Article: Hagan Helps Keep Bill’s Onus Off Small Farms (NewsObserver)
EXCERPT: The U.S. Senate returns to Washington on Monday preparing to pass a sweeping food safety bill that includes a key amendment supported by Sen. Kay Hagan. The amendment would exempt small farms from much of the Food and Drug Administration regulation that’s proposed in the bill. Hagan said the idea was to exempt farms that sell directly to consumers or restaurants and don’t have the lengthy farm-to-table production chain of larger producers. Such farms would still be subject to local and state regulations, Hagan said. The small farms amendment was opposed by big food producers, and its inclusion in the bill almost threatened to scuttle the legislation. But [Senator] Tester worked out a compromise last week. The head of the National Sustainable Agricultural [Agriculture] Commission [Coalition] told Food Safety News, an industry publication, that the organization was happy with the compromise. The compromise would reportedly allow the FDA to withdraw a small farm’s exemption if food-borne illnesses are found on the farm.