FDA’s Final Produce Rule Imposes Undue Burdens on Farmers

Download the pdf version of this press release here

AUSTIN, Texas – November 17, 2015 – The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final rule for farms that raise produce for human consumption, “is going to be very damaging for the growing local food movement, and the millions of American consumers who want more access, not less, to healthy local foods,” stated Judith McGeary, founder and Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and a farmer herself.

The final rule comes after two rounds of proposed rulemaking, an unusual procedure taken by FDA in response to the outcry caused by the initial proposed rule. The final rule retains many of the positive changes that had been made in the second proposed rulemaking, but FDA made only a few additional changes.

“On the positive side, the final rule retains the changes relating to the use of compost and manure, as well as adding some clarification on grazing and the frequency required for water testing,” stated Ms.…

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Press Release: 9​th ​Annual Farm & Food Leadership Conference: September 25­-26, 2015


Judith McGeary, (254) 697-2661 or (512) 484-8821 (cell)




9th Annual Farm & Food Leadership Conference: September 25-26, Bryan, TX

Learning How to Change the Policies That Affect Our Food System


CAMERON, Texas – August 27, 2015 – The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) and the Council for Healthy Food Systems (CHFS) will be presenting the 9th Annual Farm and Food Leadership Conference in Bryan, Texas, on September 25-26, 2015.  

Growing numbers of Texans are seeking out local and sustainably raised foods, but are unaware of how the regulatory, economic, and social structure of our food system affects what farmers can grow and consumers can buy.

“We have important opportunities to change the policies that govern our food system, but we need a diversity of people who understand the critical issues and are willing to speak up,” said Judith McGeary, attorney, farmer, and Executive Director of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.

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Press Release: State Bureaucrats Plan to Tighten Up the Law that Caused Girls’ Lemonade Stand to Be Shut Dow

For Immediate Release, June 15, 2015

Contact:  Judith McGeary, 512-484-8821, Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org

For a pdf version of this release, click here

State Bureaucrats Plan to Tighten Up the Law that Caused Girls’ Lemonade Stand to Be Shut Down


 Austin, TX:  The regulations that forced two little girls from Overton to close their lemonade stand are about to become even more intrusive if the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has its way.


“Under the new proposed regulations, the girls would have to have the ground for the lemonade stand graded for proper drainage, completely enclose the food preparation area with walls or screens, and have a way to heat water on-site,” explained Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, a local foods advocacy organization.


McGeary pointed out that these new regulations are not part of the 2013 cottage food law, which local authorities and media reports incorrectly pointed to as the reason for the lemonade stand’s shutdown.…

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Raw milk bill scheduled for vote in the House

For Immediate Release, May 6, 2015
Contact:  Judith McGeary, 512-484-8821, Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org
Raw Milk Bill Scheduled for Vote in House
“Free Enterprise” Bill to Help Farmers Market More Efficiently

(Austin, TX): Texas lawmakers will have the opportunity to make it easier for consumers to buy raw milk on Thursday, when House Bill 91 is scheduled to come up for a vote on the floor of the House.

The bill, which was approved by the Public Health Committee, will loosen the current regulations that only allow raw milk to be sold on the farm by allowing dairy farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets and to make delivery arrangements with their customers.

“Currently, Texans have to travel to a licensed dairy to buy raw milk,” explained Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Executive Director Judith McGeary. “This bill reduces costs and hassle for consumers, while allowing farmers a fair opportunity to market their products,” she continued.

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Press Release: Bill Filed to Require Labeling of GMOs in Texas

For Immediate Release, March 12, 2015

Contact:  Judith McGeary, 512-484-8821, Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org


Bill Filed to Require the Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods


 Austin, TX:  Today State Representative Carol Alvarado filed HB 3499 to require mandatory labeling of foods sold in Texas that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

GMOs are organisms in which DNA from one or more unrelated species is put into the DNA of a target crop so it expresses a desired trait such as withstanding pesticides or producing insecticidal toxins.  A growing number of studies have raised concerns about the long-term effects of GMOs and associated pesticides on an individual’s health and the environment. Some studies have cited possible links between GMO foods and adverse health impacts including allergies, immune system disorders and organ toxicity.

“GMO labeling is vital to providing accurate information for consumers to make a choice as to whether or not they want to consume these foods.…

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Press Release: Texas Beef Checkoff Vote in Favor of Big Beef Industry

Judith McGeary, (512) 484-8821

Texas Beef Checkoff Referendum Results in Favor of Big Beef Industry

Less Than 3% of Texas Cattle Owners Voted For the Program

AUSTIN, Texas – July 2, 2014 – The tax that Texas cattle owners pay when they sell their animals will now be doubled, thanks to the results of the beef checkoff referendum vote, just published by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Out of 7,080 people that voted, 4,718 people voted for it.

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Press Release: Big Beef Industry Wants to Double Texas Beef Checkoff Tax on Texas Cattle Owners

Alexandra Landeros, (512) 537-2692

Big Beef Industry Wants to Double Animal Sales Tax on Texas Cattle Owners

Funds Used by Texas Beef Council to Promote Beef Imported from Outside Texas

AUSTIN, Texas – April 29, 2014 – The Big Beef industry wants to double the tax that cattle owners pay for every sale of their animals. Under the federal “checkoff” program, a farmer is already legally required to pay $1 for every head of cattle sold. This added up to over $11 million in taxes on Texas farmers and ranchers last year. Now large industry groups want to add a Texas beef checkoff program.

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Press Release: Warn of Threats to Farm Economies by Dow’s New GMO Crops

Judith McGeary, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance: 254.697.2661; judith@farmandranchfreedom.org
Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network: 916.216.1082; ptowers@panna.org
Lisa Griffith, National Family Farm Coalition, 202.543.5675; lisa@nffc.net
Anna Ghosh, Food and Water Watch: 415.293.9905; aghosh@fwwatch.org
Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety: 443.854.4368; aseiler@centerforfoodsafety.org

Farmers Warn of Threats to Farm Economies Posed by Dow’s New Genetically Engineered Corn and Soybean Varieties

USDA Receives Nearly 400,000 Public Comments Opposing Approval of 2,4-D Resistant Crops


AUSTIN, Texas – March 11, 2014 – Today over 387,000 farmers, farmworkers, health professionals, and concerned individuals from across the country joined together in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject Dow AgroSciences’ application seeking approval of controversial genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean varieties that are resistant to the hazardous herbicide 2,4-D.

In addition, over 800 farmers from across the country petitioned Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to reject the pesticide-promoting seeds, warning that their introduction would directly harm their crops, farm businesses, livelihoods and health.…

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Press Release: Speaking Out Against FDA Proposed Food Safety Regulations

Judith McGeary, 254-697-2661 (office) or 512-484-8821 (cell)

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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Press Release: FDA Proposed Food Safety Regulations Threaten Farmers and Food Produce

Judith McGeary, 254-697-2661 (office)

FDA Proposed Food Safety Regulations Threaten Farmers and Food Producers

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Organizing Public Comments

AUSTIN, Texas – November 5, 2013 – With the deadline for commenting on the FDA’s proposed food safety regulations rapidly approaching, the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is inviting interested farming and consumer organizations to sign on to a joint letter addressing FDA’s treatment of small, direct-marketing producers in the proposed regulations.

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