Federal Food Safety Background

 
In December 2010, Congress passed a food safety bill that significantly expanded FDA’s authority, including mandatory recall and inspections. But the bill does not ensure that FDA will use its new authority responsibly, nor does it address the revolving door between the agency and industry, epitomized by Michael Taylor’s current position as FDA’s food czar following his work for Monsanto. Most importantly, the Act does not address the underlying causes of most foodborne illness, namely the industrialized agriculture production and processing systems. These fundamental flaws mean that the bill will most likely do very little to actually improve food safety.

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Action Alert: Protect Small Farmers and Food Producers from FSMA Regulations

small family farm

Updated November 5, 2014.

We fought hard for the Tester-Hagan amendment to exempt small-scale, direct-marketing farms and artisan food producers 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 would make it very easy for the agency to force even small-scale farmers to comply with the onerous FSMA regulations, and all but impossible for these vulnerable farmers to protect themselves.

Consequences of the Proposed Rules

Under the proposed rules, if the FDA decides to revoke the Tester-Hagan exemption and force a small-scale, direct-marketing farmer or artisan food producer to comply with the new federal requirements:

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New food safety regulations proposed

The FDA has just released the revised proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  This action comes after thousands of people protested the unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations proposed in 2013.  (Read more about the original proposed regulations, including FARFA’s comments to the agency, on our federal local foods page.)

You can read the FDA’s overview of its new proposal here.

The text of the revised proposed rule for on-farm produce safety standards is posted at here, and the text for the revised proposed rule on food processing (HARPC) is posted at here.

FARFA is working on its analysis of the new proposal, and we will post more information soon.  If you are a nonprofit, farmers market, or farmer who would like to be involved in analyzing and responding to the rules, please email Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org.

The public comment period will open on September 29, when the proposed rules are officially published in the Federal Register, and will run until December 15.…

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Organizational Comments on FSMA Intentional Adulteration Rule

Click here to download a PDF version of these comments.

June 25, 2014

Submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2013-N-1425-0021
Re: Docket No. FDA-2013-N-1425

Dear FDA staff:

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is a nonprofit organization with members in every state and internationally. WAPF was founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated non-industrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. WAPF is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the constitutional right of the nation’s family farms and artisan food producers to provide processed and unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means, and to protect the constitutional right of consumers to obtain unprocessed and processed foods directly from family farms and artisan food producers.

The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national nonprofit organization with members in 45 states that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers.…

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Action Alert: Tell FDA That Small Dairy Farms Aren’t at Risk for Terrorist Contamination

FSMA Intentional Adulteration: Small Dairy Farms Not At Risk

As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), U.S. Congress directed the FDA to address the threat posed to our food supply by terrorists seeking to cause widespread human health harm or economic disruption.

Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the FDA acknowledge that the reason our food supply is vulnerable to such threats is because of how consolidated and centralized it has become. The best solution would be to promote locally based, decentralized food systems.

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Need Your Input to Address New Food Safety Regulations

Dirt on Hand

 
Thank you to everyone who responded to our action alerts on the proposed food safety regulations last year! As a result of the grassroots outcry, the FDA acknowledged that many of the provisions in the proposed regulations were a problem, and the agency plans to issue revised proposed regulations this summer.

The FDA’s admission that the proposed rules need significant changes is a very positive step. But it remains to be seen what the actual changes will be…and whether they will truly fix the problems.

We will send an alert with the details — including how you can speak up for local food producers — as soon as the FDA issues its new proposal.
 

But we want to start preparing now. And if you are a farmer or a food producer, we’re asking for your help!

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FDA Acknowledges Problems with Proposed Food Safety Regulations

problems with fda food safety regulations

 
The grassroots outcry against the Food & Drug Administration’s proposed regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act made a difference!

The FDA has announced that it will issue revised proposals on four of the areas that received the most criticism: water quality standards and testing, the standards for using raw manure and compost, provisions governing farms that do value-added products, and due process issues under the Tester-Hagan exemption for small-scale, direct-marketing farms and producers. The FDA plans to issue new proposed rules on these issues in the summer of 2014 and seek a second round of public comments.

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Press Release: Speaking Out Against FDA Proposed Food Safety Regulations

 
MEDIA CONTACT:
Judith McGeary, 254-697-2661 (office) or 512-484-8821 (cell)
judith@farmandranchfreedom.org
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 


Farms, Markets, Food Businesses, and Nonprofits Across the Country Speak Out

Against FDA’s Undermining of Congressional Intent in Proposed Food Safety Regulations

AUSTIN, Texas – November 25, 2013 – Almost 300 farms, farmers markets, food businesses, and nonprofit organization submitted a joint letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urging significant changes to the agency’s proposed rules regarding the Tester-Hagan exemption under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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Joint Comments to FDA on the Produce Standards Rule

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE COMMENTS]

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)

Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Re: Produce Standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921, and RIN 0910-AG35

Dear FDA:

The undersigned organizations represent farmers, food businesses, and consumers across the United States. We jointly submit these comments on the proposed rule for Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.

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Joint Comments to FDA on the Preventive Controls Rule

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION OF THIS LETTER]

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Re: Preventive Controls Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920 and RIN 0910-AG36

Dear FDA:

The undersigned organizations represent farmers, food businesses, and consumers across the United States. We jointly submit these comments on the proposed rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (hereinafter, proposed rule for Preventive Controls).

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Joint Letter to FDA on Tester-Hagan Exemption

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION OF THIS LETTER]

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

November 22, 2013

Re: Preventive Controls Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920 and RIN 0910-AG36
Produce Standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921, and RIN 0910-AG35

Dear FDA:

The undersigned 283 organizations, co-ops, farms, farmers’ markets, and food businesses jointly submit these comments on the Tester-Hagan provisions, also referred to as the qualified exemptions, in the proposed rule for Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption and the proposed rule for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food.

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