Pushing FDA to go after small farmers

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“The Center for Food Safety has filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its alleged failure to enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

You may remember the FSMA–it’s the contentious law enacted in early 2011 that gives the FDA broad new powers to enter farms and other food producers without warrants, to force food producers to have detailed food safety plans (or show they meet strict requirements for an exemption), and to inspect farms to assess their farming practices (enforce so-called “good agricultural practices”), even gives the FDA potential authority over intrastate food sales.

The CFS is one of those sanctimonious Washington nonprofits that seems to be saying the right things–get rid of Agent Orange in soy, save the bees, no genetically engineered apples–but toes the party line on using food safety as an excuse to crack down on small farms.     

Yes, technically the CFS is correct. The FSMA is the law of the land.

Yet the notion of a court suit, hiring expensive lawyers to force the FDA to lower the boom on small farms and food producers, just leaves me cold, or maybe I should say it leaves me in a cold sweat. The FDA pushed for the FSMA–which bureaucrats worth their stripes wouldn’t want all the new power, and funding, that comes with it? I don’t know why the FDA is taking its time establishing all the new rules and forms and so forth that go with implementing the new law, except that part of it seems to have to do with Congress’ reluctance to fund the law.

The rationale behind the CFS suit? Those CDC estimates about 48 million illnesses and 3,000 deaths from tainted food…even though the CDC’s own most recent data can locate only 22 deaths. …”

Read more on The Complete Patient blog.

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