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Starting next week, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will begin releasing the first phase of our analysis of the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules as developed by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Everyone deserves a safe food supply – but there are a number of issues with the rules that could cause serious problems for farmers and on-farm processors.  Over next month, we’ll share information and materials to help everyone – farmers, processors, advocates, and consumers – understand what’s problematic, what’s at stake, and what to do about it.  We’ll let you know as the information is posted on our FSMA action page.  In the meantime, we’ve collected some news and resources to share with you today – read on, and look for more next week!

- The NSAC Food Safety Team


Do you operate a food hub?  If so, you may be particularly impacted by the new proposed food safety rules.  This webinar, led by Wholesome Wave and featuring the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, is a must-watch.



Pennsylvania: Food Safety Rules Cloud Beginning Farmers’ Futures

"The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is as direct and real a threat to local, organic food as any other issue we face, including the corporate ownership of genes, taxpayer subsidies for industrialized production, and even global climate change.  Indeed, because the catastrophic negative impacts of the FSMA rules for beginning farmers and new food distribution models would happen within a decade, the food safety challenge is arguably of more immediate concern; if we halt the growth of local food and opportunities for beginning farmers, we lose a critical means to fix those other longer-term problems."  Read more of this guest post from Roland McReynolds at Write to Farm.

Ohio: Federal Food Safety Laws Could Cost Industry Millions

"When the new federal produce safety rules become effective — a process likely to happen in the next 12 months — they will do so at an additional cost to the farmers who must comply. […] The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says the costs, as they stand today, could put small farmers out of business.  “Maintaining safe food in this country is essential, but it should not create unnecessarily burdensome regulations that put diversified, sustainable and organic farms at risk of going out of business,” MacKenzie Bailey, OEFFA’s policy program coordinator, said during the listening session.  “We just can’t compete,” said Mark Bender, an Akron-area farmer who has operated a farm market since 1973.  “The costs just got too crazy.”  Read more at Farm and Dairy.

Oregon: Rep. Walden Questions New FDA Water Rules

"U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-Oregon) is arguing that proposed stringent federal irrigation water standards will put some onion growers out of business. [...] [T]he regulations, formed under the Food Safety Modernization Act, may be a death knell for other Eastern Oregon onion producers, specifically in the murkier waters of Malheur County.  Walden flew back to Washington, D.C. Monday after hearing woes from Eastern Oregon onion growers and those across the border in Idaho.  He said farmers had big complaints regarding the FDA’s proposed regulations.  “There’s no way you could afford to treat agriculture water that we use out in this part of the West to recreational standards, and plus run it up and down the lines and the ditches and all, and get it to that level,” Walden told Boise’s KTVB News."  Read more at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Earlier this year, you signed up for food safety email updates from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. We send these out only when there are significant developments or new resources available on the Food Safety Modernization Act. If you would like to contact us with questions, email fsma@sustainableagriculture.net.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
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