Friday, October 18, 2013

Speak out TODAY on the Food Safety Modernization Act!

Florida Organic Growers needs YOU to make a 
difference for food safety! 
Fresh lettuce and organic blueberries from the farmers market. Spicy pickles made from local cucumbers. Juicy tomatoes in Florida’s school cafeterias. If you’re anything like me, this is the kind of food you like to be able to buy in your community, have in your kitchen, and see on your kids’ lunch trays at school. And farmers and entrepreneurs throughout Florida and across the country have been making huge strides in the last few years to get more healthy, local, sustainably produced food into communities everywhere.
Here in Florida, FOG currently provides programs that help underserved populations have access to fresh, healthy food. We also work with local farmers markets to promote healthy eating. 
However, much of this progress toward building a better food and farm future could literally be wiped out by new regulations proposed this year by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 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.
You know your farmer, you know your food –
Now stand up for your farmer, stand up for your food!
As they’re currently written, these proposed regulations will unfairly burden family farmers, penalize sustainable and organic farming practices, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities.  They’ll make it harder for beginning farmers to get started, harder to get healthy food into schools, and harder for us to fight nationwide public health challenges like diabetes. Right now, we have a chance to tell FDA that this is unacceptable – and we need your help to do it.
Speak out today on the Food Safety Modernization Act!
FDA is seeking comments from the public – that’s you! Everyone needs to speak out and tell FDA that the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations must: 
  • Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs;
  • 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; and
  • Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs.
Visit FOG's action page today to get informed, TAKE ACTION by submitting your comments, and help us spread the word!
Interested in learning more about the FSMA rules? The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is hosting an FSMA webinar on Thursday, October 10 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. EST. The webinar is open to the public. Sign up here