Judith McGeary, 254-697-2661 (office)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
“In 2010, over one hundred organizations joined together during the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act and convinced Congress to include the Tester-Hagan amendment, which exempts small-scale, direct-marketing producers,” stated Judith McGeary, Executive Director of FARFA.
“Unfortunately, the FDA’s proposed regulations undermine the exemption by depriving those producers of normal due process with the threat of revoking the exemption,” added McGeary.
Under the new rules proposed this year, mid-size farmers, as well as small farmers whose exemption was revoked, will have to comply with extensive regulations on every aspect of growing crops. Food hubs and local food businesses will have to develop complex analyses of their processes.
“The proposed regulations take a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach to many traditional farm practices,” explained Ms. McGeary. “The use of compost, compost teas, and manures will become very difficult, if not impossible, along with diversified livestock-crop operations and other sustainable practices.”
In addition to public comments from farmers and nonprofits, it’s also important for consumers to send in their comments to the FDA. If the proposed regulations are adopted as currently written, consumers will face increased food prices and reduced availability of locally and sustainably produced foods.
Organizations that are interested in signing the joint letter in support of the Tester-Hagan exemption should contact Ms. McGeary at Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org.
Concerned individuals can visit www.farmandranchfreedom.org/alert-fda-comments-food-safety-regulations for instructions and resources on how to make their voices heard by submitting comments to the FDA before the November 15th deadline.
For more information about federal food safety regulations, visit www.farmandranchfreedom.org/category/local-foods/federal-food-safety
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About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.