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Oppressive new FDA regulations target small fruit and veg producers

 
K. Johnson
Posts: 57
Location: Missoula, Montana
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Hello fellow perms. It was tough to decide where to post this topic. I know you all are generally growly about ‘politics.' There are new FDA regulations in the works. Some are quite good, like making sure grower/sellers who use animal compost get it hot enough to destroy pathogens and pharmaceuticals. There are two specific dockets involved and one of them contains regulations that are so labor or dollar intensive that they could put some small fruit and vegetable producers out of business. I'm not a farmer (just a gardener) but it looks as if some of the restrictions will prohibit groups of sellers (think CSA) from buying or trading their produce among themselves. That may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Happily, they make it clear that farmers will not be prohibited from eating and preserving their own fruits and vegetables. Really.

The deadline for comments is Nov 15 and the comment link has been down for days. I just got a message from FDA saying they fixed the problem but I still cant get through. So if you have the time and the wherewithall, take a look at the regs and comment on the restrictions that will burden you as a small farmer. This is important and shouldn't be blown off as a ‘political issue.' If the regs are adopted, and they hit you, at least you will know where they came from. Senator Tester from Montana is speaking with the FDA commissioner this week about this. He is a family farmer. Grains. Organic barley, if I'm not mistaken.

Here are the relevant links These are the FDA information pages for the two dockets open for comment. Scroll down to Comments link.

Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for
Human Consumption
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm334114.htm

FSMA Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm334115.htm

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If you are not a fruit or vegetable producer this is a good place to get some of the specifics about the impacts of the regs
http://farmandranchfreedom.org/alert-fda-comments-food-safety-regulations/

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FDA postal Address for Comments. Because of the tech fail, I suspect they may take written comments past the deadline. Explain that you were unable to access the comment link and ask them to forward your letter to the appropriate office. It is annoying that they don't seem to have a very direct postal address listed on the regulation/comment page. It almost seems like an effort to discourage paperwork. Anyway this is the address on the two main docket pages - so they asked for it!

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Ph. 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)

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These are Senator Tester's Missoula and DC numbers. If you find that the links are still down, despite the notice that they are fixed, it might be good to let them know.

Missoula 406-728-3606
DC Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594

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And last but certainly not least, Rob Chaney's succinct article in the Monday Missoulian:
"Farmers market producers fear proposed FDA rules could put them out of
business"

http://missoulian.com/news/local/farmers-market-producers-fear-proposed-fda-rules-could-put-them/article_91dccce0-4a8c-11e3-a5ad-001a4bcf887a.html


 
Noah Jackson
Posts: 58
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Thanks for posting this. Good summary. We summarized three of the key issues for farmer's - and consumers - like us and linked to the comment websites.
http://forestvoices.org/farmblog/2013/11/12/help-keep-this-compost-legal
 
K. Johnson
Posts: 57
Location: Missoula, Montana
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Hello people. I just received notice that the Comment period for the FDA regs has been extended until the 22nd - Partly I suspect because of Montana Senator Tester's meeting with the FDA commissoner. So if you aren't inclined to comment on the regs yourself, at least pass the word along to the small farm produce sellers that you know. Relevant links are in my first post in this topic. Here is the link to the notice of extension and if you look to the right you can see links to the specific dockets.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/default.htm

Regards
K
 
                    
Posts: 238
Location: AR ~ozark mountain range~zone7a
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Hi Johnson,

K. Johnson wrote:Hello fellow perms. It was tough to decide where to post this topic. I know you all are generally growly about ‘politics.' There are new FDA regulations in the works. Some are quite good, like making sure grower/sellers who use animal compost get it hot enough to destroy pathogens and pharmaceuticals.
Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for
Human Consumption
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm334114.htm

FSMA Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm334115.htm

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you are not a fruit or vegetable producer this is a good place to get some of the specifics about the impacts of the regs
http://farmandranchfreedom.org/alert-fda-comments-food-safety-regulations/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FDA postal Address for Comments. Because of the tech fail, I suspect they may take written comments past the deadline. Explain that you were unable to access the comment link and ask them to forward your letter to the appropriate office. It is annoying that they don't seem to have a very direct postal address listed on the regulation/comment page. It almost seems like an effort to discourage paperwork. Anyway this is the address on the two main docket pages - so they asked for it!

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Ph. 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These are Senator Tester's Missoula and DC numbers. If you find that the links are still down, despite the notice that they are fixed, it might be good to let them know.

Missoula 406-728-3606
DC Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And last but certainly not least, Rob Chaney's succinct article in the Monday Missoulian:
"Farmers market producers fear proposed FDA rules could put them out of
business"

http://missoulian.com/news/local/farmers-market-producers-fear-proposed-fda-rules-could-put-them/article_91dccce0-4a8c-11e3-a5ad-001a4bcf887a.html




I too had a hard time trying to figure out where to post this type news about upcoming farming regulation, so 'meaningless drivel' http://www.permies.com/t/29269/md/FDA-Proposed-Food-Safety-Regulations#228344 is where it landed, but I'm glad you have also posted in this 'small farm' forum, I'm also glad you posted some useful weblinks here. I'm mainly cross linking this to keep this time sensitive topic bumped-up.

james beam
 
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