We can’t say it any better,
or any more urgently, so we are sharing the latest from our partners at the National
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. The Food Policy folks and sustainable farmers reading these new rules are deeply worried about the impact on small farmers. Make formal comments by November 15!
“You've been hearing from us for months about the Food Safety Modernization Act - and how it's a problem for sustainable and organic agriculture, on-farm conservation, and the growing local food movement. Well - now it's time to take action.
In its push to write new food safety rules based on the Food Safety Modernization Act passed by Congress, FDA is threatening to make sustainable and organic agriculture, local food, and farm conservation efforts collateral damage. Under the proposed regulations, many farms forced to comply with high-cost, industrial-scale regulations will go out of business. There will be less fresh, local produce in schools and community markets. Farmers will be pushed to tear out wildlife habitat and rely more heavily on chemicals than natural fertilizers.
Unless we act now, these new rules – known as the Food Safety Modernization Act – could have a devastating impact on the farmers and businesses responsible for putting fruits and vegetables on America’s dinner plates – which, in turn, affects all of us.
Farmers, food business owners, and concerned citizens need to speak up – today! As they’re currently written, these proposed rules will unfairly burden family farmers, penalize sustainable and organic farming practices, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities. They’ll make it harder for beginning farmers to get started, will put existing farms out of business, and will increase costs for everyone. Right now, we have a chance to tell FDA that this is unacceptable – and we need your help to do it.
FDA is seeking comments from the public – that’s you! Everyone needs to speak out and tell FDA that the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules must:
- Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs;
- Ensure that diversified and innovative farms – particularly those pioneering models for increased access to healthy, local foods – continue to grow and thrive without being stifled; and
- Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs.
The Food Policy folks at NSAC have also published some great resources: extra guidance for CSAs, food hubs, direct marketers, and on-farm processors.