FDA FSMA Threatens Brewers and Farmers

Government Water – Perfectly clear,
sterilized, fortified, fornicated
and looking good but
tastes like shit.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is putting forth over reaching, heavy handed, idiotic regulation under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Incase you can’t tell, I, and a lot of farmers, brewers, bakers, cheese makers and consumers think the government has gone way overboard. Now is the time to act because the new extended comment period ends March 31st – the FDA extended comment period due to the intense reactions they got the first time.

On the one hand we have the state telling us all organics have to be directed out of the waste stream but then we have the feds making that difficult to impossible. The latest nonsense is that the FDA is trying to put through rules under the FSMA that will make it harder for business such as stores and breweries to give their organics such as waste produce and spent barley mash from beer making to farms.

See the Brewer’s Page for more details.

We need to put a stop to this nonsense of over regulations. It is not making our food safer. It merely puts more food into the land fills, stops recycling, raises the costs of food for consumers, increases the cost of doing business for the brewers, bakers, cheese makers, stores, farmers and other producers, and deprives livestock of good food so that the the farmers have to buy more expensive grains that could be used for human consumption. All of this is bad.

The FDA got such a bad reaction to their regulations during the listening period last fall that they delayed implementation and are having more listening sessions and comment periods. This is your opportunity to give input to the FDA that they need to back off. Now is the time to act because the new extended comment period ends March 31st. To comment go here:

FDA Comment Page

Here is my comment:

It is not necessary for the government to be regulating, overseeing or interfering with brewers, bakeries, dairies and others who give or sell their excess, spent or other products to farmers for livestock feed. The FDA becoming involved will just cause good animal food to be diverted away from farms and into the landfills, increase the costs and paperwork involved. The FDA’s involvement will not result in any improvement in food safety.

The FSMA’s $500,000 gross sales exemption is too low and should be raised to $2,500,000 and only for same type products, not for gross sales of any other products at the establishment or business. This exemption should be coupled to inflation and raised annually. Any direct to consumer sales should be exempted.

Furthermore, any thing related to livestock should be handled by the USDA, not the FDA.

The FDA is not qualified to be making regulations across so many climatic zones as demonstrated by their failure to properly word the application of manure and compost. What works in warm climates is not appropriate for colder northern climates. These issues should be left to the state.

Lastly, FSMA should be withdrawn and be handled completely at the state level. The scope of FSMA is too overreaching.

Food safety is good but the FDA’s FSMA is garbage.

Go leave your comments at:

FDA Comment Page

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Daily Spark: Change is usually bad, especially if it involves government or banks.

The issue with the $500K limit is that typically 95% to 99% of a farmer’s gross income is overhead, feed, mortgage, taxes and other costs. The money doesn’t stick to their hands. $500K of gross annual sales can mean the farmer is typically making only $5,000 in actual personal income, or less. Same goes for many businesses. It sounds like a lot but everyone else gets paid first.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to FDA FSMA Threatens Brewers and Farmers

  1. Maggie Ground says:

    Hello Walter,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a bit now, I’ve gleaned lots of pertinent information from your site that I feel has helped me develop a solid plan for my family’s sustainable future. We live on 128 acres of wood/field pasture. We raise dual purpose cows, goats, ducks, geese, chickens, rabbits and just recently started raising pigs and turkeys. Our main focus is poultry and pig, which we feed for free thanks to the plethora of organic material that is thrown away on a daily basis.

    One source, high quality distillers grains, is particularly important to us. It’s our main protein source, with a bit of lime and some whey or fish protein it’s a very, very cheap and valuable part of our feeding plan. The owner of the whiskey distillery recently told us about this ‘plan’ of the FDA. We get waste produce from our local grocery stores and our state even has provisions for ‘garbage’ feeding licenses so that I can feed dairy, eggs and meat that cannot be sold due to various reasons other than disease contamination.

