Sen. Stabenow Introduces Food Safety Training Bill: Last Tuesday Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Growing Safe Food Act (S. 2758) as a proposed supplement to the food safety legislation now under Senate consideration. Co-sponsored by Senators Leahy (D-VT), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Sanders (I-VT), Gillibrand (D-NY), and Merkley (D-OR) and in close consultation with NSAC, S. 2758 is designed to provide food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance and create an information clearinghouse for farms, with a special emphasis on small and medium-sized farms and small-scale processors. Training would include good agricultural, handling, and manufacturing practices, produce safety standards, risk analysis and preventive control mechanisms, safe packaging and storage, record-keeping, etc. Run through USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (formerly CSREES), the new program would be coordinated with applied research under the existing National Integrated Food Safety Initiative.
NSAC is urging the Senate HELP Committee to include the Growing Safe Food Act as an addition to the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) it is marking up and voting on this Wednesday. We hope it will be included in the markup vehicle to be introduced this week by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA). If it is not, Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) plans to introduce it as an amendment during markup.