By Pete Kennedy, Esq.


In FDA’s words, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) “directs FDA to build an integrated national food safety system in partnership with state and local authorities explicitly recognizing that all food safety agencies need to work in integrated ways to achieve public health goals.” To FDA “integrate” means dictating to the states what their food safety laws will be. FDA wants “uniformity” and to have the laws governing interstate and intrastate commerce be the same.

FDA has long tried to co-op state food regulation through cooperative agreements with and grants to state regulatory agencies; FSMA enables it to significantly advance this agenda. FSMA specifically calls for preemption of state regulation or laws governing the transportation of food in intrastate commerce, and FSMA expanded authority given to the agency under the 2002 Bioterrorism Act to require that firms operating solely in intrastate commerce comply with mandates to have food safety plans for their businesses. The 2002 law required that “any facility engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing or holding food for consumption in the United States be registered with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventative Controls (HARPC) section of FSMA calls for the owner, operator, or agent of a facility to develop and implement a food safety plan to prevent the adulteration and misbranding of food.  Any “facility” that is required to register with DHHS must also comply with HARPC even if that “facility” is operating only in intrastate commerce.

There are numerous ways to fight back against FDA’s attempts to control all food regulation through FSMA and other means; these include cutting FDA’s funding for FSMA implementation, state laws establishing stricter oversight and standards for cooperative agreements between FDA and state agencies, state food freedom bills legalizing unregulated producer to consumer direct commerce, and piece meal amendments to FSMA. If this doesn’t happen, the industrial food system will further consolidate its control over the food supply; imports will sharply increase; food security, self-sufficiency and food production will be a pipedream; and the local food system won’t come close to meeting the demand for its products.

Read the full article at Farmtoconsumer.org