This summer we’ve started taking a closer look at the new food safety laws that are hurtling toward us from the FDA. (Alright, hurtling might be an exaggeration, but the November 16th deadline for comments is coming quick.) The more we read, the more it becomes clear that FSMA (the Food Safety Modernization Act) will impact everyone and we all need to take a closer look at what’s coming.
Nobody cares more than us about the safety of the food leaving our farms. But we need to make sure the regulations are right for the 21st century – that they’re written for the small farms, the diverse farms, the innovative farms, and not just the monoculture mega-farms of old.
A great introduction to the impact that the rules will have on the beginning farmer is this one, written by our friend Roland McReynolds of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Roland has been studying the new rules for months, and has some great insight for the rest of us.
(Note that some of the more dire references below will be somewhat alleviated by the Tester-Hagan amendment, which provides some exemptions to small farms. Even Tester-Hagan, however, won’t do everything to protect small farms from over-regulation, and we need to do what we can to make sure it’s as strong an amendment as it should be.) Read Full Article »