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Tag Archives: FDA
Keep Small Farmers & Food Producers in Business: Take Action on FDA’s 2014 Proposed Food Safety Regulations
The FDA’s re-proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules will have a disastrous impact on small, sustainable farms and food businesses if they are approved as written. Many producers will have to raise prices, or could be driven out of business, reducing consumer access to local, healthy foods.
The real risk for foodborne illness comes from the large-scale, industrialized food system, with its national or even multinational sourcing and distribution chains. But the FDA’s rules take a one-size-fits-all approach on many issues, imposing costly burdens on small producers who are not the source of the problem. In addition, many of the new requirements are so confusing that they will raise costs and penalize producers simply from the confusion they will create!
Action Alert from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:
There are only a few days are left to speak up for our farmers and food hubs! Help keep local food available and affordable.
During the last several weeks, people have been submitting their comments to the FDA regarding the proposed food safety regulations. But we need more voices if we’re going to win this battle!
- Are you a farmer worried about losing your ability to farm sustainably?
- Are you a consumer concerned that healthy fresh fruits and vegetables could disappear from your local co-ops and farmers market?
Action alert from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:
The FDA’s proposed food safety regulations pose significant problems for sustainable farmers, food producers, and food hubs across the country.
Under the proposed regulations, many farmers will be forced to comply with high-cost, industrial-scale regulations, and they will be unable to use traditional, sustainable growing practices. Food hubs and local food businesses will be forced to deal with costly and burdensome paperwork. Ultimately, consumers will face increased food prices and reduced availability of locally and sustainably produced foods.
Action Alert from The Weston A. Price Foundation:
The FDA is yet again putting burdens on farmers who use healthy, sustainable practices, and justifying them with fear-based assumptions rather than data. The agency’s latest move is a draft guidance document that will make it all but impossible for farmers with 3,000 or more laying hens to keep the birds on pasture.
The stated goal is to prevent the spread of salmonella from wild birds and other animals to the hens. But there is absolutely no evidence that pastured chickens pose a food safety threat. To the contrary, all the major incidents of salmonella in eggs have come from confinement factory farms.
Action alert from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:
We fought hard for the Tester-Hagan amendment to exempt small-scale, direct-marketing farms from the most burdensome aspects of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This exemption is essential to the continued vitality of the local foods movement.
Now the FDA is proposing rules that make it very easy for the agency to force even small-scale farmers to comply with the extensive, burdensome FSMA regulations, and all but impossible for such farmers to protect themselves.
Under the proposed rules, if the FDA decides to revoke the Tester-Hagan exemption and force a small-scale, direct-marketing farmer to comply with the new federal requirements:
Press release from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:
Falls Church, Virginia (April 11, 2012) (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On March 30 federal district judge Mark W. Bennett issued an order dismissing a lawsuit challenging the interstate commerce ban on raw milk for human consumption filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Along with six consumers, an agent for a buyers club, and a dairy farmer selling raw milk to out-of-state customers, the Legal Defense Fund filed suit in February 2010 over a federal regulation (21 CFR 1240.61). The regulation prohibits raw milk and raw milk products (other than raw cheese aged at least sixty days) from crossing state lines.
News from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:
Over a million people submitted comments to the FDA in support of the petition for mandatory labeling of GMOs!
FDA’s response to the Center for Food Safety stated, “We have not been able to reach a decision on your petition. … We hope to be able to complete the review of your petition and respond to your request in the near future.” This is a fairly common response by the agency.
Action alert from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:
It’s Time for Congress to Step Up & Pass HR 1830
A federal court has upheld the FDA’s ban on the interstate transport of raw milk for human consumption.
The case began with a year-long sting operation of an Amish farmer, Dan Allgyer, that included undercover federal officials entering private consumers’ residences. Despite testing the milk repeatedly, the FDA never found any contamination in the milk. Not one person claimed to have gotten sick from the milk. Yet the FDA decided to pursue the case and brought an enforcement action against Dan in federal court.
Current FDA policies allow tens of millions of unsuspecting consumers to purchase and consume unlabeled genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their foods without knowing what they are eating. FDA has allowed this even though it has no proof that GMOs are safe for human consumption. To the contrary, internal FDA documents reflect scientists’ concerns that GMOs could pose significant health risks – but the scientists were ignored by the career bureaucrats doing the bidding of the corporate agribusinesses.
Alert from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:
Last year, your calls and letters helped pass a law in Texas to allow people to make low-risk foods in their home kitchens to sell directly to consumers without government interference. SB 81 was a great first step in reducing the regulatory burdens on the local foods movement.
One section of SB 81 directed the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to adopt rules regarding labeling of cottage foods. The legislation was very specific: the labels were to include the producer’s name, address, and a statement that the food was not inspected by the local or state authorities. But the DSHS staff have used this opening to bury cottage food producers in red tape.