Food Safety Bill passed in House, to the Senate in the Fall

Leah Miller's picture

The following is a brief summary of the House version of comprehensive food safety bill that passed in July. If you are involved in grain or livestock at farm level, direct marketing to farmers market, restaurants or grocery stores, you might want to follow what is in the House version and what is being proposed for the Senate version. A comprehensive food safety bill that gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) additional new authorities to take preventative steps to stop foodborne illnesses passed the U.S. House of Representatives July 30,2009. This $3.8 billion measure that would direct the FDA to write new regulations for food supply, require more frequent inspections of processing plants and have companies to keep better records to help regulators trace outbreaks.  H.R. 2749 is called the Food Safety Enhancement Act.  There are several concessions sought by grain and livestock farmers and small farms that sell food direct to farmers markets, restaurants or grocery stores. Meat and egg facilities regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be exempt from the  expanded powers to FDA.. Food, livestock, poultry, facilities and farms are exempt from the requirements of this legislation if they are regulated by the secretary of agriculture under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act or the Egg Products Inspection Act. (information thanks to the American Sheep Improvement Association)

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Leah- How can we get easy

M.Ajamian B.Jaeger's picture

Leah-

How can we get easy access particularly to the regs about grain and oil processing and selling such at markets and to grocers? We are about to open a mill in Athens and are gearing up to process this year's commericial demonstration from two farmers. We're trying to create a viable alternative for feed farmers to get into human food crops that are similar to the feed they are already growing. We see this as a way to help farmers see a way out of the commodity market, decrease Ohio ag exports and increase in-state buying, and making a case for food security.

We definitely need to follow this, but it's out of our scope of activity to know how. Can you help guide us to ways of knowing what's crucial?

Best, Michelle

Anyone on LFS Have Info about HR 2749 They Can Share?

Steve Bosserman's picture

Michelle,

The legislation that passed the House last week is HR 2749.  You can view it at GovTrac.us.  The Library of Congress also documents information about it via THOMAS.  There is a companion bill, HR 691, that passed the House with HR 2749.  Both of these are often associated with HR 875 which was initiated earlier this year, but has not left committee for vote by the House.

These are complicated pieces of legislation that take in-depth study to understand their full implication, especially when unintended consequences are taken into consideration.  Hopefully, there are objective, third-party views forthcoming that can help folks like you who have small scale operations in local food systems sort out the pros and cons.

All,

Many others who participate on LocalFoodSystems.org (LFS) are in the same situation as Michelle and are curious about how such legislation will impact their local food systems work.  Others on LFS know about this legislation and can provide answers.  Any chance we can have an open, informed, dispassionate, fact-based discussion about it?  That would mean a lot for many!

Thanks to all for your consideration!

Steve B.

 

Yes, I agree. I know there

M.Ajamian B.Jaeger's picture

Yes, I agree. I know there are many knowledgable people on this list and it would be a great help to hear from anyone who has an understanding of this legislation.

Michelle