… the consumer of natural, organic products.
The FDA has set some new rules in the food safety modernization act.
The top nine problems ( and one glimmer of hope) with them from an Organic Farmer’s view are…
Top 10 Problems with FSMA for Farmers and Local Food Businesses
- They’re too expensive.
The rules could cost farmers over half of their profits and will keep beginners from starting to farm.
- They treat farmers unfairly.
FDA is claiming broad authority to revoke small farmers’ protections without any proof of a public health threat.
- They will reduce access to fresh, healthy food.
Local food distributors like food hubs could close, and new food businesses will not launch.
- They make it harder for farms to diversify.
Grain, dairy, and livestock farmers could be denied access to emerging local food markets.
- They will over-regulate local food.
The rules could consider farmers markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs “manufacturing facilities” subject to additional regulation.
- They treat pickles like a dangerous substance.
The rules fail to protect a host of low-risk processing activities done by smaller farms and processors.
- They make it nearly impossible to use natural fertilizers like manure and compost.
Farmers will be pushed to use chemicals instead of natural fertilizers.
- They require excessive water testing on farms.
Farmers using water from streams and lakes will be required to pay for weekly water tests regardless of risk or cost.
- They could harm wildlife and degrade our soil and water.
The rules could force farmers to halt safe practices that protect our natural resources and wildlife.
- Bonus: there’s at least one good thing about the rules.
The rules take an ‘integrated’, not a ‘commodity-specific’ approach – meaning farmers won’t face over 30 separate rules for each kind of fresh produce they grow. FDA needs to keep this good decision in the final rules!