The Food and Drug Administration released proposed rules detailing standards for produce safety and preventive controls for human food production in January. The release of the rules is a major step in the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into law two years ago. The law is the first significant overhaul to our nation’s food safety laws since the 1930s.
“FSMA’s aim is to improve food safety, which is a goal everyone can support, but doing so must be done in a scale and risk appropriate way. Alternatively, a one-size-fits-all approach could put family farms out of business and eliminate opportunities for local and organic food and farm entrepreneurs,” said Wes King, Policy Director for the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. “The release of these rules and the subsequent comment period represents an important opportunity for those who are interested in building sustainable, local food systems to voice their opinions about the scope and impact of the proposed rules.” The Illinois Stewardship Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works on issues of sustainable agriculture and local food availability.
Congress took several steps to guarantee that small and mid-sized family farms could adhere to new FSMA produce production standards, reporting requirements and prevention planning requirements, without costly new investments.
The proposed rules can be found at www.fda.gov/food. The public can submit comments about the proposed rules at www.regulations.gov up to 120 days after the rules are posted.