Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook View our linked in profile View our RSS feeds
Your daily source for sustainable business & sustainable investor news.

(view sample issue)

This is an archived story. The information and any links may no longer be accurate.

01/05/2011 09:11 AM     print story email story  

Food Safety Bill Includes Important Exemptions for Local Farmers News

The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) signed into law Tuesday by President Obama includes provisions that protect small and local food producers and processors.

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) applauded the passage the bill, which also gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a greater ability to safeguard our nation’s food system, the group said. The new law gives the FDA the authority to order mandatory food recalls as well as require food facilities to put food safety plans in place. 

The bill also includes provisions introduced by Senators Tester and Hagan that protect small and local food producers and processors.

On November 18, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), the only organic farmer in Congress, reached an agreement with the authors of S. 510 to include a new, compromise version of the Tester-Hagan amendment in the Senate food safety bill. The amendment exempts small farmers and processors who sell directly to consumers and end users from FDA regulation due to their direct relationship with their customers that ensures quality, safety, transparency and accountability. For these small farmers and processors, the costs of complying with all the new federal requirements would be burdensome and add little to food safety. They still must meet all state and local food safety requirements.

The amendment includes the following requirements for exemption:

  1. Producers must have annual gross sales less than $500,000. This includes all subsidiaries and affiliates of a business, so it carefully prevents any larger businesses from using this as a loophole.
  2. Producers must sell more than half their products directly to consumers (including at farmers markets) or to local restaurants and retailers that in turn sell directly to consumers. The definition of “qualified end user” ensures that the producer is not selling into national chains or into long supply chains.
  3. FDA has authority to withdraw an exemption from a farm or facility associated with a foodborne illness outbreak.
  4. The distance from a facility or farm that is eligible to be a “qualified end-user” was reduced to 275 miles.

“Our support for the bill recognizes that several lamentable concessions in the main bill were made to appease the industry and put a stop to delaying tactics preventing a vote on the bill.” said Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety. “These included removing important provisions that would have allowed FDA to bring criminal charges against producers who knowingly ship tainted food to consumers as well as reducing the frequency of FDA inspections to once every five years.”

Nonetheless, passing the food safety legislation was a "significant victory for consumers," according to Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director for the Center for Food Safety. “This legislation will finally give FDA the long awaited mandatory recall authority it needs to ensure that the same companies who sicken the public do not dictate the recall of their products,” Kimbrell said.


Reader Comments (5)


Date Posted:
01/25/11 04:32 AM

how does this Bill effect small gardens? Thank you In Advance, Karen

Report this post


Date Posted:
03/11/11 11:01 PM

It's pretty obvious it doesn't effect small gardens. This bill is aimed at companies (larger ones at that), not private citizens. I saw this bill used in a few propaganda videos on youtube to make it look like the government was using this bill to make sure no one could grow food, but had to buy it. It's simply nonsense. Karen, good idea to do some research and ask questions, perhaps you saw one of these videos making this claim?

Report this post


Date Posted:
03/31/11 07:33 PM

Small gardens would have an annual total income of less than $500,000 and thus would be exempt from the bill.

Report this post


Date Posted:
12/17/12 09:08 PM

I'm glad the tester's amendment went through but it is not nearly as big a win as you think. The amendment only exempts up to $500,000 GROSS SALES. It is very easy for a very small family farm selling direct to consumers and local retailers to exceed that in annual sales yet they may only be clearing a profit of $50,000. Now they will come under onerous FDA regulations that may crush them. The result is a great many small farms will not hire or expand because why bother getting just a little bigger if that means you're going to have to deal with more expensive government regulations?! It is just not worth it.

Report this post


Date Posted:
01/17/16 03:26 PM

The general public needs to be warned of Transnational Organized Crime taking advantage of such modifications to the Original Food Safety and Modernization Act. Such groups seek to trigger National Security on innocent American Property owners by impersonating us and acting violent, committing crimes or going crazy around our communities. They normally try to dump Drug Enforcement Systems on our innocent population. Such security can cause Food Borne contamination, physical injuries, job dismissals and evictions of innocent homeowners from their property. Mr. Tester's modifications to the Food Safety Bill has made it easier for terrorists to forcefully evict innocent Americans from their homes and cripple their bodies through the sale of unhealthy foods that are not inspected by the FDA or other agencies. There needs to be a nationwide requirement that ALL Farmers Markets post a notice to the public that in spite of Tester's Amendment, when food sold at such local locations causes illness, the public should still report this to the FDA. The FDA can then take action and withdraw the exemption from such local producers. The food can then be withdrawn from local markets. Such postings should also be in grocery stores that allow local growers to sell their goods. This way, FDA Authorities will still get informed of unhealthy foods being brought to town by local growers that causes illness. Terrorist Groups can be congregating on farms, deliberately producing tainted foods to achieve this goal of forcing medical bills and evictions on Americans. Adverse Possession, Squatters Claims and Quiet Title Schemes are a major problem in the United States. Such bullies often try to remove homeowners fraudulently and hold them away from their property, claiming it has been abandoned. Allowing unhealthy food to be secretly sold to unsuspecting property owners only gives criminals more opportunity to bully property owners and forcefully take over their real estate. Such foods would cause mental and physical weakness and keep property owners from adequately defending themselves from criminals. Mr. Tester needs to be informed that the American Public will not tolerate being bullied from their homes by Local Food Producers involved in Economically Motivated Food Adulteration (EMA) and Hostile Real Estate Acquisitions. When Americans exercise their rights under the Food Safety and Modernization Act, and report local food producers for unhealthy product, they should not have to fear Forced Evictions from people trying to cover up Medical Fraud Mills and Hostile Real Estate Acquisition Schemes.

Report this post

Add Your Comment

(Use any name, your real name is not required)
Type the characters you see in the picture below.

home |about us |contact us |advertise |feeds |privacy policy |disclosure

Compare Green Cars   |   Find Alternative Fueling Stations