When the rubber hits the road with those new FDA food safety regulations

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

“Nearly three years ago, I asked in a blog post on the then-proposed new national food safety regulations a question I thought sounded provocative, but was likely far-fetched: “How does the idea of consulting a ‘technician’ sound in connection with producing your own compost?”

That “technician” will likely be stopping by many farms much sooner than even I might have imagined.  The FDA in itssummary of the new rules (published yesterday) it plans for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act for produce says one of five highlights is this, affecting “biological soil amendments” (bet you didn’t know the new name for compost is a “biological soil amendment”): “Biological soil amendments of animal origin, such as composted manure, may contain pathogens of public health concern. To address this, the rule proposes reasonable time intervals between the application of a biological soil amendment of animal original and crop harvest. The proposed rule also has provisions pertaining to the handling and storage of biological soil amendments of animal origin.”

Very small farms will have three or four years to comply, depending on their sales, and there are no exemptions. In the meantime, the FDA is seeking additional funding to hire all those inspectors and technicians who will be coming around, looking over things, helping make sure your farm’s compost conforms with government regulations. Haven’t you been wondering when your government would send friendly helpers around, give you something of substance on all those taxes you pay? Maybe you want to welcome them with a glass of raw milk and cookies. …”

More on the Complete Patient blog.

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