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New Food Safety Rules -- What Happens Next to Small Farms?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Food Safety Research Center page and our All About Organics page.

The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act was enacted in 2011 as a supposed way to 'better protect public health by strengthening the safety of the food system.'

The Act came in response to a rash of recent deadly foodborne-disease outbreaks involving spinach, peanuts, eggs and other foods. According to the FDA, about one in 6 Americans get sick, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases.1

Unfortunately, the FDA does not readily admit the fact that most deadly food outbreaks can be traced back to foods raised on industrial concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

The FSMA, which requires extensive mandatory compliance with new FDA-approved production, growing, harvest and other safety standards, also does not distinguish between the massive CAFO and the small, family-run organic farm... and therein lies the problem.

The FSMA Could Force Small Farmers Out of Business

It is quite possible, perhaps even most probable, that the FSMA is designed to halt the growing trend of small organic farms - not through a direct, frontal assault on organic farming, but rather by insidiously creating rules and laws that make it extremely difficult, and incredibly expensive, for small farms to comply.

And in this case, the rules and regulations created by this proposed bill are mandatory, not voluntary, meaning they apply equally to a tiny farmer with half a dozen cows as to a massive CAFO.      


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