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: