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New Food Safety Regulations

Planned food safety rules rile organic farmers

Local growers are discovering that proposed FDA regulations would curtail many common techniques, such as using house-made fertilizers and irrigating from creeks.

Farming and food safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Crawford, left, of New Morning Farm, says new food safety regulations would be an added expense that would hurt growers operating on the margins. (Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times / February 12, 2014)

 

By Evan Halper

February 22, 2014, 11:00 a.m.

HUSTONTOWN, Pa. — Jim Crawford was rushing to load crates of freshly picked organic tomatoes onto trucks heading for an urban farmers market when he noticed the federal agent.

A tense conversation followed as the visitor to his farm — an inspector from the Food and Drug Administration — warned him that some organic-growing techniques he had honed over four decades could soon be outlawed.

“This is my badge. These are the fines. This is what is hanging over your head, and we want you to know that,” Crawford says the official told him.

Crawford’s popular farm may seem a curious place for the FDA to move ahead with a long-planned federal assault on deadly food poisoning. To Crawford’s knowledge, none of the kohlrabi, fennel, sugar snap peas or other crops from hisNew Morning Farm have ever sickened anyone. But he is not the only organic grower to suddenly discover federal inspectors on his land.

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