ANZ's Farms

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Food Safety Modernization Act

Hobby Farm magazine has come through for me again. This morning, my inbox contained an e-newsletter update about this piece of legislation which President Obama signed into law Tuesday. "The core of this legislation aims to improve overall food safety by giving the Food and Drug Administration new powers to better monitor and help prevent food-borne disease outbreaks."

I am delighted to see the FDA has not gained power over the small farmer and homesteader -- defined as "direct-sales farms, farms with their own label, farms with sales less than $500,000, and farms that sell directly in state or within a 275-mile radius" -- as the cost of adherence to federal regulations might force us out of business. In the interest of public safety, the small farmer will continue to be overseen by state and local regulators. 

“ 'It's obvious this final legislation is by no means perfect, as no legislation ever is,' says Stacy Miller, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition, an organization active in advocating for the rights of small-scale farmers. 'What it does do is provide a framework, with appropriate limits, on how the FDA can control the food supply in order to ensure its safety, and in that sense does protect ‘the little guy’ by creating scale- and risk-appropriate alternatives. As the baton gets passed to the FDA for translating the legislation into regulation, it will be important for all of us in the sustainable-agriculture community to stay informed, continue discussion and help our farmers take proactive steps to produce safe, healthy food.' ”

For the full article, visit


  1. Ugh. I wish nothing had been signed, but I knew it had gone to the presidents desk. The whole thing is going to cause problems for us eventually. Thanks for the update though. I have been trying to decide whether to get a tax number for us or not, and knowing what this bill said about the small farmer had a lot to do with the decision.

  2. I am tired of government intervention, but we dodged a big bullet tis time!