What is the Food Safety Modernization Act and why does it matter?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first major overhaul of our nation’s food safety practices since 1938, and it includes new regulations for produce farms and for facilities that process food for people to eat.

Southern SAWG is joining an effort across the country to encourage individuals and organizations with interest in local food systems and family farms to submit comments about draft food safety regulations.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed new rules this year that will have a huge impact on how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown and processed in the US. With the right approach, we will be able to help ensure good food safety practices across the nation without placing an unfair burden on family farmers.

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But the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and dozens of other farm and food organizations have analyzed the new rules, and have found that they’re way off base.

The proposed standards undermine sustainable and organic production practices, subject many farms to regulations designed for industrial facilities, and may well prove too costly for farmers to implement and stay in business. FDA’s new proposed rules as written will unfairly burden family farmers, target sustainable and organic farming, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities

Right now, you have a chance to tell FDA that this is unacceptable. The FDA has released their proposed (draft) regulations for public comment as part of this process. We all need to comment!

The rule is complex, but NSAC convened a team of farmers, local food advocates, and policy experts to pull out and analyze the critical pieces. They have also provided instructions for how to most effectively prepare a comment to the FDA.

Learn more from NSAC about the proposed FSMA rules, and how to comment on them. Or revisit this Southern SAWG Policy page for additional information.

Jim Lukens