Hello everyone!

The second round of draft rules for the *Food Safety Modernization Act
(FSMA) <>*have
been released. You might remember last year when we sounded the alarm about
new food safety regulations by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and how they could make sustainable and organic agriculture, local food,
and farm conservation efforts collateral damage?

*Well, we’ve got some good news and some bad news.*

The *good news* is that FDA received* tens of thousands* of comments from
farmers and eaters alike – and they took those comments seriously, even
agreeing to re-draft several key sections of the proposed FSMA rules.

The* bad news *is that we’ve seen the new draft, and while they did make
some critical improvements*, the improvements don’t go far enough*. FDA
still doesn’t quite get what it means to be a farmer.

Farming isn’t easy. It takes creativity, smarts, and more than a little
sweat equity to make it as a family farmer in the US, and some of the most
exciting innovations happening on farms today are around farmers working
together to get more fresh, healthy food into local markets, school, and
grocery stores. In Michigan, we have seen unprecedented support for local &
regional food from farmers, food businesses, and consumers of all types!

The last thing farmers and communities need is for these innovations to be
unintentionally stifled by new food safety rules intended for corporate
agribusiness, not family farms.

*We need your help to tell FDA: let a farm be a farm!*

Comments submitted by family farmers, family-run food businesses, and
organizations who work with and support those folks are the most important
tool to fix the final rules.

*Farms innovate.*
*Don’t let the rules squash farmers’ innovative efforts in growing and
selling local food. *
The rules need to ensure that local food and farms can grow and thrive.

*Farms work with nature*
*Don’t let the rules undermine farmers’ sustainability. *
The rules need to allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices.

*Farms deserve fair treatment.  *

*Don’t let the rules raise costs for farmers, food businesses, and
consumers by imposing unclear, inconsistent, and unfair rules.*
The rules need to provide options that treat family farms fairly without
unnecessary, excessive costs.

*The time is NOW to speak out - comments from farmers are the single most
important way to fix the FSMA rules.*

*Everyone has a role in ensuring our nation’s food is safe* *– from the
farmers who grow it to the folks who take it home and prepare it. *But
unless we act now, these new rules will have a devastating impact on the
farmers and businesses responsible for putting fruits, vegetables, and
other healthy foods on America’s dinner plates – which, in turn, affects
our health and well being.

*Links for Farmers, Food Hubs, Processors, CSAs:*
We’ll be honest: commenting takes a little bit more time than signing a
petition.  But this is worth a few more minutes of your time – and we’ve
developed materials to help you figure out whether you are affected by
these rules; what FSMA means for your farm or business; and importantly –
what should I say when I comment?

*Farmer Comment Template (Word Doc)*
* <>*

*Am I Affected?*

*"Am I Affected?" Flow Chart*
** <>

*Links for Consumers, Farm-to-School & Local Food Advocates*

Fresh, local carrots on a middle school salad bar. Perfectly ripe
strawberries at your farmers market. Salad mix from the farm down the road
in the grocery aisle. Is this the kind of food you like to be able to buy
in your community, have in your kitchen, and see on your kids’ lunch trays
at school? Stand with farmers and COMMENT TODAY! it takes only a few

*Learn more*
* <>*

*Consumer Comment Template (Word Doc)*
* <>*

*Links for Everyone*
Here is a list of web materials to help you understand the issues better!

*FSMA Action Center*
This is still the MAIN site where you can find issue analysis, commenting
instructions, and "Am I Affected?" guidance.

*Top 10 FSMA Fixes & Fails*
* <>*
NSAC blog post posted this week that gives a quick breakdown of top issues
- what FDA fixed and where they fell short

*All Comment Templates*
* <>*
This is the companion site where our COMMENT TEMPLATES and simplified
instructions are live!

*Where to Comment? Regulations.Gov*
*Direct link to the <> comment box
for the Produce Rule*

Direct link to the comment box for Preventive Controls Rule

*We have just under a month to be heard!*

*P.S. If you are having a FSMA related event, let me know & I'll help
promote it on our facebook & twitter!*

For a better food future,

*Lindsey Scalera*

*Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy*

Grassroots Organizer

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*National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition*

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