NCDA&CS to hold listening session on FDA

Produce farmers and packers can learn more about the federal government’s proposed produce safety rule at a listening session Feb. 20 at the State Fairgrounds.

Individuals also will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session, which will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Scott Building.

“The produce safety rule could mean big changes for produce farmers and packers, so it’s critical that they learn everything they can about it,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who will be the meeting’s host. “This is an important opportunity to hear from the Food and Drug Administration and ask questions before the comment period closes on May 16.”

At the meeting, Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, and James Gorny, senior advisor for produce safety, will present information about the rule. Richard Linton, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, will also make remarks.

On Jan. 4, the FDA announced a proposed rule focused on measures that produce farmers and packers should take to prevent the contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables. The agency is collecting comments about the rule before finalizing it.

Individuals interested in attending the listening session are encouraged to register at so that organizers will have an estimate of the audience size. Anyone with questions about the event should contact Christina Waggett with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 919-707-3008.

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