FDA seeking info, comments on raw manure safety

ManureThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this past Friday published a Federal Register notice requesting scientific data, information, and comments that would help the agency develop a risk assessment for produce grown in fields or other growing areas amended with untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin, including raw manure. Comments are due by May 3. The risk assessment will evaluate and, if feasible, quantify the risk of illness associated with consuming produce grown in fields amended with untreated manure. Along with the notice, FDA has available a related Q & A interview with Samir Assar, Director of FDA’s Division of Produce Safety. OTA will be weighing in to FDA stressing the need for any wait period included in the final rule to be based on current science and not duplicate or conflict with existing organic regulations. To get a head start on this much-anticipated element of the FSMA rules, OTA and The Organic Center are partnering with UC Davis to conduct a risk assessment of manure use on organic farms. The preliminary findings of this work will be used as the basis for OTA’s comments to FDA. See The Organic Center’s website for more information, or contact Nate Lewis (OTA’s Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist).

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