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Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is a federal food safety law. The comprehensive measure grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad new power to enforce food safety standards on farms. It could impact produce growers, farms that aggregate product with other farms and farms that even minimally process what they produce.

FDA issued two sets of proposed rules for implementing FSMA in January, 2013. After a comprehensive campaign by New England Farmers Union and its allies to improve the rules for diversified family farmers, the FDA released supplemental rules in September 2014. These rules appear to align better with NEFU priorities. Comments will be accepted until December 15, 2014. 

The two sets of rules that apply to human food are the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule. The Produce Safety Rule seeks to reduce the food safety risks in raw produce (a summary from FDA on the supplemental rule’s altered provisions to the Produce Safety Rule is here). The Preventive Controls rule seeks to reduce risks in food processing (a summary from the FDA on the supplemental rule’s altered provisions to the Preventive Controls Rule is here).

NEFU filed comments in November 2013 on the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule. NEFU also collaborated with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition on their comments, which can be found here. For the second round of rules, NEFU is analyzing the content, and will release sample comments shortly.

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