Everyone who eats ‘locally’.
Food safety matters because everybody eats – and everybody has a role in keeping food safe from farm to the table. Done right, these new rules can help make our food safer; done wrong, they run the risk of putting farmers out of business, limit consumer choice, and increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers, among other problems.
But before the rules are finalized, the FDA NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU! The second comment period closes December 15, 2014. In large part due to National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) comments last year, the FDA announced that it would reexamine several critical areas of the Food Safety Moderization Act (FSMA) proposed rules that have major potential impacts for sustainable farming, as covered in the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule.
We are now in a second public comment period, focused on the ‘re-proposal’ – like a second draft – of key sections of the rules this year for further public comment. The areas they are re-proposing will still require significant public input to shape an outcome that is supportive of sustainable agriculture.
The first comment period closed November 15, 2013. Now it’s time for you to speak up. How? Just follow this easy step-by-step process (and short video) How to Submit Comments to send your heartfelt message to the FDA. The second comment period closes December 15, 2014.
The Nebraska Food Cooperative needs EVERYONE…every local food consumer and every producer of local food…to speak up and submit a comment within the next THREE WEEKS.
So when your family, friends, and you are enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, spread the word about the urgency to comment on these new food safety regulations.
With the right approach, we will be able to help ensure good food safety practices without placing an unfair burden on family farmers. For a safe and sustainable future, FSMA must allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, allow local food and farms to grow and thrive, and treat family farms fairly.
Are You Affected?:
If you operate a business that grows and sells fresh produce – and/or processes, packs, manufactures, or holds food – your business may be affected by the proposed FSMA rules. Some businesses may not be affected at all, some may be affected by one rule, and some may be affected by both rules.
IMPORTANT: These proposed rules are not yet final, which means they are not yet law. To learn about the FSMA timeline, read NSAC’s FSMA Overview and Background.
The information included below is intended to help individuals gain a better understanding of whether or not their business operation may be impacted by the proposed rules. Farmers and business owners nationwide are reporting confusion in determining if they might be impacted by these rules. If you are uncertain, you are not alone! One major concern about these draft rules is that they are complex and confusing.
- Do you grow, harvest, pack, or hold (store) fruits or vegetables?
If yes, you may be affected by the Produce Rule.
- Do you process, manufacture, pack, or hold (store) human food?
If yes, you may be affected by the Preventive Controls Rule.
- Do you BOTH grow, harvest, pack, or hold (store) fruits or vegetables AND process, manufacture, pack, or hold (store) human food?
If yes, you may be affected by BOTH the Produce Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule.
Download the “Am I Affected?” flowchart to help determine if your farm or business may be subject to the proposed Produce or Preventive Controls Rules!
If you’re a consumer, these rules could, over the long term, impact the kind of food you are able to find and purchase in your community. The proposed rules may also increase the costs of purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, we want to ensure a safe and affordable food supply, strong on-farm conservation of natural resources, and thriving family farms and small value-added farm and food businesses. That translates into fresh, healthy food for communities across the country, from the farmers’ market to the grocery store to the school cafeteria! As a concerned consumer, you absolutely have a say in these proposed rules and should speak out! The second comment period closes December 15, 2014.
Please note: These rules DO NOT affect home gardeners who grow food for personal consumption – but as a concerned eater, you can still comment!
- Webinar about the impact of FSMA regulations on food hubs, CSAs, and aggregation
- Webinar on FSMA: Impacts on Farmers, Producers, and States
Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)