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Editor’s View: We have a Farm Bill

The Agricultural Act of 2014 is expected to have an easy ride through the Senate, having cleared the tougher hurdle of the House this week. So, barring any unforeseen snags, we now have a five-year Farm Bill. Of the provisions we have been monitoring closely here at Food Chemical News, I notice the House-passed bill would require FDA to conduct additional economic and scientific analyses of the Food Safety Modernization Act produce safety rule. But as part of a compromise struck by conferees, this is not expected to delay implementation of FSMA regulations. The compromise was that FDA would not be held up in rolling FSMA out but that the agency would be required to conduct more studies on the economic impacts and come up with a plan to respond to producer concerns. Putting two and two together and combining this requirement with related report language in the FY 2014 appropriations bill, the Congress is sending a clear message to FDA.

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