July 15, 2011
Did you hear about this new unnecessary and damaging food safety rule we sent an alert about a few weeks ago?
A new rule is being proposed for spinach, lettuce, and cabbage by a “marketing agency” that doesn’t have food safety jurisdiction or staff. But that’s not the worst of it.
The most powerful “Big Ag” players in the leafy green industry are pushing the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (NLGMA) despite the fact that we already have food safety rules. We passed them last year in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Because of your input from the grassroots we made sure those food safety rules included alternative compliance measures appropriate for small and medium-sized farms. This new Marketing Agreement, dominated by Big Ag, could do an end run around these protections, and keep the family farm voice out of the process.
Oh, and there is even worse news to report…
After the E. Coli outbreak in 2006, these same industry associations in California came together to create a “marketing agreement” to help improve their image. Without any scientific basis, the CA agreement prompted the indiscriminate and unnecessary removal of conservation buffers and wildlife habitat deemed to be “incompatible with food safety.” Small family farmers also had many problems trying to comply with drastic rules designed for large-scale operations. The CA model illustrates just how ineffective and reckless this tool can be.
Now they want to take this failed model to the national level.
This confusing and duplicative rule could effectively shut small and mid-sized farmers out of the leafy greens market.
Thank you for taking action to protect our family farmers.