March 14, 2016, Washington, DC – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants input from stakeholders as it develops the framework for a risk assessment on the use of raw manure and other biological soil amendments of animal origin as fertilizer on produce farms.
This has been a controversial issue as the FDA proposed, and recently finalized, the Produce Safety rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The agency is concerned about the potential of raw manure and other such amendments to contain disease-causing bacteria. Growers see raw manure and other such amendments as an effective way to enrich the quality of their soil.
The FDA is planning to conduct a risk assessment to determine how much consumer health is put at risk by the use of raw manure as fertilizer in growing crops covered by the final Produce Safety rule, and what can be done to help prevent people from getting sick.
Before starting the assessment, the agency wants the help of stakeholders in the produce industry, the animal agriculture industry, academia and members of the public in developing the model for this work.
A notice published in the Federal Register requests public comments and scientific data and information, including information about how farms use raw manure and what strategies should be considered to reduce public health risk.
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