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FOOD SAFETY UPDATE
Dear Supporter,

On Friday, the FDA announced another extension of the FSMA public comment period by 60 more days.  The deadline for submitting comments to FDA is now November 13, 2013.  This gives concerned farmers, on-farm processors, and consumers more time to understand the rules and their potential impact – and to submit comments to FDA!  Read more about the extension on NSAC’s blog.

FOOD SAFETY RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS

As part of FSMA, FDA is proposing to require substantial recordkeeping efforts on the part of farms that will fall under the full Produce Rule.  Our analysis of what the rule requires – and doesn’t require – is now online on our FSMA website.

Specifically, farmers will have to keep (and be able to share with FDA) records that document their compliance on a range of issues, including:

  • Personnel qualifications and training
  • Agricultural water
  • Biological soil amendments of animal origin (e.g., manure and compost)
  • Equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation
  • Sprouts

In contrast, farms subject to modified regulations under the Produce Rule are NOT required to comply with the same level of recordkeeping, but FDA wants to know if they should consider requiring more recordkeeping from those farms.  Read our recordkeeping issue page for more analysis on this issue.

FOOD SAFETY LISTENING SESSIONS IN NH AND ME

Want to learn more about FSMA and have a chance to ask questions?  Two just-announced listening sessions in New England are coming up in August:

Monday, August 19, 2013 in Augusta, Maine:
  • The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry’s Division of Quality Assurance & Regulations will host a listening session on Monday, August 19th, 2013 in Augusta, Maine at the Augusta State Armory.  Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session, which will take place from 9:30am – 12:30pm.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in Hanover, New Hampshire:
  • The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets will host a Listening Session on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013, in Hanover, NH, in the Alumni Hall Auditorium in the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College.  Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session, which will take place from 9:30am – 12:30pm.

Both sessions are open to all interested parties.

FOOD SAFETY IN THE MEDIA

Massachussetts: Farmers Worry Food Safety Rules Could be Detrimental to Small Farms
It’s not easy to get busy New England farmers to leave their farms in the middle of the growing season. But more than 50 from the Pioneer Valley crowded a South Deerfield meeting room Thursday to learn about new federal food safety rules that many worry could drive some out of business. “Food safety is a good thing but the economic impact of these new rules means New England farmers are bearing a disproportionate burden,” said Roger Noonan, head of the New England Farmers Union. Read more at the Daily Hampshire Gazette.


- The NSAC Food Safety Team

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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