FDA’s New Deputy Commissioner Ostroff visits California Farms
The LGMA is pleased to welcome U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new Deputy Commissioner for Food Dr. Stephen Ostroff to California. We are honored to be included in a tour organized by the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the newly appointed Dr. Ostroff. This is his first look at the mandatory food safety program implemented by the leafy greens industry some ten years ago to protect public health and ensure safe leafy greens.
Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act
The tour is an important one for Dr. Ostroff as he will be charged with the implementation of ground-breaking new food safety regulations under the Food Safety Marketing Act. Of course, the LGMA has been following the trajectory of new laws under FSMA since their beginnings.
It’s important for the leafy greens producers to understand how this law will impact their farming practices. Equally important, we want Ostroff to understand all that is currently being done by LGMA handlers. Our hope is that he feels comfortable in knowing California and Arizona leafy greens handlers who operate under LGMA mandates are in full compliance with the Produce Safety Rule as it becomes reality for the produce industry.
Collaborating with Regulators and Regulations
The LGMA has spent a great deal of time working with many other government officials from FDA, USDA and from Congress to make sure they have a full understanding of the LGMA and our program that verifies through mandatory inspection that a rigorous set of science-based food safety practices are being followed on leafy greens farmers. More importantly, we want Dr. Ostroff and all other government officials to see the culture of food safety that runs deep in the leafy greens community. We are very much enjoying showing Dr. Ostroff what we have been able to accomplish through the LGMA.
Our thanks go to CDFA’s Director of Inspection Services, Natalie Krout-Greenberg, and her staff for coordinating this tour.