RI farmers seek to ease rules in Food Safety Modernization Act

As with the current climate of reducing Federal Regulations, Rhode Island farmers seek to ease rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA).

Rhode Island Farm Bureau President Henry B. Wright III said he has problems with the fresh product section of the act. The rules and regulations involve a tremendous amount of paperwork,” Wright claims.

The FSMA was put in place with the goal of making sure the fruits and vegetables you eat are safe. The FSMA was the first major overhaul of our nation’s food safety practices since 1938, and it includes new regulations for produce farms and for facilities that process food for people to eat.

However, some Rhode Island farmers have traveled to Washington, D.C. to voice their concerns about the measure, saying it could cause more harm than good.

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The FDA said it worked with growers and farmers for six years to develop the rules. The act includes stricter hand-washing policies, limitations in the pick-your-own operations and extensive water testing.

The biggest farms must comply with the new regulations by January 2018. Smaller farms have up to two years to adapt, according to the FDA, so the agency has time to modify some rules if necessary.

Source: WRI 12 Eyewitness News