A group of 14 Senators and Congressmen are asking the Food and Drug Administration to provide assistance for small farmers and processors who are trying to comply with the new rules required by the Food Safety Modernization Act. The members are asking the FDA to implement specific training and outreach programs to help small farmers and processors comply with the new law.
In a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, the members said, “Small farmers will need time, training and relationships with regulators in order to effectively navigate new guidelines. Further, many small farms are diverse and have multiple profit centers — from produce, to value-added products, to dairy, to bakeries, and more. While we understand the preventive controls rule is still being developed, we feel strongly that the final rule provide clarity on what qualifies as a 'facility' and what farmers must do to ensure compliance.”
They also said, “With the passage of the FSMA, Congress took a major step forward in shifting the focus of food safety from response to prevention. But confusion and misinformation is already circulating, and establishing lines of communication to farmers or to organizations that partner with farmers about implementation deadlines, training opportunities, and future technical assistance is critical to timely and accurate compliance.” The letter was organized by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).