S510 – Small farms “exempt” – open to interpretation?

* look to more recent posts for updates on S-510

Small Vermont farmers exempted

from regulations in food-safety bill

BY NICOLE GAUDIANO AND SALLY POLLAK, FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS • TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved the most sweeping food safety legislation in decades Tuesday, and included exemptions that could help small farms in Vermont. The bill passed 73-25 with a provision by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., that would exempt from new regulations smaller farms that sell most goods directly to consumers and have less than $500,000 in annual sales……

(at the end of article)

Rogers said the work that remains for sustainable agriculture advocates is to ensure that the intent of the bill, as designed and written by Congress, is met when the FDA develops, implements and enforces the regulations.

“We’ve got to continue to be politically active for literally years to come on this,” he said. “We have to make sure that the FDA does not interpret it in ways that are not intended.” For example, he said, if it’s a “low-risk activity,” or food that is not typically associated with food-borne illness, there needs to be flexibility about how the law is applied, Rogers said.

“How well will they do that?” he said. “How are they going to seek to define what ‘low-risk’ means?”

full article – http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20101130/NEWS03/101130008/Sanders-Small-Vermont-farmers-exempted-from-regulations-in-food-safety-bill

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