The Texas Vegetable (TVA) association in Mission Texas, held their second annual conference and emphasized players in the industry having their input in food safety concerns, especially as the FDA continues to introduce new regulations in keeping up with the new financial budget.
TVA’s vice president said that in organizing the event their main goal was to collect comments for the food agency from various people including producers, people who deal in transportation, and retailers, as well. The event began with a discussion forum where the attendees could ask questions concerning food safety. Answering the questions was Tom Stenzel, the president of the United Fresh Produce Association. These were organized so that various people would become acquainted with what exactly goes on in the industry and provide them with a basis for asking the questions.
Major concerns were raised including exemptions from the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) income threshold for those who use mixed farms. The FDA extended its deadline for another four months as they continue to accept comments from the public concerning the proposed regulation. Another issue that was raised was the fact that in Texas, most of the farms were irrigated using surface water, in comparison to California where irrigation water is received from deep within the ground. This of course, directly related to the water quality in Texas and was also compared to other regions where farming is heavily practiced.
It was the conclusion of the conference that the government is trying to kill all birds using one stone. However, their approach of using one solution for all problems in the different farming regions does not exactly work well. They instead ask the administration to tackle each problem separately and find a solution that addresses it in its own unique way.