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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Protect Local Farmers and Food Supply

Dec 03, 2013 04:45PM

 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently finished accepting comment on the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which has the potential to suffocate small food producers while giving corporate agribusiness an unhealthy pass.

With over 14,803 comments submitted to the FDA on the ‘Standards for the Growth, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption’, the next step for concerned citizens is to call on the FDA to offer a Second comment period before finalizing the FSMA regulations.

Given the significant inconsistencies with the proposed regulations and the long-term impact they will have on our foods, farms and choice of sustenance, another round of citizen input is critical to help the FDA get it right.

The Kutztown-based United Sludge Free Alliance refutes the premise behind the new regulations; that one in six Americans gets food poisoning from community supported agriculture, co-ops and farmers’ markets requiring stricter rules. USFA contends that the culprit is not small farming but corporate Agribusiness and the use of toxic waste and water from city sewer plants.

An important issue not addressed in the new FSMA regulations is the use of sewage sludge and biosolids as a fertilizer. Fruits and vegetables ‘take up’ both heavy metals and pathogens from soil. Exemptions for these waste products,  which are known to contain pharmaceuticals, viruses and chemicals and are the true threat to human health. Also, the FDA continues to allow irrigation water treatment that may contain antimicrobial agents, such as Triclosan, which destroy necessary soil bacteria and continue to evade testing for health impact.

To get involved in your food future comment at www.regulations.gov. For specific information on the sludge issue contact [email protected] or visit www.usludgefree.org.

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