FSMA Action For Consumers

Stand up for your farmer, stand up for your food!

The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules this year that will have a huge impact on how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown and processed in the US. This is a big deal for farmers and eaters! Everyone has a role in ensuring safe food from field to fork – but FDA’s new proposed rules as written will unfairly burden family farmers, target sustainable and organic farming, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities. Right now, we have a chance to tell FDA that this is unacceptable – and we need your help to do it.

FSMA Action for Consumers

Get Informed

In its push to write new food safety rules based on the Food Safety Modernization Act passed by Congress, FDA is threatening to make sustainable and organic agriculture, local food, and farm conservation efforts collateral damage.

As currently written, the rules will:

 

  • put many farms out of business;
  • reduce the supply of fresh, local produce in schools and hospitals;
  • push farmers to tear out wildlife habitat; and
  • increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers.

Everyone has a role in ensuring our nation’s food is safe – from the farmers who grow it to the folks who take it home and prepare it. But unless we act now, these new rules will have a devastating impact on the farmers and businesses responsible for putting fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods on America’s dinner plates – which, in turn, affects our health and well being.

Want to learn more about what FSMA is all about? Check out our overview here. Ready to take action? Scroll down…

Take Action

Make Your Voice Heard: Submit a Comment to FDA Today!

FDA is seeking comments from the public – that’s you! The #1 most important thing you can do to help fix FSMA is take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to submit a comment to FDA either online or through the mail. Use the sample comment below to get started! It is important to personalize your comment – FDA will read every single submission, and unique comments have the most impact.

Submit (or postmark) your comment by the deadline: November 15, 2013!

Step 1 – Customize the comment below for yourself! There are guiding questions to help you tell your story effectively to FDA below. You can copy and paste the text below or download it as a Word file.

 

Step 2 – Submit your comment in TWO places – to the Produce Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pr) and to the Preventive Controls Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pcr). This is important because these issues affect both rules. You can get extra help with instructions for using regulations.gov and for mailing a comment here.

Step 3 – Take a stand publicly and sign our FSMA petition! Then use the social media tools below to help spread the word!

Sample Comment for Consumers

Re: Preventive Controls Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920, Produce Standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921

I am a [concerned consumer, parent, entrepreneur, etc.] writing because I am concerned about the impact that FDA’s proposed FSMA rules will have on [the farms that I buy food from, my business, my family’s ability to find local food, the environment]. I ask you to ensure that new regulations do not put family farms out of business, harm farmers’ soil, water, and wildlife conservation efforts, or shut down the growth of local and regional healthy food systems!

[Customize your comment: Do you make an effort to buy from farms that use sustainable practices like organic?  Why? If local farms went out of business due to the rules, how would that limit your access to fresh produce? Why is it important to you that farmers be able to support habitat for honeybees and wildlife?]

I urge you to modify the rules so that they:

  • Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs. Specifically, FDA must not exceed the strict standards for the use of manure and compost used in certified organic production and regulated by the National Organic Program.
  • Ensure that diversified and innovative farms, particularly those pioneering models for increased access to healthy, local foods, continue to grow and thrive without being stifled. Specifically, FDA needs to clarify two key definitions: first, as Congress required, FDA must affirm that farmers markets, CSAs, roadside stands, and other direct-to-consumer vendors fall under the definition of a “retail food establishment” and are therefore not facilities subject to additional regulation. Second, FDA should adopt at least the $1,000,000 threshold for a very small business and base it on the value of ‘regulated product,’ not ‘all food,’ to ensure smaller farms and businesses (like food hubs) fall under the scale-appropriate requirements and aren’t subject to high cost, industrial-scale regulation.
  • Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs. Specifically, FDA must clearly define the “material conditions” that lead to a withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status in scientifically measurable terms. FDA must also outline a clear, fair, process for justifying the withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status and for how a farmer can regain that status.

Thank you for your consideration,

[Full name, city and state, email address]

Remember –

You’ll need to submit this online twice (to the Produce Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pr) and to the Preventive Controls Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pcr) or mail in a single hard copy to Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. You can copy and paste the text above to get started or download this Word version!

Submit (or postmark) your comment by the deadline: November 15, 2013!

Spread the Word

Check out NSAC’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for more news and opportunities to spread the word. Get more ideas for spreading the word – from hosting a comment potluck to sharing news with your CSA members to speaking out in the media – here.