21 U.S. Code § 350h - Standards for produce safety
Not later than 1 year after January 4, 2011, the Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of State departments of agriculture (including with regard to the national organic program established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 [7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.]), and in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of those types of fruits and vegetables, including specific mixes or categories of fruits and vegetables, that are raw agricultural commodities for which the Secretary has determined that such standards minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences or death.
With respect to small businesses and very small businesses (as such terms are defined in the regulation promulgated under subparagraph (A)) that produce and harvest those types of fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities that the Secretary has determined are low risk and do not present a risk of serious adverse health consequences or death, the Secretary may determine not to include production and harvesting of such fruits and vegetables in such rulemaking, or may modify the applicable requirements of regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.
During the comment period on the notice of proposed rulemaking under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall conduct not less than 3 public meetings in diverse geographical areas of the United States to provide persons in different regions an opportunity to comment.
Not later than 1 year after the close of the comment period for the proposed rulemaking under subsection (a), the Secretary shall adopt a final regulation to provide for minimum science-based standards for those types of fruits and vegetables, including specific mixes or categories of fruits or vegetables, that are raw agricultural commodities, based on known safety risks, which may include a history of foodborne illness outbreaks.
A State or foreign country from which food is imported into the United States may in writing request a variance from the Secretary. Such request shall describe the variance requested and present information demonstrating that the variance does not increase the likelihood that the food for which the variance is requested will be adulterated under section 342 of this title, and that the variance provides the same level of public health protection as the requirements of the regulations adopted under subsection (b). The Secretary shall review such requests in a reasonable timeframe.
The Secretary may approve a variance in whole or in part, as appropriate, and may specify the scope of applicability of a variance to other similarly situated persons.
The Secretary may deny a variance request if the Secretary determines that such variance is not reasonably likely to ensure that the food is not adulterated under section 342 of this title and is not reasonably likely to provide the same level of public health protection as the requirements of the regulation adopted under subsection (b). The Secretary shall notify the person requesting such variance of the reasons for the denial.
The Secretary, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, may modify or revoke a variance if the Secretary determines that such variance is not reasonably likely to ensure that the food is not adulterated under section 342 of this title and is not reasonably likely to provide the same level of public health protection as the requirements of the regulations adopted under subsection (b).
The Secretary may coordinate with the Secretary of Agriculture and, as appropriate, shall contract and coordinate with the agency or department designated by the Governor of each State to perform activities to ensure compliance with this section.
Not later than 1 year after January 4, 2011, the Secretary shall publish, after consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, representatives of State departments of agriculture, farmer representatives, and various types of entities engaged in the production and harvesting or importing of fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities, including small businesses, updated good agricultural practices and guidance for the safe production and harvesting of specific types of fresh produce under this section.
The Secretary shall conduct not fewer than 3 public meetings in diverse geographical areas of the United States as part of an effort to conduct education and outreach regarding the guidance described in paragraph (1) for persons in different regions who are involved in the production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities, including persons that sell directly to consumers and farmer representatives, and for importers of fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities.
In the event of an active investigation of a foodborne illness outbreak that is directly linked to a farm subject to an exemption under this subsection, or if the Secretary determines that it is necessary to protect the public health and prevent or mitigate a foodborne illness outbreak based on conduct or conditions associated with a farm that are material to the safety of the food produced or harvested at such farm, the Secretary may withdraw the exemption provided to such farm under this subsection.
Nothing in this subsection preempts State, local, county, or other non-Federal law regarding the safe production, harvesting, holding, transportation, and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables. Compliance with this subsection shall not relieve any person from liability at common law or under State statutory law.
This section shall not apply to produce that is produced by an individual for personal consumption.
This section shall not apply to activities of a facility that are subject to section 350g of this title.
 So in original. Probably should be “or certify compliance”.
The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A), (3)(E), is title XXI of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3935, which is classified generally to chapter 94 (§ 6501 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of Title 7 and Tables.
Nothing in this section to be construed to apply to certain alcohol-related facilities, to alter jurisdiction and authorities established under certain other Acts, or in a manner inconsistent with international agreements to which the United States is a party, see sections 2206, 2251, and 2252 of this title.
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