Food Safety Modernization Act:
Small Farms in the Milwaukee area, like LotFotL Community Farm are asking for your help. We need your comments to let the FDA know how important local food and farmers are to you, and that you don’t want this act to be a burden on your food producers. We need them to see that you recognize that these regulations have the potential to be harmful to the planet’s soil, water, and wildlife. They need to know that you support the use of natural fertilizers like manure and compost and don’t want your food grown with synthetic chemicals that ultimately deplete the soil and planet. Please tell them that you know the safest way to get our food is from small local farmers! We need your comment to be made by Nov 15th. (see comment link below)
Top 10 Problems with FSMA for Farmers and Local Food Businesses:
1.They’re too expensive. The rules could cost farmers over half of their profits and will keep beginners from starting to farm.
2. They treat farmers unfairly. FDA is claiming broad authority to revoke small farmers’ protections without any proof of a public health threat.
3. They will reduce access to fresh, healthy food. Local food distributors like food hubs could close, and new food businesses will not launch.
4. They make it harder for farms to diversify. Grain, dairy, and livestock farmers could be denied access to emerging local food markets.
5. They will over-regulate local food. The rules could consider farmers markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs “manufacturing facilities” subject to additional regulation.
6. They treat pickles like a dangerous substance. The rules fail to protect a host of low-risk processing activities done by smaller farms and processors.
7. They make it nearly impossible to use natural fertilizers like manure and compost.
8. Farmers will be pushed to use chemicals instead of natural fertilizers.
9. They require excessive water testing on farms. Farmers using water from streams and lakes will be required to pay for weekly water tests regardless of risk or cost.
10. They could harm wildlife and degrade our soil and water. The rules could force farmers to halt safe practices that protect our natural resources and wildlife.
Bonus: there’s at least one good thing about the rules.
The rules take an ‘integrated’, not a ‘commodity-specific’ approach – meaning farmers won’t face over 30 separate rules for each kind of fresh produce they grow. FDA needs to keep this good decision in the final rules!