Yes, you read that right.
There have been a series of difficulties over the past week in accessing the regulations.gov website to submit comments on the proposed food safety regulations, so the FDA has announced a one week extension – comments are now due at 11:59 PM EST on next Friday, November 22.
Have you been thinking to yourself, “I really wish I’d gotten my comment in, but I didn’t have time to get up to speed”? Well, you are in luck!
We’ve been sorting through the letters that have come through our grassroots campaign (thanks to everyone who organized or came out to a letter-writing event!), and we are more energized than ever to keep pushing.
Farmers have raised some very serious issues with the new rules, including:
- The complete incompatibility between the new rules and existing compost waiting periods in organic production (a 45-day waiting period on using compost could mean no compost on short-season greens like mesclun, not to mention no more side-dressing your plants within a month and a half of harvesting!)
- A nine-month interval between animal grazing and vegetable production would mean you can’t rotate animals and crops in a given year, even to bring pastured chickens in to clean up a field.
- Weekly water testing on surface water! A few farmers in the network ran their numbers and it came out to thousands of dollars extra in testing fees.
- And plenty more! Don’t have time to read all 3,500+ pages? Check out our quick summary to see how they’ll affect you.
And then submit your comment! This isn’t some petition where your name joins thousands of others. The FDA has specifically asked for farmer input, and they will read what you have to say. Don’t wait until next Friday afternoon – spend five minutes right now to read over the summary.
After you read the summary, our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition have put together a great comment template that you can use, and then you can directly submit your comments online (for both the Produce Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule for facilities).
See below for the official announcement from the FDA.
Got questions? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for all your hard work!
From the FDA:
“… we are concerned about the intermittent technical difficulties that have occurred in November with the website http://www.regulations.gov, which have prevented some people from submitting comments. We know that these difficulties are inconvenient and very frustrating.
“For that reason, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to comment, FDA is providing more time for comments on both the proposed rule on produce safety and preventive controls for human food for an additional 7 days. This means that the close of the comment period, which was scheduled for today, November 15, will now be November 22.”