FDA regulations too great a burden on small farmers

EDGEWATER -- So the FDA has now passed “sweeping new safety rules” to keep our food safe and avoid these outbreaks of bacteria born disease which have killed many of this country’s citizens. Now, isn’t that nice?

Should the producers of our food have to be told to keep their facilities and their machinery clean? Should they have to be told to insure irrigation water is clean, that workers wash their hands and animals be kept out of the growing areas? Must they be threatened with inspectors so they will do what is only the moral and right thing to do?

I find it hard to believe that we can’t figure out how to make cleanliness a priority with people handling our food products.

If you think about it, farmers don’t provide places for the pickers to wash their hands or go to the bathroom so how do you suppose they manage to do those things? The cows, horses and other animals wander through and also drink from the water and that water ends up on our food.

The more expense a grower or farmer has to go to to insure the proper cleanliness is achieved the less he makes so how diligent is he going to be?

These new rules are expected to cost half a billion dollars a year to implement. Most farms and orchards are hundreds of acres. That is so unmanageable.

No one is even mentioning how we are going to pay these inspectors. We have some now, but they are so few compared to how many places they are to inspect that the farms don’t see them as often as we would think. So we add more but then our prices and taxes go higher again.

There are, naturally, responsible food producers out there who already have these types of rules in place but those who don’t have been making many people sick for years. Reading how inspectors found pools of dirty water on the floors where the infected cantaloupe was processed and that the equipment was old and dirty turns ones stomach.

We are at their mercy unfortunately.

We need to go back to the small local farmers and stop these huge corporations who could care less if we get sick as long as they are making money.

Sadly, the small farmer cannot compete with the large corporate farm prices so we have to be prepared to pay a little more for our local produce and meat.

If we support the local people, I think eventually we can go back to many small farms and fewer corporations making us sick for their profits.

I’d rather pay a local farmer I know who is diligent about his products than some corporation that is lining its pockets at the expense of my family’s health and well being. Wouldn’t you?

Darlene Vann Picture

Short Bio

Musings By Darlene Vann
Darlene Vann is a resident of Edgewater and has been with the 24/7 Internet newspaper from the onset. She likes to write about the lighter side of life, but sometimes feels compelled to tackle some of the tougher issues.