Tester applauds planned FDA rule changes

Senator will carefully review new proposals that affect small producers

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that – after reviewing public comment – it will publish revised rules on improving food safety in the coming months. Tester, who amended the Food Safety Modernization Act to protect small producers from onerous new regulations, recently pushed the FDA to listen to the concerns of small producers and better protect them from rules they “don’t need and can’t afford:”

“Small growers and producers selling straight to local consumers don’t require the same rules as large producers, and I’m glad the FDA is finally catching on. I look forward to making sure the new rules better protect the small producers who feed our families and deserve better than one-size-fits-all regulations.”

Tester, the Senate’s only working farmer, recently met with FDA Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor to discuss the proposed rules. Tester amended Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011 to protect smaller Montana farmers and producers from onerous federal regulations if they sell the majority of their food locally to consumers and have less than $500,000 in gross annual sales.

But the FDA’s initial attempts to implement the law ignored Tester’s amendment, prompting Tester and small producers from Montana and nationwide to force the FDA to re-visit its proposals.

According to an FDA blog post published today, the agency plans to publish its revised rules by early summer of 2014.

More information about Tester’s work to revise the FDA’s regulations is available online HERE.