National Editor Tom Karst It goes without saying there is heavy interest in the new proposed food safety rules from the FDA.
The Packer's coverage of the price tag of the produce safety regulation has had several passionate reader comments, revealing that this rulemaking process will be considered by a matter of life and death in both business and personal terms.
Here are a couple of comments on that story:
Chuck from Florida writes:
Americans are to pay $460 million, foreign farms pay$171 million. Over 60% of the fresh
fruits and veg consumed in the US are from foreign farms according to the USDA perhaps
I don't know how to do math but this doesn't calculate! Are American farms to help pay
foriegn farms portion of food safety? Americans speak up!
Chris from North Carolina adds:
680 pages... I can't afford for this farm to buy the paper to print it out, much less comply with this rule. Who is going to pay to fence my 20 acres?
Meanwhile, others feel the article's focus on costs shouldn't be the focus:
From Mexico, this comment:
Regarding the article's (and the commentator's) focus: $
Is that what this is really about?
"The proposed rule imposes new standards on growers for worker training and hygiene, agricultural water purity, biological soil amendments, equipment, tools and buildings".
Is that a necessary and valid goal? Of course! Serious (including fatal) Diseases have been spread by contaminated (improperly grown and handled) Produce.
Is that goal implemented in law effectively and efficiently?
That's the real question. (After reading the law and observing it's implementation we can comment further).
Another reader from Nevada said:
And what is the cost of a human life?
Just how reasonable are these proposed food safety regulations? Is there an objective, dispassionate way to measure the cost and benefit of the rules when human lives hang in the balance?
The sheer audacious volume of new regulation that will be coming industry's way in the next two years will be mind-boggling. I can't help agree with Chris Schlect of the Northwest Hort Council that more than 120 days will be needed to evaluate and comment on the proposed rules.
While we wait for more substantive input from industry associations, I've put together some links from the FDA. The agency has populated its website with all kinds of resources related to the newly published produce safety rule and the preventive controls rules.
Here is a brief listing of the links readers may find useful.