FDA, Flooded with Protests, Revises Food Safety Rules

Group of Protester in Back LitThe agency has responded to comments from ANH-USA activists and other stakeholders. Here’s what they’re proposing now. Action Alert!

In May we reported that the FDA is currently drafting rules that implement the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). As we noted then, some of the rules that have been proposed so far have brought a deafening outcry from small farmers, prominent members of Congress, consumers, and even big business. This response presumably caused the FDA to backtrack considerably, and the agency addressed many of the concerns you raised. On September 19, the FDA released several revised rules. The public has an additional seventy-five days to comment.

Produce Safety

Soil: The FDA initially said farmers had to wait nine months to harvest whenever they apply biological soil enhancements (e.g., manure, agricultural tea, and yard refuse rather than synthetic chemicals). This runs contrary to organic regulations, and puts many organic fields out of production for an entire growing season. We reported about this last February when Jim Crawford, a celebrated organic farmer in Maryland, was warned of the huge fines that awaited him if he continued applying manure as he had for decades (and as organic regulations require).
Facing a backlash of “strong concerns expressed by stakeholders,” FDA decided to defer its decision on an appropriate interval between manure application and harvest, pending further study. While we’ve bought time and further study, will have to keep an eye on FDA for what they ultimately decide. The agency noted, however, that they will work with the USDA to encourage (read: pressure) growers to use compost instead of raw manure.
Water: The FDA’s water quality standards mandated that farmers test and chemically treat their irrigation water on a weekly basis. If the water exceeds the FDA’s standards for generic E. coli, farmers would either have to cease to use it or chemically treat it. In the revised rule, the FDA is now providing more options for water sources that don’t immediately meet quality standards, including allowing enough days either from the last irrigation to the harvest or from the harvest to the end of storage to allow pathogens to die off naturally, as well as a tiered approach to water testing, in which the frequency of testing would depend on the level of risk from the water source and on the results of prior tests. These changes make it even more complicated for small or family farmers, and even with them some farmers will have to chemically to treat their water.

Spent Grain

In May we discussed how for centuries, small breweries and bakeries have been giving their spent grains—free of charge—to local farmers, who then feed it to their cattle. Under FSMA, the FDA placed spent grain under the same regulations as pet food. We were concerned that brewers would be forced to spend thousands of dollars a year on grain disposal (which will still be cheaper than implementing the FDA’s “safety” regulations), while farmers would be forced to pay an additional $300 to $400 per day for feed.
Under the revised rule, food manufacturers like brewers or bakers will not be subject to additional controls under the animal feed rule except for upholding current Good Manufacturing Practices to prevent physical or chemical contamination. As we said a few months ago, it is apparent that cGMPs like these are already being followed, since there hasn’t been a single reported case of an animal or human being harmed by spent grain.
We were also concerned that the FDA, using vague criteria in the food safety regulations, could revoke the exemptions that some small farms enjoy. The legislation, clearly influenced by big company lobbyists, provided that small farmers have only sixty days to come into compliance, whereas regular facilities have anywhere from one to six years. In the revised rule, the FDA has agreed to provide greater specificity on the conditions that could result in a revoked exemption. Farmers would have an extended compliance period—120 days instead of sixty—so while it’s a little better, it’s still a far cry from one to six years!
The food safety legislation for the first time gave the FDA authority over farming. We warned at the time that the agency knew nothing about farming. In addition it would be, as usual, influenced by major corporations, not by organic or small family farmers.
The agency’s evident bias against manure and natural water sources makes it clear how little it knows about farming. How could it know about farming, a complicated subject that requires years of hands on experience to master? How can drug or food analysts in Washington know what makes sense for actual on-the-ground farmers? Even the US Department of Agriculture, which has had decades to develop agricultural expertise, has never been given the power over farmers that Congress just gave the FDA.
We all know what FDA control of drugs has done to drug prices, quite apart to the damage to natural health methods. Imagine what food prices we may eventually see if we keep going this way, again quite apart from the damage to organic agriculture.
We should note that these new rule revisions were just released. They are dense and complicated (each of the four new rules has hundreds of pages of technical, regulatory language), and we are continuing to study them carefully. We will, of course, alert you if we find anything else here that is cause for concern!
Action Alert! Please send your comments to the FDA about the agency’s newly revised rules. Explain how their revisions are heading in the right direction, but don’t go nearly far enough.


  1. I am one of the estimat4ed 10 million + in the USA that serous adverse reactions to some of the common hmials like ethanol alcohol and formaldehyde and all the propdects that break down into thsin sin the body. we are excluded form clnical tiral and prescritions durgs so what good is the FDA to mess with supplements?
    There are times when one has a medical problems where some meds are needed. It took three days for the pharmacetical company to finally admit it,. Fied my med watch to toady.

