Oregon Department of Agriculture has asked us to share an opportunity with you. On August 12 & 14 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will be holding listening sessions on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in Ontario (12th) and Yakima (14th). The meetings will be a good opportunity for growers, packers, and processors to learn more about the FSMA and provide feedback to the FDA. All of the details for the events can be found here.
Attendance by growers at these meetings will be important for several reasons. First, the FDA does not come to the Pacific Northwest very often so this is a great opportunity for Oregon farmers to interact with an important federal agency. Second, in recent years activists have showed up to these types of listening sessions and raised unrelated issues with the agencies to push their agendas. If no growers are there to speak, the agencies can leave with the impression that the activists are speaking for all Oregon farmers. With the FDA having some regulatory authority over pesticides and biotechnology (GMOs), it would not be surprising to see people opposed to those tools show up to these listening sessions and push their agenda. It is crucial that growers attend these meetings and make sure we do not miss any opportunities.
Please share this meeting announcement within your group and encourage members to attend. It would be great if association and commission executives and board members could attend these important meetings.
Paulette will be attending the Ontario meeting, but in the meantime please let us know if you have any questions.
Scott, Paulette & Sandi
Oregonians for Food & Shelter (OFS)