The public comment period on the Food Safety and Modernization Act ends on November 15th — stand up for food and farms! The FDA’s proposed food safety rules could require weekly tests for irrigation water, may forbid rotating animals onto land used for vegetable production, and may classify farms that source other local produce to bolster their CSA shares as “facilities” — with prohibitively expensive food safety requirements. As currently written, the rules will:
• Put many farms out of business.
• Reduce the supply of fresh, local produce in schools and hospitals.
• Push farmers to tear out wildlife habitat.
• Increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers.
Speak out and tell the FDA that the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations must:
• Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs;
• 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; and
• Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs.
For information for both eaters and growers on the specifics of the FSMA, including sample letters and examples of how/why this won’t work for ecological agriculture and small-scale, diversified farms:
For more information: www.sustainableagriculture.net
11.19.13: To make up for system shutdowns, the FDA has extended the comment period deadline to Friday, November 22nd.