    This ‘plan’ would make it impossible for us to economically raise ANYTHING. We pasture all of our animals, but we live in Maine. We have long winters and a long spring mud season where growth is severly stalled due to lack of sun. Basically no pastures for half the year, so what would we feed our animals? How could we stay at the farm and tend them all if we have to find secondary (rather, primary) careers? Most importantly though, how would we be there to raise our children? We would have to find a caretaker for them, find jobs in an unfavorable economy and subsequently downsize; may very well have to leave the farm and move in town.

    It’s difficult enough to find a business around here that generates quality food waste and wants to cooperate with a local farmer, more paperwork would just throw a wrench right in the middle and toss the gears. And my state has provisions for dealing with food waste on the farm level.

    Of course, maybe it’s Casella paying off the FDA to get his ‘Earthlife’ really flying off the shelves. If we have to toss all that good food rather than feed it, it gets composted at the dump, churned up with straight up household trash, screened (at least) for non-degradable particles and mixed with treated sewage. Then it’s labeled as all sorts of wholesome, family-oriented soil products and marketed to all sorts of demographics. Mostly it’s used on municipal lawns, plantings and school sports complex fields. Oh and just about every aggregate company around here sells it to every customer looking for loam. Sounds great, right? I worry most about all those people who toss batteries, lead paint clean-up waste, smoke detectors; all those things that seem innocuous enough when you throw it away, but of course you don’t expect it on your lawn. Like those families who suffered such awful tragedy at the hands of Big Brother Broiler when they spread chicken manure laced with arsenic all over the surrounding school lawns. I’m ranting I guess and I’m super paranoid about this ‘Earthlife’ stuff. Our lovely (NOT) MOFGA has been courting Casella, supposedly there’s plans to approve this abomination of a ‘soil’ product as ‘organic.’

    Just looking down the line makes me shudder. I don’t need the FDA stepping in and making everyone with good food waste available more reluctant to do their part in helping reduce the amount of material dumped into a landfill, making it impossible to support my family with the lifestyle I prefer, providing material for a potentially very dangerous product, raising my taxes to cover the greater pressure upon my local and state transfer stations… I could go on.

    Any who, I got lots of questions for you and yours, I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning now instead of flipping around. I’m secretly (not anymore!) particularly enjoying Hope grow up with the snippets you have provided in your past entries. My daughter, Rowan Joan, will be two this summer. She held her first gosling a month ago (flurry of flashes and clicks that was!) and on Monday we go to buy ‘her’ pig, a large black gilt also named Maggie!

    I’ll save my questions for another time, I’m very sure I’ve written enough crazy babble for now.

    Take care,

  2. David B says:

    Left a comment on their site, hopefully they are actually consider the comments. I was reading about this the other day and it just seems idiotic, but I’m just a normal common sense sort of person, not a government official with the need to look like I’m working by making up fun new regulations.

  3. Ellen Bridgeporte says:

    I left my comments. Thx for the alerts on things like this. Cant keep track of all this government nonsense. They present it as a way to make people safer. What it really is is a way to make us have to buy from only approved sources and lose our skills and wills to produce any of our own food fuel or stuff. They have outlawed just about everything so people are more and more dependent.

  4. Strelsi says:

    I’ve read two pieces now indicating the FDA will be banning all raw meat sales beginning in 2015. Both of those state the law is already in place to do so. Any truth to this?

    • No, that’s nonsense. It is an early joke that traces back to an pre-April Fools joke by Dr. Mercola. In the end of the article it says in one of the paragraphs, “If this wasn’t an April Fool’s joke” and then again at the end of the article he says “Happy April Fool’s Day!” Since April Fools Day is not until tomorrow this joke shouldn’t be showing yet but it has been showing for a couple of weeks. Perhaps a glitch in his blog publishing software. The FDA has no control over this. There is no truth to this report. It is merely a joke.

      Note that I do not actually provide a link to the joke because I do not want to spread it since it is being used as false information by some people.

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