Your feedback on Food Safety Modernization Act impact needed

Will the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) cost you money? Will it add to your overloaded schedule with additional paperwork and recordkeeping requirements? Will facility upgrades need to be made to come into compliance? Speak up in an anonymous survey.

New rules are on the way for produce growers. As many growers are aware, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for the first time regulates the growing of fresh produce under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FSMA spans over 500 pages and is extremely complex. Invariably, it will change how farmers grow food that will be sold in the United States.

Currently, a nationwide survey is being conducted to get a grasp on the impacts of FSMA on farmers. The research looks at both what FSMA requirements are currently standard practice on farms and how changes that are made to comply with FSMA may cost growers. The survey also looks to see how these elements are different in different sized farms.

Erik Lichtenberg, professor at the University of Maryland, explains, “This research is very policy-relevant and could help guide future food safety legislation, so we encourage all vegetable and fruit growers to participate. The survey is intended for farm owners and managers growing vegetables or fruit. It takes about 10 minutes to complete, all of the questions in the survey are optional, and we do not collect any identifying information about participants or farms.”

To participate in the survey, go to and enter the password “msu.” After completing the survey, growers have the chance to enter a drawing to win a free iPad.

These rules will become law and all growers, irrespective of size, will need to make at least some changes as a result of them. Taking the time now to become familiar with what is being proposed is imperative. Voicing your concern about impacts may ultimately shape the implementation of this rule.

If you have specific questions about the produce rule or have difficulty tailoring GAPs to your farm, contact Michigan State University Extension’s Agrifood Safety Work Group at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 517-788-4292. 

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