Leanne Skelton, chief of the Fresh Products Branch of the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service, is working with the FDA to help develop new food safety rules.
Through this coordinated effort, the FDA will gather information and feedback from the fresh produce industry—including small and organic farmers—on the impact food safety rules have on their businesses.
“President Obama, like most Americans, wants immediate improvements in our food safety system,” says Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “As such, we are pulling together all our best resources—state and federal—to improve the safety of our foods and to work with growers to protect and promote the health of our nation.”
“The USDA and the FDA have joined together on listening sessions and farm tours, and are eager to develop a system of regulation that will work for American families and the growers,” adds the USDA’s Rayne Pegg.
In media statements, the Feds are emphasizing that they want to speak with local growers across the country to hear their ideas, concerns and experiences.
Time will tell whether local and organic farmers get the attention they deserve.