National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson thanked U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and the 12 other members of Congress who sent a letter calling for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement programs to help family farmers and ranchers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
“There is a great deal of confusion surrounding FSMA’s requirements for family farmers and ranchers,” said Johnson. “The FDA needs to ensure U.S. producers are provided with proper technical assistance, training and guidance related to the FSMA regulations. NFU thanks the 14 congressional leaders who urged the FDA to offer necessary support to our nation’s family producers.”
The letter urges the FDA to expedite implementation of technical assistance and training geared towards small farmers, and to begin distributing written materials and start conducting outreach and education immediately. Johnson notes that FSMA will be transformational to the agricultural sector and will have broad impacts on the farming community. FDA should help make sure all those that are impacted are prepared.
“While the final regulations have yet to be promulgated, family farmers and ranchers are making planning decisions now,” said Johnson. “NFU encourages FDA to use any available funding and authority to advance education and outreach to farmers across all sizes and sectors so that the farming community is fully aware of when and how to comply.”
Joining Murphy and DeLauro on the letter were U.S. Sens. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, Angus King, I-Maine, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, Bernard Sanders, I-Vermont, Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, Chris Coons, D-Delaware, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, Tom Carper, D-Delaware, Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Sam Farr, D-California, and Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.