In sometimes having a law that “aims to ensure” the safety of something, one may find themselves the victim of bureaucracy, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2010 certainly has the ability to create victims out of small farmers and producers who must attempt to follow federal guidelines.
First of all, let’s all agree that there are people who get sick from eating tainted food. This can happen at an office party, or, this can happen with a USDA-certified and approved food producer. Just because companies are acting “legally”, doesn’t mean that they have the public’s best interest in mind – that is just what we would hope.
“He that lives upon hope will die fasting.” – Benjamin Franklin
The FSMA creates broad regulatory guidelines for how food is grown, harvested, and processed. This includes an annual $500 registration fee to help pay for the FDA inspections and other activities to ensure compliance. This also includes the requirement that food producers create a “written preventative controls plan” – for the producer to prove what hazards there may be and how the producer will ‘combat’ those hazards to prevent anything bad from happening.
If you are Tyson or General Mills or Monsanto – this is already a part of your legalese, and not that big of an issue. If you are a one-man or one-woman show – who is raising your own chickens and eggs and then selling your products at the farmers’ market – this registration fee and compliance with creating this plan could be a monumental hurdle to profitability. It could cost you time, money, and may end up completely stopping your ability to sell. This is devastating to individuals, small farmers and small producers.
There is something called the ‘Tester-Hagan provisions’, or ‘exemption’ – that would limit the ability of federal investigators to force very small operations to comply with the entirety of these regulations, while still “ensuring” public safety. This is very important – and something that is still being talked about in Congress. If you visit http://www.farmandranchfreedom.org – you can sign on to the letter that they are sending to the FDA to amend the current regulations.
And although this is a good effort to get behind, you can join us at That’s Natural! to work directly with county and State officials – to exempt small farmers, ranchers, and producers from these regulations and bypass much of the redundancy and insurmountable access to federal representatives and regulators, who are thousands of miles away from the impact of their actions.
Sign up for the email list at http://www.ThatsNatural911.com, and let’s work together to stop bad uses of the federal government and get behind truly supporting local farmers and producers who we depend upon for nutrient-dense, high-quality, and safe food..