Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our food and farm future is at risk! A few days left to help.

AliciaBig news, folks! We still have three more days to weigh in on the FDA's faulty food safety regulations in support of family farmers, local food systems and healthy food for all.

It's a huge grassroots victory for farmers and eaters that shows the power of we the people, as the public comment period for the FDA's proposed "FSMA" rules was officially extended one week, and now closes this Friday, November 22nd. So, if you forgot to take part in our efforts, you still have time!

We've spent much of the last few months filling you in on this important process and why it's so critical that the FDA hears from all of us on this matter. Here's the skinny: In late 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major update of federal food safety law in more than 70 years. Family farmers and good food advocates spent many, many months talking to Congressional representatives to make sure the law was appropriate for farms of all sizes (originally it wasn't), conservation-friendly (it also got that wrong) and accessible to certified organic growers and farmers engaged in value-added production (strike three!). And guess what? All that hard work paid off: The final law passed by Congress was hugely improved from its original version.

But earlier this year, the FDA released its draft plan for putting FSMA into practice. Unfortunately, the FDA's "proposed rules" miss the mark in a major way, putting small-, midsized- and sustainable farms at risk.

Farm Aid is partnering with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to ensure that FDA's new FSMA rules promote a safe food supply, strong on-farm conservation of natural resources, and thriving family farms. And we need you to join us!

What you can do:

Step one: 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. We'll submit the petition for you.

Step two: Take a few minutes right now to submit a comment to FDA either online or through the mail. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has put together comprehensive materials to help you do just that – click here to learn more. Need some inspiration? Check out Farm Aid's comment to the FDA below.

Consider it your early Thanksgiving gift for family farm agriculture and good food for all. We've got just a few more days to fix FSMA!

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