Due to the rise in major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses over the past several years, Congress overhauled our nation’s food safety laws and passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which President Obama signed into law on January 4, 2011. Due to NSAC’s work, FSMA includes key provisions that make sure we can both ensure a safe food supply and support sustainable food systems and thriving family farms.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of implementing FSMA through new food safety regulations, which will have significant impacts for sustainable farmers, on-farm food processors, and consumers who care about where their food comes from. NSAC and its member organizations led efforts nationwide to weigh in on the first draft of the proposed rules during public comment periods in 2013, which led to FDA revising and re-proposing certain aspects of the draft rules in 2014 for further public comment.
In 2015, FDA finalized several of the major FSMA rules, including one covering produce farmers (the Produce Safety Rule) and another covering food processors (the Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food). The final rules contain significant improvements as a result of the advocacy of NSAC and others in the sustainable agriculture community. But there’s still work to do!
NSAC continues to engage on FSMA and monitor the implementation of these new rules to ensure that the victories achieved during the legislative and rulemaking phase that protect and support sustainable food and farm systems are maintained.