Sunday, December 12, 2010
Cultivating Regional Food Security and S 510
One doesn’t need to look very far to find good information on Food Security. For example, the "Cultivating Regional Food Security" conference at the University of Washington last weekend offered emerging research and lively discussion among the several hundred participants there. I spoke on the topic of our farm resilience work [see http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=825829217 ]. What we’re finding is that time is an ultimate limiting factor for all the field tasks, regulations, experimenting, researching, hosting, and legal work farmers need to accomplish in any given day. Labor, too, is a vulnerability (we’re looking at that now). Stay posted. Until then, do follow what’s going on with S 510.
It seems that Amendment SA 4715 was agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent on November 30, 2010. In this amendment to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510), there is the following language:
Small Entity Compliance Policy Guide.--Not later than 180 days after the issuance of the regulations promulgated under subsection (n) of section 418 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as added by subsection (a)), the Secretary shall issue a small entity compliance policy guide setting forth in plain language the requirements of such section 418 and this section to assist small entities in complying with the hazard analysis and other activities required under such section 418 and this section.
This Act may be cited as the ``Small Business Paperwork Relief Act''…….
Also, SMALL ENTITY COMPLIANCE POLICY GUIDE.--Not later than 180 days after the issuance of the regulations promulgated under section 415(b)(5) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as added by this section), the Secretary shall issue a small entity compliance policy guide setting forth in plain language the requirements of such regulations to assist small entities in complying with registration requirements and other activities required under such section.
The Amendment also contains language about “small businesses” and “very small businesses” and about providing “sufficient flexibility to be practicable for all sizes and types of facilities, including small businesses such as a small food processing facility co-located on a farm” and about …. “….special attention to minimizing the burden (as defined in section 3502(2) of such Act) on the facility, and collection of information (as defined in section 3502(3) of such Act), associated with such regulations;…”
Also, that the Secretary … "shall exempt certain facilities from the requirements in section 418 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (as added by this section), including hazard analysis and preventive controls, and the mandatory inspection frequency in section 421 of such Act (as added by section 201), or modify the requirements in such sections 418 or 421, as the Secretary determines appropriate, if such facilities are engaged only in specific types of on-farm manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding activities that the Secretary determines to be low risk involving specific foods the Secretary determines to be low risk.
Action remaining: The bill now goes on to be voted on in the House, although the debate may be taking place on a companion bill in the House. See: