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The Los Angeles Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to revise new food safety regulations that focus on "rules addressing food-borne illness in production sites and farms … The proposed regulations have been criticized by proponents of local, organic and sustainable farming as being too invasive and unnatural. The rules call for stringent barriers to fence wildlife away from farms and scrutinized natural manure, which is favored by organic growers."

Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the FDA, wrote in a blog posting:

"We have heard concerns that certain provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers … And because of the input we received from farmers and the concerns they expressed about the impact of these rules on their lives and livelihood, we realized that significant changes must be made, while ensuring that the proposed rules remain consistent with our food safety goals."

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) said yesterday that it commended FDA "for listening to and acknowledging significant concerns raised by produce stakeholders about the proposals issued in January 2013."

And David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology at the United Fresh Produce Association, said, "We are encouraged that FDA took seriously the extensive input they received from produce farmers and others in the agricultural sector with respect to the proposed Produce Safety and Preventive Controls rules. We appreciate FDA’s willingness to rethink these provisions and propose requirements that are more science and risk based. It is critical that FDA gets these FSMA rules right, and we believe this is a step in the right direction.”
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