The Truth About H.R. 875
You may have seen one of the many circulating e-mails, blog posts, and petitions about the food safety bill H.R. 875. Many of these claim that the bill would outlaw organic farming, exclusively benefit big agriculture corporations, and even criminalize private gardens. These unfounded myths and many others are debunked in our breakdown of the proposed legislation.
H.R. 875 DOES
- address the most critical flaw in the structure of FDA bysplitting it into 2 new agencies ,one devoted to food safety and the
other devoted to drugs and medical devices.
- increase inspection of food processing plants, basing thefrequency of inspection on the risk of the product being produced , but
it does NOT make plants pay any registration fees or user fees.
- extend food safety agency authority to food production onfarms, requiring farms to write a food safety plan and consider the
critical points on that farm where food safety problems are likely to
- require imported food to meet the same standards as food produced in the U.S.
H.R. 875 DOES NOT
- cover foods regulated by the USDA (beef, pork, poultry, lamb, catfish.)
- establish a mandatory animal identification system.
- regulate backyard gardens.
- regulate seed.
- call for new regulations for farmers markets or direct marketing arrangements.
- apply to food that does not enter interstate commerce (food that is sold across state lines).
- mandate any specific type of traceability forFDA-regulated foods (the bill does instruct a new food safety agency to
improve traceability of foods, but specifically says that record keeping
can be done electronically or on paper).
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