Saturday, January 5, 2013

FDA Releases Two Long-Awaited Food Safety Rules

That means we're all safe now:
After a year-long delay, two sweeping new food safety rules that will for the first time mandate produce safety standards and preventive controls nationwide will be released today and published to the Federal Register on Monday, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“It’s a big deal that these two are coming out because it’s the central framework for prevention,” said Michael Taylor, FDA’s Deputy Comissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, in an interview with Food Safety News. “We’re eager to get to the next phase of the process.”

The two rules were mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — a law that aims to shift the U.S. food safety system from being primarily reactive to focusing on prevention — which President Obama signed into law, with broad bipartisan support, exactly two years ago.
Read the whole thing for maximum enlightenment. One gets the feeling that this is going to be pretty rough. Apparently if farms are already practicing GAPs "and doing rigorous certifications," then "there may not be anything new or surprising about the produce rules." There may not be. What are rigorous certifications? How was one define "rigorous?" Why are people so insistent that we need this type of government to survive? Why do people so lavishly sing the praises of "public servants?" Why do people follow this type of basket case nonsense like a bunch of sheep? Oh, dear, I'm getting into the fundamentals again.

Here's one of the more baffling parts of the article:
One of the key elements of the proposed rule for produce focuses on water. If a farm is applying water to the edible part of the crop, it will likely have to meet a microbial standard, or explain why such a standard isn’t relevant to that specific product.
That's brutal. With that one little rule alone, the FDA bureaucratizes American agriculture far above our poor power to add or detract. Here's a delightful example from the FDA itself:
We also considered proposing some requirements for water that is used during growing, but which does not contact the harvestable portion of covered produce. For example, water that did not contact produce would not have been subject to any testing requirement, although we considered requiring this water and all agricultural water to be of safe and adequate sanitary quality for its intended use (proposed § 112.41). We also considered requiring indirect water to comply with proposed § 112.42(a) (sanitary survey) and § 112.42(b) through (d) (adequately maintaining water sources under your control).
And that's just one paragraph from page 225 of the whole shebang. From embattled farmers to adequate sanitary quality---only in America.

1 comment:

  1. People have the right to consume food that is...assuming sensible consumer measures such as washing produce and not eating food that has I assume some oversight is necessary to assure this. Seems that the sensible way is to prescribe allowable levels of contaminants such as pesticides and herbicides, or bacteria, etc. Leave it to the producers to figure out how to achieve that. Obviously, Joel Salatin produces animal products that are clean and fresh and healthful. He achieves that in a FAR different fashion than Tyson foods. Education will go a long way to changing views on the best way, ultimately, to achieve a safe food supply. Transparency, full disclosure, changing expectations of what food 'should' cost, and many other measures make far more sense to me than 'bureaucratiz[ing] American agriculture'. (Great phrase, Daniel.)