In 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major overhaul of national food safety rules in more than 75 years. At the direction of Congress, in January 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed food safety rules aimed at reducing incidences of food borne illness.
The proposed rule for Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, known as the produce safety rule, will apply to farms that grow, harvest, pack, and hold produce intended for raw consumption. In other words, produce that will undergo further processing or must be cooked before consuming (dry beans, potatoes, etc.) will not be covered under the produce safety rule. Instead, those foods will be regulated under the proposed rule for the Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls for Human Food, referred to as the preventative controls rule.
Once fully implemented, these rules will apply to about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, impacting growers, processors, and food businesses across Ohio and the nation. The FDA predicts that the cost for compliance could be higher than $12,000 for small farms and $30,000 for large farms. With so much on the line, the food and farming community has worked to ensure that diversified, sustainable, and organic farms are not saddled with one-size-fits-all regulations that are impractical and burdensome for smaller operations.
The FDA released revised proposed rules for the produce safety and preventative controls rules on September 19, 2014. In response to 22,000 comments from OEFFA members and others on the initial proposed rules, these new proposed rules show significant improvement. Your input made a difference, but more comments are needed! FSMA will have long-lasting implications for farmers and it is very important that the new rules work for family farmers while ensuring a safe food supply.
On September 19, the FDA released revised draft food safety rules. The 75-day public comment period continues through December 15, 2014. If you would like more information or have specific concerns about the revised proposed rules, please contact us. Stay tuned as more information and resources, including talking points and tips for submitting comment, will be posted here soon.
The success of our policy work relies on OEFFA's dedicated members, who are leading the way to strong and healthy local food systems. For more information about OEFFA's policy work or to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.