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Is the Food Safety Bill Too Hard on Small Farms?

April 15, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Before the Senate moves into the world of financial regulatory reform, they're going to take up a major food safety bill next week, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, that would make food facility inspections more frequent, improve verification of the safety of imported foods, give the FDA authority to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated foods, and more.

As non-controversial and obvious as the bill sounds -- nobody likes E. coli with their spinach or salmonella with their eggs -- a lot of people are firmly against it. Check out, for example, the 22% approval rating it has on OpenCongress. Why all the opposition? Well, the bill doesn't distinguish between huge agribusiness food producers and local farms, and the burden of some of the new regulations could be just too much for small-scale food producers to keep up with. Or so the argument goes.

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