present current information on these issues. These papers, and ideas contained in them, were briefly reviewed and presented during each of the sessions, and served as jumping off points for more detailed discussions organized in smaller group break out sessions.

The six locations for the Stakeholders' Discussion Series were:

  1. Rochester, New York (February 19, 2010)
  2. Columbus, Ohio (March 11, 2010)
  3. Tifton, Georgia (March 25, 2010)
  4. College Park, Maryland (April 7, 2010)
  5. Monterey, California (April 26, 2010)
  6. Salinas, California (Spanish-speaking session) (April 27, 2010)

Each of the Stakeholders' Discussion Series sessions has a summary, capturing overviews of the presentations, the main points emerging from the breakout sessions, and some of the observations, questions, and issues highlighted towards the end of the sessions.

Dowload the PDF of the full report for final summaries of the PSP discussions.