Everyone has a role in ensuring safe food from field to fork. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first major overhaul of our nation’s food safety practices since 1938, and it includes new regulations for produce farms and for facilities that process food for people to eat. It represents some big changes to our food system – and it is extremely important for the Food and Drug Administration to get these regulations right. To do that, we need you to take action.
An overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) law/statue can be found in ISA’s new Direct Market Farming Legal Guide. Beyond the actual statute FSMA authorizes new regulations at the farm level for producers and certain facilities which is the area of biggest concern for local food systems and sustainable agriculture. Specifically, FSMA mandates the establishment of:
- Standards for produce production (Produce Rule), and
- Food safety measures for facilities that process food for human consumption (Preventive Controls Rule).
FSMA includes key provisions to make these new regulations scale-appropriate, conservation-friendly, and accessible to certified organic producers and value-added producers. The regulations focus on addressing food safety risks from microbial pathogen contamination (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and Shigella). FSMA does not address food safety risks from genetically engineered crops, pesticide use, or antibiotic resistance.
This webpage is intended to help farmers, processors, and consumers understand the proposed rules, learn about issues of concern for sustainable agriculture, and get involved in speaking out to ensure the final rules foster good food safety practices across the nation without placing an unfair burden on family farmers.
It is of paramount importance that farmers, processors and consumers understand the proposed rules and get involved with the comment process, which represents a major opportunity to get help shape the regulations in way that works for everyone while still ensuring food safety. The comment period deadline is November 15, 2013.
Below you will find a number of links regarding FSMA, including information on top issues, instructions on to get involved and submit comments, a couple blog posts and articles about FSMA and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s comprehensive FSMA Website that will help farmers, processors and consumers determine how it will impact them the questions to ask, the major issues and how to structure comments.
- Food Safety, Farms & Food Businesses: What do the new proposed FSMA rules mean for farmers, on-farm processors and food businesses (Two-page brief Factsheet)
- Top 10 Problems with the FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Regulations for Farmers and Local Food Businesses
- Comprehensive Guide to the Food Safety Modernization Act
- FSMA: How Do I Comment on the Proposed Rules?
- Proposed regs threaten local food – Iowa Farmer Today
- Civil Eats Blog Post
- The Write to Farm blog series
- The FDA’s FSMA Webpage