October 2, 2013

Natural Foodie: New head of MOFGA moves to Maine, and he's impressed

By Avery Yale Kamila

(Continued from page 3)

I would simply encourage anyone with concerns about the matter to continue to stay informed on developments and remain active in pressing for responsible rules and regulations at the state and federal levels.

Q: The FDA's new food safety regulations didn't get a warm reception in Maine. During a recent hearing, they were criticized for being too burdensome on small family farmers. What do people need to know about this issue?

A: We all want to ensure a safe food supply, but we also want to ensure that the FDA's final rules are not so burdensome as to drive family farmers out of production. One size does not fit all. Regulations must be scale-appropriate to be effective.

The rules as proposed now not only threaten to put small farms and processors out of business, they also have the potential to undermine other public health goals, such as increased production, availability and access to healthy foods.

Dave Colson, MOFGA's agricultural services director, has written a short briefing paper on the proposed rules, which I recommend to anyone wishing to learn more about MOFGA's view of the FDA draft plan. I also urge those with an interest in commenting directly to the FDA to follow the links contained in Dave's paper for information on how to do so.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share about the current state of food in America or your move to Maine?

A: Maine is a great state that has, through MOFGA's leadership, been way ahead of the curve in building the organic food movement. I'm looking forward to my move to a region that places access to good, organic food so high on the list of priorities, and to working with a group of people so clearly dedicated to ensuring the long-term success of organic farmers and gardeners.

Avery Yale Kamila is a freelancer who lives in Portland, where she buys from Maine's organic farmers and writes about health food. She can be reached at:

avery.kamila@gmail.com

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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