Friday, October 11, 2013

The food and farm system we’re building is at risk!

HildeIn late 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major update of federal food safety laws since 1938 (yup, that's 72 years). Thanks to the hard work of many of our partners and concerned farmers and eaters just like you, a number of critical provisions passed as part of FSMA that would make the new food safety regulations appropriate for farms of all sizes, conservation-friendly, and accessible to certified organic producers and value-added producers. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its draft plan for implementing FSMA. Unfortunately, the FDA's "proposed rules" miss the mark on many of the positive provisions referenced above, putting small-, midsized- and sustainable farms at a comparative disadvantage. The proposed rules are not yet final, which means they are not yet law. This is why it's so critical that you weigh in today.

Just a couple weeks ago at Farm Aid 2013 in Saratoga Springs, NY, panelists gathered on the HOMEGROWN Village stage for a press briefing outlining how the proposed food safety rules unfairly burden family farmers, target sustainable and organic farming, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities. Farm Aid partnered with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to give concertgoers the opportunity to sign a petition calling on the FDA to ensure that FSMA is implemented in a way that promotes a safe food supply, strong on-farm conservation of natural resources, and thriving family farms. And now it's your turn to do the same!

Sign our petition, telling FDA that it's unacceptable for new food safety regulations to put safe farms out of business, harm farmers' soil, water, and wildlife conservation efforts, or shut down the growth of local and regional food systems.

Just sign and we'll submit the petition for you. Simple! That's step one. Here's step two: Take a few minutes right now to submit a comment to FDA either online or through the mail. NSAC has put together comprehensive materials to help you do just that – click here to learn more.

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