    1. Sorry about the comment that got sent in error, I am literally dealing with a hang over’ symptoms from the ethanol alcohol in a small pill I have now taken three days and finally sorted all other sources out and it had to be that. The pharmaceutical company admitted that ethanol alcohol was not on the package insert nor online in the PDR. As one of the 10 million plus who do not have allergies but the opposite kinds of adverse reactions and the main ones for me are formaldehyde and ethanol alcohol,. The first gets hidden in many different ways on a label. There are times the natural is not enough when one has a medical problem. I have changed my diet to try and help my thyroid to start working properly again after some damage done. The medication I seems to help, but the pill is ‘killing’ me. Those of us who are chemically sensitive are excluded form clinical trials and how many patients can even get the right tests run to even know anymore s I did allergic reaction produces a kind of ‘antibody ; in an IGE test.. Plus for us with comically induced asthmas who now have no safe inhalers anymore, methacholine challenge test proves that for most of us., I have had an approved federal workers compensation case since 1/10..9 on this so if the govt says I have it , I do and I do
      Time the FDA stops worrying so much about supplements and vitamins and raw milk and start taking care of the programs they are to be over seeing . I spoke to one lady today at FDA and she thought it was ludicrous c too that something as common as ethanol alcohol did not have to be on the label, Now my doctor is sending forms in to insurance to get an ok for another name brand that uses coconut , sunflower etc. oil instead and pray it will be ok and approved for payment. Medical costs rise all around when what is in a medication is kept secret, In the mean time, a hypothyroid diet is being eaten and thanks for all the online sites that male it way to learn what that is, got to go drink my tomato juice with cayenne pepper to get over the hang over from three small pills, We are not all the same physically and why patients, doctors and pharmacist need to be told the truth, WHERE;S THE FDA? PUT TRACKING DOWN SOMEONE DRINKING RAW MILK, that rarely has anyone gotten sick from, But in our milk from the grocery they want to put in aspartame and not label that and we all know that is bad stuff., Linda Joy Adams

  2. The complete dismissive attitude of the FDA and other government agencies leave me little doubt that they will do NOTHING when it comes to the interests of the populous!!! They allow know poisons, and carcinogens into the food supply, and sometimes knowingly hurting the citizenry, causing disease and long term health problems!!! Get the Fluoride OUT, Get the Aspartame OUT, get the Neotame OUT, and STOP with the Bullshit Flu vaccines that have NEVER been proven as effective!!! It says it right in the insert of the box!!!

  3. We all need to eat and we all need to eat right…no exceptions. In order to eat right, food, meat and fish, etc need to be right in order to eat it. In otherwords, chemicals were never used in times past [ biblical times ] and those people were very healthy…why? Because they did things organically, with no chemicals. We have chemicals in our foods and meats, in our water and plus taking chemicals for everything. People need to look at these things very seriously as it is causing many physical problems. While I’m not against meds, we still need to slow down and let people get healthy again. Organic foods and meats, etc can help us that way. I too feel this is not in the area for the FDA, but for those that know what and why they do what they do best…farm ! Greed should never step in to harm, but caring for others should.

  4. It appears that you are heading in the right direction but it is not nearly enough. We expect better from your departments.

  5. When the FDA administration and every committee therein employes farmers, the the FDA will be in a position to determine farming practices that reflect real life farming by real life farmers, not hired hands from the city.
    Apparently the FDA has strived to make rules as if farming is the latest, newest job. Farming, growing food predates even the Bible, not to mention the US Constitution.
    FDA, hire food growers before you attempt to tackle policy that effects the practice and business called farming.

  6. Please leave the job of organic farmers to farmers who have been using these methods for centuries and in those centuries health was not damaged because of foods. It is only since the use of pesticides and herbicides that we have seen damage to the balance of nature; such as the bees dying off.

  7. Does anyone know how to get through to our elected officials? I send emails and sign petitions, but it seems that most times they do what they want to regardless of feedback from citizens.

  8. The FDA’s newly revised rules are going in the right direction, but not yet going far enough! Let’s go forward, for the sake of our health, and our children’s and grandchildren’s health.

  9. Your rule revisions are the right course, but they do not go far enough. Please, keep working at improving the rules.
    Thank you.

  10. The FDA needs to protect the organic farmers along with citizens health. Organic farming is healthier than the Monsanto type of chemical farming. Do not let the big agribusiness overwhelm the rights of small farmers and citizens who want healthy organic foods.

    1. How can the FDA Support Organic and Small Family Farms when it is controlled and managed by ex Monsanto employees, some of whom seem to be using a revolving door betwqeen FDA and Monsanto?

  11. I am truly shocked and heartbroken at these out-of-control, irrational “laws” – I have known about the UN’s Codex Alimentarius for several years, but it is crushing all of us who value healthy, living foods and lifestyle. I hope, pray and work for us all to have the choice to be healthy – but I am afraid we can only succeed if many, many people join together against this draconian force destroying our beautiful, sacred planet. May goodness prevail,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  12. I am not able to participate in the action alerts. After reaching the comment page, I am shifted to a web page with multiple web addresses on it. This has gone on for some time!

