On Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was extending the compliance dates for pre-harvest agricultural water provisions and outlined in the 2021 agricultural water proposed rule.
The 2021 agricultural water proposed rule, if finalized, will require farms to conduct annual systems-based agricultural water assessments to determine and guide appropriate measures to minimize potential risks associated with pre-harvest agricultural water.
The FDA is now proposing extended compliance dates for those proposed pre-harvest requirements and is also providing clarifying information about the enforcement discretion policy for the harvest and post-harvest agricultural water requirements.
The supplemental rulemaking proposes to establish the following compliance dates for the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for covered produce other than sprouts:
2 years and 9 months after the effective date of a final rule for very small businesses;
1 year and 9 months after the effective date of a final rule for small businesses; and
9 months after the effective date of a final rule for all other businesses.
The FDA intends to continue enforcement discretion for the harvest and post-harvest agricultural water requirements of the Produce Safety regulation until the following dates:
January 26, 2025, for very small businesses;
January 26, 2024, for small businesses; and
January 26, 2023, for all other businesses.
The agency is reopening the comment period only with respect to the proposed compliance dates for the pre-harvest agricultural water provisions until September 19, 2022. Comments should be submitted to docket FDA-2021-N-0471 on Regulations.gov.
More information can be found at this link: FDA Proposes Compliance Date Extension for Pre-Harvest Agricultural Water Requirements | FDA