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FDA Gives Public Additional Time to Comment on Food-Safety Rules

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the comment periods on proposed rules that are intended to prevent foodborne illness.

The public has until Nov. 15, 2013 to weigh in on proposed rules, which establish preventative controls in human food facilities and science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of certain fruits and vegetables. FDA explained it wants to give interested persons the chance "to consider the interrelationships" between the two proposals and two new proposed rules aimed at ensuring the safety of imported food.

The rules will help form the backbone of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). President Obama signed the law in 2011 in response to a number of outbreaks of foodborne illness.  FDA's proposed rules under FSMA range from accreditation of third-party auditors to the establishment of preventative controls in manufacturing facilities to minimize food-safety risks.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 48 million Americans become ill each year due to foodborne diseases. FDA believes most cases of foodborne illness can be prevented.

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