FSMA Rules Threaten Small Organic Farmers: Comment Deadline Friday

Mark Keating's picture

By Mark Keating, OFRF Policy Advisor            

            This Friday, November 22 brings to a close your opportunity to comment on the FDA’s proposed rules for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Making your voice heard in an informed, constructive manner is essential for protecting the rights of farmers and consumers to build the organic and local food systems, which are our surest path to a sustainable future.

            The organic community has always supported fair, practical and efficient regulations to improve food safety, but virtually nothing in FDA’s current proposal satisfies those conditions.  As drafted, it would cripple small- and medium-sized farming operations with burdensome and expensive compliance requirements http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/food-safety-comments-top-10/   which cannot be justified by what we currently know about food safety.  Provisions in the proposal would largely eliminate the use of natural fertilizers including compost, require farmers using irrigation to test their water weekly and severely restrict the burgeoning local foods movement.

            Bear in mind that unlike the voluntary nature of USDA’s organic certification program http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop , FDA is seeking authority to make FSMA compliance mandatory for all farms.  Responding to this threat isn’t about crafting common sense organic standards – it’s about protecting fundamental rights to raise, market and share the food WE choose. 

            You don’t have to become an expert on the current FSMA proposal to speak up for tried and true alternatives which respect the rights of organic and local farmers.  OFRF has worked closely with its partners in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to provide you the resources. 


            Please take time before midnight Friday to add your voice to the tens of thousands of others and demand that the farming practices which WE KNOW WORK have a place in the future of American agriculture.

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