Are small and/or local suppliers exempt from onerous provisions that would drive them out of business?
A number of groups have been working behind the scenes, knee deep in legislative policy discussions aiming to achieve flexibility for the burgeoning consumer-driven industry in healthier, locally grown foods, supplied by small to medium size operations. As of now, the so-called Manager’s Package, a refinement of the bill, unveiled last summer, states that “raw agricultural commodities that the Secretary has determined are low risk and do not present a risk of serious adverse health consequences or death” may at the discretion of the FDA Secretary be asked to comply to modified regulations only. In addition, this new version omits “any requirements that conflict with or duplicate the requirements of the national organic program established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990…” This is a step forward for organic and smaller growers. However, the proposed Tester Amendment (up this week for a vote for inclusion in S510) would, if included, go even further. It would definitely