    1. Thanks for reaching out to us about this, and I’m hoping to get this sorted out for a few other members mentioning this problem. Can you tell me whether or not you’re logged in to the website when trying to access the petitions? Thanks for your help in getting the fixed!

    2. Hello Mr. Cole, Please make sure you’re logged in to ANH’s website to send out action alerts. Let me know if you still experience issues. Thanks!

  13. Finally we have government workers disclosing what is really going on. Chemtrails, water fluoridation, genetically modified foods, and toxic vaccines are part Agenda 21’s plan to depopulate the Earth. Some people believe there are too many people. I disagree. Do watch the following videos for the “rest of the story”.
    Depopulation Agenda’s from the U.N., Fabian Society,Club of Rome, Agenda 21, CFR 0:24:55
    Dr. Rima Laibow Exposes Genocidal Plot: 1:21:18

  14. I am concerned by the apparent political aspect of the “rules.” I am a farmer’s daughter. I have mucked out many a dairy farm; the manure was spread on our fields.I beg to ask just why the FDA is in the farming business anyway? Better lobbyists?
    These rules have obviously been made by non-farmers. How sad and what a missed opportunity. Test this, test that, while the frivolous activities of frackers contaminates our water supply remains untested…and dares us to test our water.
    I so appreciate organic food; i.e., GMO food rots before it ripens, however, GMO food can be organic. I use organic food as medicine. To re cap, then the poison that Monsanto uses is okay, untested water, quality, or nutrition, that’s okay? No rules for them? Is it okay to use poisons?

  15. As natural medicine professionals, we feel strongly that Organic farms should be able to operate much like they have for centuries, and that the soils are living organisms. We need to pay attention to what has happened in India with the Monsanto chemical spraying of GMO seeds crops during the so-called “Green Revolution”. That killed off the bacteria and creatures that create living soil and support plant life.
    The FDA needs to stay OUT of farming, something it knows precious little about, or it would not be allowing poisoned, GMO’d grain and veggies into our food supply. These create inflammatory proteins and free-radicals in the bodies who consume them resulting in MANY chronic diseases which we see at our clinic daily.

    1. I’m surprised the moderator of this site put up your comments, as well as seeing 2 likes. Let’s keep it civil, please.

      1. Apologies, Ms. White. The OP’s comments have been edited. We encourage productive and respectful discussion, as you’ve also noted. Thank you.

  16. Honestly,
    I dont understand how we can even consider gmo labeling. This is not an option, this is a manipulation. We need to say “NO”, we dont ever want gmo. Stop this now! We already know there are major health hazzzards in gmo anything. What exactly is labeling supposed to accomplish? Especially in the time frame given. There will be major health problems, (for children, seniors, others who are already compromised health wise, as well as currently healthy individuals), thus encouraging and supporting the medical establishment, and shareholders) all the while degrading and decreasing the populace. Why are we even allowing others to make these decisions. Who in their right mind wants to eat or utilize gmos? Someone, please explain this to me.
    Please, wakeup! Why are we not demanding what is already ours? This situation is just as serious as what is going on with our climate and those who are spraying chemical trails in our air, on our earth, in our oceans and on all of us. This is all interrelated. Has anyone looked up in the air and seen the chemtrails hanging on, turning whispy then creating a thin cover. Go ahead, listen to concerned citizens all across the globe, nation to nation. Even they are refusing the gmos. Start researching and educating yourselves. Please.

  17. The FDAs obvious bent is for ‘big’ bisness. I don’t think this was a real, thought out decision. The dept of Agriculture seems like it could handle the job much better. They at least have not so obviously bent their thinking to match whoever has the most money to give away as the FDA has. And it seems that giving the power over organic farms, instead of the Dept of Africukture will give the two departments too much to disagree/fight over, thus causing a disruption in the work they can, will do.

    1. I’m quite sure that the Dept. of Agriculture will do for our food supply what the Dept. of Education has done to both teaching and learning; make it non-functional for anyone without enough cash to bypass them.

      1. I think PADRE is refering ot the FDA not the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) that is suspect, at least I Hope that is what he’s saying. The FDA is taking stands on issues that they know very little about (evident by their proposals) and have no reasons to follow thru on other than their own monetary gain. As stated previously, if there’s any regulations to be made to agricultural practices, it should be made thru the USDA NOT the FDA.

  18. keep going the small farmers need legislation that will help them not hinder them
    The biggest problems with our food supply come from factory farms not small farms.
    neighbors don.t poison their neighbors. we work to feed each other

  19. I rely heavily upon the wisdom and scope of several very aware and conscious overseeing organizations, such as The Aliiance for Natural Health. I defer to their investigative results and recommendations on these matters.

  20. I guess I’ve been out of the loop, but why is the FDA doing this as opposed to the USDA? What does the USDA do if it isn’t overseeing farming?

    1. What’s up is down and what is down is up!
      If the USDA were to write the rules, then they would have to destroy the cess pools called animal feed lots.
      This all smells of Big Agra influence in Washington and our spine
      less leaders we elected.

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