Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

California’s Leafy Greens Producers Want Strong Food-Safety Laws

Opinion

This editorial was originally published September 12 on the LGMA’s blog.

The job of implementing new food-safety legislation under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) isn’t getting any easier for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pressure is mounting from some small farmers, foreign producers and consumer activist groups, who each have their own take on how the law should – or should not be – finalized.

Meanwhile, the issue of funding the cost of this sweeping legislation has still not been settled. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the challenge of making FSMA a reality is growing more and more complex.

Over the past several years, staff members from FDA have visited California to see and learn more about the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) and how this program is protecting public health for at least one segment of the U.S. produce industry.

The LGMA’s message to FDA is clear – we want strong food-safety laws. In fact, through the LGMA, a system of government oversight to ensure the safety of the majority of the nation’s leafy greens has been in place for more than six years. The program created by the California leafy greens industry in 2007 is based on science, includes mandatory government audits to verify that rigorous food-safety practices are being followed on leafy greens farms, and that there are real consequences for those who do not comply.

While others in the produce industry may be reluctant to embrace proposed food-safety rules, leafy greens farmers fully understand that they grow a product that is consumed in large quantities by people at home and in restaurants and it is frequently eaten raw. Leafy greens absolutely must be safe. The programs now in place in both California and Arizona not only meet the proposed requirements of FSMA, but they exceed the requirements of this new law.

The LGMA is proposing that FDA recognize our food-safety model and that, once FSMA is finalized, LGMA-certified leafy greens handlers be considered compliant with the new law.

These LGMA programs truly are a partnership between government and farming communities, with funding provided by industry and government serving to ensure compliance. By recognizing that the LGMA provides verification that handlers and growers are compliant with FSMA – and then some – FDA can be assured that more than 90 percent of the leafy greens produced in the U.S. are aligned with federal food-safety laws. With leafy greens taken care of, FDA can focus its attention on the other complexities of enacting this new law.

© Food Safety News
  • farmber

    Nothing like fake posts to smear your opponents, eh Jeremy?

  • George Wilson

    Jeremy,

    You should let people know the name of your farm and if you sell to the pubic.

    • JK

      Of course Jeremy sells to the public. Those CSAs and farmers markets are gold mines for all the narcissistic little Jeremys of the “buy local – eat organic” world. A great little racket — cash business so no tax worries and brainwashed customers with more money than brains begging to be scammed. Even a few infatuated noobs willing to do stoop labor down in the mud of those fabled small farms for free — these lackeys are called interns but there other more descriptive terms. Fools and their money are easily parted, ever since the days of PT Barnum. Get your daily dose of healthy magic — just pass me the cash — buy local, y’all!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shelley.just Shelley Powers

    “While others in the produce industry may be reluctant to embrace proposed food-safety rules, leafy greens farmers fully understand that they grow a product that is consumed in large quantities by people at home and in restaurants and it is frequently eaten raw. Leafy greens absolutely must be safe. The programs now in place in both California and Arizona not only meet the proposed requirements of FSMA, but they exceed the requirements of this new law.”

    Smart. These farmers lose every time a foodborne illness outbreak occurs related to leafy green vegetables. It’s little different than the California cantaloupe farmers trying to get the same rules and regs for all cantaloupe growsers–because one bad batch hurts everyone.

    Small farmer or large, all are hurt when there’s a scare related to a specific type of produce.

  • neubeginn

    Please, Jeremy…do you really think people are so stupid to believe that you anything but a troll? If you are trying to besmirch organic farmers with this fake post, you are failing miserably.

  • Colleen

    The food safety industry is built on fear and in support of large multi-nationals (let’s not fool ourselves where intentions lie). There are much bigger problems to be solved…. and a great start would be LOCAL food production. The food industry is so backwards, and I assure you it’s the largest companies pushing for stricter laws to weed out the little guys.

  • MalikaBourne

    Growing food for a country on a large scale has to be a an enormous challenge.

  • AuntyMM

    creating scorched-earth buffer zones around massive lettuce monoculture fields doesn’t sound very sustainable. if humans can’t coexist with natural landscapes, we have a problem. we don’t need bagged salad that bad.

    according to joel salatin, if cattle and other livestock were eating a natural grass diet instead of a diet of grains that makes them unhealthy, we would not have these problems with e coli and other resistant bacteria. these unnatural diets make their digestive systems more acidic, transforming harmless e coli into versions that can make you sick.

    the real problem here is our fossil-fuel agriculture, not natural flora or fauna.