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Policy

I’ll explain the expanding federal and state crackdown on private food sales—farm raids, court suits, trials, arrests—why it’s happening, how it’s moved beyond raw milk into meat and eggs, why it is nearly certain to expand into veggies via the Food Safety Modernization Act, and how communities and farmers can fight back.

On March 17, 2014, the joint legislative committee on Agriculture favorably reported out a redrafted bill calling for mandatory labeling of food or seeds containing GMOs! We are grateful to the legislators on the committee for listening to the growing concern about GMOs.

Things are happening on the GMO labeling front. I can’t promise you a law this year, but thanks to tremendous popular interest and support, we are beginning to make progress in the legislature.

First off, NOFA/Mass has hired a part time organizer, Amie Lindenboim, to work on this issue. She is an attorney, has been a volunteer and activist fighting GMOs for several years, and is a mother with two young children. Amie lives in Brookline and has already represented us at the State House and in area meetings.

Who amongst us does not hold some anxiety regarding climate change? Probably not too many of us at this point. Every time another big or bad or “un-natural” storm rolls through, or the news brings us word of a new record heat wave or extended drought, my blood pressure rises.

NOFA/Mass is part of a state-wide coalition to do just that with mandatory legislation. 
Want to know more? Go to: 

NOFA/Mass is supporting two petitions started by David Chapman, organic tomato grower in Vermont, urging the National Organic Program to adopt a recommendation of the National Organic Standards Board and refuse to allow hydroponic growing to be considered “organic”.

The NOFA/Mass Raw Milk Network today said that the state of Massachusetts, through the Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), handles licensing and regulation of raw milk sales well, and the towns that are home to the nearly 30 raw milk dairies in the state should continue to entrust that role to the professional inspectors and scientists at MDAR. The statement was issued because the town of Foxborough has proposed additional regulations for raw milk dairies operating in that town.

The comment period for the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) closes on 22nd (extended). Some of the proposed regulations would make it very difficult for small farmers, and those choosing to eat food from small farms, to continue current practices.

It’s hard to believe, but many of my colleagues and I have now been working on food safety issues for well over four years, at least since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) began to move through Congress in early 2009.  Throughout that time the road has been twisting and bumpy, with victories and losses along the way, but now the moment of truth has arrived.  In just a few weeks, on November 15, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will close the comment period on proposed new rules that would greatly affect many of the farmers who are doing the right thing.  It’s anyone’s guess ri

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
begun “listening sessions” around the country about
its proposed implementation of the Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA has estimated
that it could cost small farms up to $13,000 annually to
comply with the new regs, and the officials in attendance
at these hearings have gotten quite an earful.
 
On August 19, in Augusta Maine, farmers told state and
federal officials that: “You’re going to be putting farms

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