Small farms worry about new food safety bill

Oregon farmers are concerned that a new FDA regulation could put them out of business.

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A new food safety bill currently before the U.S. Senate would require farmers to pay a $500 fee and keep detailed records of sales, so food could be recalled in the event of an outbreak.

Oregon’s small-scale farmers say the bill would put a disproportionate burden on small farming operations, and might put some of them out of business.

“All farmers are for food safety,” said Scott Frost, the 53-year-old owner of Nature’s Fountain Farm in Albany, which produces fruits and vegetables for farmers markets and restaurants. “But this could make farmers markets go away. The only guys left standing in the room will be the big gorillas.”

The bill, which would give the FDA recall authority, follows successive waves of food poisoning outbreaks that have touched everything from peanuts to produce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year 76 million people get sick and 5,000 die from food poisoning.


{biztweet}Food Safety Modernization Act{/biztweet}

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