Some of the requirements set forth within H.R. 875 include:
- Designating FSA as sole regulator of food safety rather than the individual states, including granting FSA the power to implement and administer a “national system for regular unannounced inspection of food establishments” under its own terms.
- Reclassifying all farms as “food production facilities”, ensuring they come under the regulatory and inspection protocols of FSA as well as enforcing compliance with whatever FSA deems as appropriate food safety requirements.
- Requiring farmers to comply with FSA-established “minimum standards” for farming practices, including requiring them to establish Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans and other written documentation as determined and mandated by FSA.
- Granting FSA the power to arrogate “preventative process controls to reduce adulteration of food” as it deems fit.
- Instituting FSA as food safety law enforcement, allowing it to assess civil penalties and fines for violation of any and all FSA safety laws up to $1 million for each violation. Collected fines would become unappropriated slush funds to be used however FSA deems fit in order to “carry out enforcement activities under the food safety law”.
The burdensome requirements the bill imposes on small farms and the intrusive federal control it creates over small farm operations threaten the future viability of sustainable agriculture and the local food movement. HR 875 has been assigned to both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Agriculture. It needs to be stopped. Anyone who values freedom of food choice and the rights and independence of small farmers should contact their elected representatives and the members of the two committees to ask that they oppose HR 875. Updates on the status of this bill will be provided on this site.
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