The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule was made final in November 2015.
The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) allows states to submit applications for funding to plan and develop programs to support successful implementation of the rule through farmer education, technical assistance, inspection, and other activities.
Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, said the funding is an important step toward providing states with the resources they need.
“Our collaboration with states is crucial to the successful implementation of the produce safety rule because state regulators have a better understanding and knowledge of the specific growing and harvesting practices in their areas and already have long-standing relationships with local produce growers and associations.”
Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) welcomed the announcement.
Dr Barbara Glenn, NASDA CEO, said funding has been a missing piece and now it is falling into place.
“Left to each states individual devises, we realize that many models would likely be developed to reach our new national outcome of an integrated and preventive food safety system,” she said.
“Using the NASDA Framework as a guide, it is our hope that states will be able to focus on alignment and consistency amongst state partners. This should result in consistent education, outreach and technical assistance efforts; uniform compliance and enforcement programs; and stable infrastructure development.
“NASDA’s document provides our members with the essential components to administer successful preventive food safety programs.”