Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

FDA Still Vague on New Safety Rules for Local Food Systems

Health + Wellness

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

On the heels of its release of two new proposed rules for imported food, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given no indication of when it plans to implement a critical piece of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) meant to clarify rules for local food farmers. FSMA requires FDA to clarify that farms that sell food directly to consumers are not food facilities subject to the proposed new hazard analysis and preventive controls requirements released earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

“Congress very clearly told FDA to make sure that farms that primarily sell food directly to consumers are not food facilities,” said Ariane Lotti, assistant policy director with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “Without this clarification, there is a great deal of confusion among farmers about whether they may be subject to both the produce and preventive controls regulations.”

At the heart of the issue are FDA’s proposed definitions of “farm” and “facility.” Farms that grow certain types of produce will be subject to the new produce regulations and facilities that process food will be subject to the new preventive controls requirements. But many farms both grow produce and conduct light processing activities to prepare produce or other crops for sale. As currently written, without the mandated clarification, the new regulations could be interpreted to require a farm that sells directly to consumers through a community-supported agriculture program, at a roadside stand or over the internet to be subject to both the produce and the preventive controls rules.

“Farmers are already worried about the impact of the proposed produce standards on the viability of their farming businesses and on their ability to supply burgeoning demand for fresh, local food,” continued Lotti. “Requiring farms that sell produce directly to consumers to also comply with regulations aimed at food facilities greatly expands the scope of the new regulation of food facilities and conflicts with the statutory directive and with congressional intent. We hope that FDA will release its clarification to the food facilities rule soon.”

In addition to the facilities clarification rule, FDA has yet to release proposed FSMA rules for product traceability and for facilities that manufacture and process animal food.

Visit EcoWatch’s SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE page for more related news on this topic.

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A protest against the name of the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Nov. 2, 2014. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

The Washington Redskins will retire their controversial name and logo, the National Football League (NFL) team announced Monday.

Read More Show Less
The survival tools northern fish have used for millennia could be a disadvantage as environmental conditions warm and more fast-paced species move in. Istvan Banyai / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Alyssa Murdoch, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle and Sapna Sharma

Summer has finally arrived in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, liberating hundreds of thousands of northern stream fish from their wintering habitats.

Read More Show Less
A mother walks her children through a fountain on a warm summer day on July 12, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.

Read More Show Less
If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus. blackCAT / Getty Images

By Joni Sweet

If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of burnt areas of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019. CARLOS FABAL / AFP via Getty Images

NASA scientists say that warmer than average surface sea temperatures in the North Atlantic raise the concern for a more active hurricane season, as well as for wildfires in the Amazon thousands of miles away, according to Newsweek.

Read More Show Less
A baby receives limited treatment at a hospital in Yemen on June 27, 2020. Mohammed Hamoud / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Oxfam International warned Thursday that up to 12,000 people could die each day by the end of the year as a result of hunger linked to the coronavirus pandemic—a daily death toll surpassing the daily mortality rate from Covid-19 itself.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The 2006 oil spill was the largest incident in Philippine history and damaged 1,600 acres of mangrove forests. Shubert Ciencia / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jun N. Aguirre

An oil spill on July 3 threatens a mangrove forest on the Philippine island of Guimaras, an area only just recovering from the country's largest spill in 2006.

Read More Show Less