Monday, June 22, 2009

What is a farm?

The Food Safety Enhancement Act, which was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, appears to have some quite disturbing provisions. It would affect many of the small farmers who bring their produce to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, if I correctly read this: Politics of the Plate: Family Farms or “Facilities”? -- Why the new Food Safety Enhancement Act could spell trouble for small farmers by Barry Estabrook. He writes:
Although “farms” are technically exempt from many of the new regulations intended for processing plants, the bill plays fast and loose with the definition of a farm, according to the Defense Fund. For instance, a farmer would no longer be considered a farmer if she sold jam made from fruits produced on her farm. She would become a “facility,” subject to a $1,000 annual fee, and would be required to conduct a full hazard analysis, to maintain detailed records, and to submit to regular FDA inspections. A farmer who made cheese only from his own cows’ milk would still be a farmer. But if he bought milk from a neighbor, he, too, would become a “facility.” An Amish producer who failed for religious reasons to register in an electronic format, as required by the law, would be in violation of the act, and like any violator, subject to fines of $100,000 per day, or up to ten years in jail.

1 comment:

Jen said...

This is very disturbing - do you know where it is in the legislative process?