Ag groups attack food safety bill | TSLN.com

Ag groups attack food safety bill

Katie Micik, DTN Staff Reporter and
Jerry Hagstrom, DTN Political Correspondent

TSLN file photoThe new food safety bill would expand the Food and Drug Administration's powers and require more recordkeeping from farmers, such as even what their animals eat.

OMAHA (DTN) – Calling it unacceptable, onerous and with deficiencies that need correction, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other groups have attacked a food safety bill that was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee last week.

In a letter Monday to the House Energy and Committee Health Committee chairman, Henry Waxman, D-CA, the groups urged changes be made before the full committee considers the bill on Wednesday.

The bill is a response to the food-borne outbreaks of the past few years in spinach, peanuts, tomatoes and others.

However, farm groups denounced the bill which would give the Food and Drug Administration access to on-farm records and require country-of-origin labeling on the ingredients in most products.

“As drafted, this legislation would give the Food and Drug Administration broad new powers to regulate the entire spectrum of the agricultural and food system – from production agriculture to the final retail establishment – in many cases without appropriate thresholds or accountability,” said the letter. AFBF was joined by American Feed Industry Association, the National Grain and Feed Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the Pet Food Institute and commodity groups.

The groups object to a provision that empowers FDA to suspend facilities for violations that could – rather than would – result in adverse health consequences. Another provision they oppose gives FDA the authority to cancel facility registration fees if not paid in a timely manner.

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One of the areas raising the most concern was the expansion of FDA inspectors’ access to on-farm records. The agricultural groups believe this would allow “fishing expeditions” and the release of confidential business information.

“Since this bill also would provide FDA access to records on-farm, it is extremely important that confidentiality of farming operations be preserved, including items such as farm location, commodities produced, farming practices, and financial data,” the groups said. “If FDA discloses confidential information, affected entities should be indemnified for any economic losses incurred as a result,” they added.

OMAHA (DTN) – Calling it unacceptable, onerous and with deficiencies that need correction, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other groups have attacked a food safety bill that was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee last week.

In a letter Monday to the House Energy and Committee Health Committee chairman, Henry Waxman, D-CA, the groups urged changes be made before the full committee considers the bill on Wednesday.

The bill is a response to the food-borne outbreaks of the past few years in spinach, peanuts, tomatoes and others.

However, farm groups denounced the bill which would give the Food and Drug Administration access to on-farm records and require country-of-origin labeling on the ingredients in most products.

“As drafted, this legislation would give the Food and Drug Administration broad new powers to regulate the entire spectrum of the agricultural and food system – from production agriculture to the final retail establishment – in many cases without appropriate thresholds or accountability,” said the letter. AFBF was joined by American Feed Industry Association, the National Grain and Feed Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the Pet Food Institute and commodity groups.

The groups object to a provision that empowers FDA to suspend facilities for violations that could – rather than would – result in adverse health consequences. Another provision they oppose gives FDA the authority to cancel facility registration fees if not paid in a timely manner.

One of the areas raising the most concern was the expansion of FDA inspectors’ access to on-farm records. The agricultural groups believe this would allow “fishing expeditions” and the release of confidential business information.

“Since this bill also would provide FDA access to records on-farm, it is extremely important that confidentiality of farming operations be preserved, including items such as farm location, commodities produced, farming practices, and financial data,” the groups said. “If FDA discloses confidential information, affected entities should be indemnified for any economic losses incurred as a result,” they added.

OMAHA (DTN) – Calling it unacceptable, onerous and with deficiencies that need correction, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other groups have attacked a food safety bill that was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee last week.

In a letter Monday to the House Energy and Committee Health Committee chairman, Henry Waxman, D-CA, the groups urged changes be made before the full committee considers the bill on Wednesday.

The bill is a response to the food-borne outbreaks of the past few years in spinach, peanuts, tomatoes and others.

However, farm groups denounced the bill which would give the Food and Drug Administration access to on-farm records and require country-of-origin labeling on the ingredients in most products.

“As drafted, this legislation would give the Food and Drug Administration broad new powers to regulate the entire spectrum of the agricultural and food system – from production agriculture to the final retail establishment – in many cases without appropriate thresholds or accountability,” said the letter. AFBF was joined by American Feed Industry Association, the National Grain and Feed Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the Pet Food Institute and commodity groups.

The groups object to a provision that empowers FDA to suspend facilities for violations that could – rather than would – result in adverse health consequences. Another provision they oppose gives FDA the authority to cancel facility registration fees if not paid in a timely manner.

One of the areas raising the most concern was the expansion of FDA inspectors’ access to on-farm records. The agricultural groups believe this would allow “fishing expeditions” and the release of confidential business information.

“Since this bill also would provide FDA access to records on-farm, it is extremely important that confidentiality of farming operations be preserved, including items such as farm location, commodities produced, farming practices, and financial data,” the groups said. “If FDA discloses confidential information, affected entities should be indemnified for any economic losses incurred as a result,” they added.

OMAHA (DTN) – Calling it unacceptable, onerous and with deficiencies that need correction, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other groups have attacked a food safety bill that was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee last week.

In a letter Monday to the House Energy and Committee Health Committee chairman, Henry Waxman, D-CA, the groups urged changes be made before the full committee considers the bill on Wednesday.

The bill is a response to the food-borne outbreaks of the past few years in spinach, peanuts, tomatoes and others.

However, farm groups denounced the bill which would give the Food and Drug Administration access to on-farm records and require country-of-origin labeling on the ingredients in most products.

“As drafted, this legislation would give the Food and Drug Administration broad new powers to regulate the entire spectrum of the agricultural and food system – from production agriculture to the final retail establishment – in many cases without appropriate thresholds or accountability,” said the letter. AFBF was joined by American Feed Industry Association, the National Grain and Feed Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the Pet Food Institute and commodity groups.

The groups object to a provision that empowers FDA to suspend facilities for violations that could – rather than would – result in adverse health consequences. Another provision they oppose gives FDA the authority to cancel facility registration fees if not paid in a timely manner.

One of the areas raising the most concern was the expansion of FDA inspectors’ access to on-farm records. The agricultural groups believe this would allow “fishing expeditions” and the release of confidential business information.

“Since this bill also would provide FDA access to records on-farm, it is extremely important that confidentiality of farming operations be preserved, including items such as farm location, commodities produced, farming practices, and financial data,” the groups said. “If FDA discloses confidential information, affected entities should be indemnified for any economic losses incurred as a result,” they added.