Make your voice heard while you still have time!
When Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2010, it gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) significant new powers. For a couple of years, the agency did very little with its new authority. But now the FDA has proposed rules that fulfill some of the worst predictions of what the agency might do. The proposed rules address two key provisions of the FSMA:
- On-Farm Produce Standards Rule: Creates requirements for every aspect of growing and harvesting fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Download the FDA document.
- Preventative Controls / HARPC Rule: Requires businesses (including farms) that pack, store, or process foods to do hazard analysis and risk-based preventative control (HARPC) plans. Download the FDA document.
The requirements of FSMA apply to foods within the FDA’s jurisdiction: fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy, and all sorts of processed foods. FSMA does not address foods within USDA’s jurisdiction, namely meats.
It is important to realize that these are proposed rules and nothing is final yet. The FDA is accepting public comments until November 22, 2013. It’s vital that everyone who is concerned with the survival of sustainable agriculture and the local food movement submit comments and contact their legislators to urge Congress to limit the agency’s power.
It is vital that your elected officials know how you feel about your food!
- Find out who represents you by going to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
- Call and ask to speak to the staffer who handles agricultural issues. Explain that you’re a constituent and that high-quality food is very important to you. Ask your Congressman to contact FDA directly on behalf of you and other constituents.
- Get the staffer’s email address and follow up by sending them a copy of your comments to FDA.
More information about the Food Safety Modernization Act and to find out what YOU can do!
Organic Consumers Online Petition – Tell the FDA: Don’t Impose Unfair Burdens on Local, Organic & Sustainable Vegetable Farms