Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

Looking across the Houston Ship Canal at the ExxonMobil Refinery, Baytown, Texas. Roy Luck, CC BY 2.0

By Nick Cunningham

A growing number of refineries around the world are either curtailing operations or shutting down entirely as the oil market collapses.

Read More Show Less
Traffic moves across the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 2, 2018 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Trump administration is expected to unveil its final replacement of Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks Tuesday in a move likely to pump nearly a billion more tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the lifetime of those less-efficient vehicles.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Just over a month after proclaiming that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. would soon "be down to close to zero," President Donald Trump said during a press briefing on the White House lawn Sunday that limiting U.S. deaths from the pandemic to between 100,000 and 200,000 people would mean his administration and the country as a whole did "a very good job."

Read More Show Less
Dicamba is having a devastating impact in Arkansas and neighboring states. A farmer in Mississippi County, Arkansas looks at rows of soybean plants affected by dicamba. The Washington Post / Getty Images

Documents unearthed in a lawsuit brought by a Missouri farmer who claimed that Monsanto and German chemical maker BASF's dicamba herbicide ruined his peach orchard revealed that the two companies knew their new agricultural seed and chemical system would likely damage many U.S. farms, according to documents seen by The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and other leaders speak to the press on March 28, 2020 in Seattle. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Washington State has seen a slowdown in the infection rate of the novel coronavirus, for now, suggesting that early containment strategies have been effective, according to the Seattle NBC News affiliate.

Read More Show Less