Last week, Senator Bennet delivered a letter to FDA, emphasizing this very point. In the letter, the Senator reminded FDA of the clear statutory language and the intent behind it to avoid placing additional pressures and costs on small farms.
As the final food safety rules are published, NSAC will undertake a thorough analysis of the final rules and provide information and materials to help explain them. NSAC applauds the Senator for this letter, and for speaking out on this issue. We will be looking closely to the final rule once published to determine whether FDA followed the letter and the spirit of the law on this issue, among others.
For the Preventive Controls Rule for Human Food in particular, we will be looking to the see whether FDA made much-needed adjustments to the final definition of what constitutes a farm, in order to draw a clearer line between farms that are covered by the new facility rule and farms that are not.
This critical language championed by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) was added to FSMA during the legislative debates to protect against excessive costs and administrative burdens on small and very small farms and food enterprises subject to these rules.