The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › FDA drafting new food safety rules which will impact small farmers negativel
South Portland, ME
Good Morning, this urgent message is from Rep Diane Russel. Great talking points included. Thanks, Xiknawi.
"The FDA is currently considering rule changes that could potentially wipe out more than half of small, family owned farms across the country. You can submit comments to the FDA, but you must do so TODAY.
A little history...
Right now, the former Monsanto super lobbyist Michael Taylor - and now Obama's Food Safety Czar - is busy crafting new FDA food safety rules that could wipe out half of America’s small, local and organic family farmers. For those of you who don't know who he is, he's the former Monsanto lawyer who crafted the FDA’s 1992 policy that won’t allow GMO labeling.
Now Michael Taylor is responsible for writing rules that could kill the local food movement and drive thousands of America’s best family farmers out of business. There's nothing like putting the fox in the hen house, right?
Help support small farmers today by submitting comments to the FDA - comments close Friday, November 15th.
I've included some key talking points below to help you with your letter to the FDA. It's incredibly important that the FDA be flooded with everyday Americans today in support of local farmers everywhere. We're asking for rational requests that both ensure produce safety, and the future proliferation of small farms."
Key Talking Points
I urge you to modify the rules so that they:
Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs. Specifically, FDA must not exceed the strict standards for the use of manure and compost used in certified organic production and regulated by the National Organic Program.
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. Specifically, FDA needs to clarify two key definitions: first, as Congress required, FDA must affirm that farmers markets, CSAs, roadside stands, and other direct-to-consumer vendors fall under the definition of a “retail food establishment” and are therefore not facilities subject to additional regulation. Second, FDA should adopt at least the $1,000,000 threshold for a very small business and base it on the value of ‘regulated product,’ not ‘all food,’ to ensure smaller farms and businesses (like food hubs) fall under the scale-appropriate requirements and aren’t subject to high cost, industrial-scale regulation.
Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs. Specifically, FDA must clearly define the “material conditions” that lead to a withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status in scientifically measurable terms. FDA must also outline a clear, fair, process for justifying the withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status and for how a farmer can regain that status.