Local farms, farmers markets and food hubs can breathe a sigh of relief—for now, at least.
On December 19, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will take a second look at proposed new laws that would have put many local farms, farmers markets and food processors out of business. The new rules, proposed under the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), came under fire from consumers, farmers and anyone interested in, or invested in, local food and farming. That includes the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition which published this list of Top 10 Reasons to let the FDA know that the rules needed to be rewritten.
In a statement the FDA said its “thinking has evolved” and:
“. . . significant changes will be needed in key provisions of the two proposed rules affecting small and large farmers. These provisions include water quality standards and testing, standards for using raw manure and compost, certain provisions affecting mixed-use facilities, and procedures for withdrawing the qualified exemption for certain farms.”
Thanks to the nearly 60,000 of you who signed OCA’s petition asking the FDA to promote, not stifle, local sustainable food and farms. Let’s keep after the FDA in 2014 to protect local, sustainable agriculture. Thank you!