April 24, 2018

Two House Amendments Threaten Food Safety Modernization Act

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering two amendments to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will undermine rules protecting America’s food supply. The House has taken up the Farm Bill after it, along with few amendments, was passed by the Senate this week. Update: The House just voted down the Farm Bill on Thursday afternoon. The current Farm Bill will expire in September, and a new one must be in place by then.

CongressAmendment 214, sponsored by Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) would stop the FDA from enforcing regulations until the government submits scientific and economic analysis of those regulations to Congress. That inhibits enforcement of FSMA regulations and undermines rules already in place. In addition, it would delay FDA’s new rules on produce standards, import safety and better traceability for high-risk foods that food safety advocates have been waiting for for months. This comes as a Hepatitis A outbreak associated with imported fruit has sickened 118 people in eight states.

Amendment 71, sponsored by Rep. Bachus (R-AL) would require considering consumer protections and rules in accordance with provisions in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. It is meant to protect small farmers from “unreasonable government regulation.” ┬áThe Chamberlain Farms Salmonella outbreak last year that sickened more than 100 people was linked to cantaloupe produced at a small farm.

You can send a message to your Congress members through Safe Tables. A prewritten email or printed letter will be sent to them, which you can alter as you see fit.

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