You may find this information useful from National Catholic Rural Life
Sharon McNeil
Ecology Director
St. Mary Organic Farm
610 W. Elm Avenue
Monroe, MI  48162
[log in to unmask]
Tele: 734/240-9720
Fax: 734/240-9784


Food Safety Oversight Hearing at House Appropriations Agriculture

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on
Agriculture held a hearing on Food Safety Oversight. Daniel Levinson,
Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services,
testified that "recent outbreaks of foodborne illness involving peanut
butter, peppers, and spinach have raised serious questions about the
Food & Drug Administration's ability to protect the Nation's Food
Supply." He emphasized traceability of all products at all stages of the
food supply chain as an imperative goal. 

This happened in the wake of several food safety bills introduced in
Congress -- and  led to a great deal of chatter on blogs and listserves
reacting to potential impacts on small producers. There is concern that
additional costs to track food from source to plate could be too great a
burden on small producers. NCRLC will continue to follow this issue as a
member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which has
formed an emergency task force to analyze food safety bills. The intent
is to get beyond the hype and develop policy from the vantage point of
small farms and organic operations. 

For now, our readers may be interested in the March 20 edition of "The
Hill" (a Capitol Hill news source read by staffers and legislators)
which contains a five-page special section on Agriculture and Food
IIhLems=> .




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