Meeting will give New Hampshire farmers opportunity to express concerns, engage with FDA

July 26, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to a request by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will participate in a public input session in New Hampshire for farmers to comment on proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules.  Last month, Shaheen and Kuster led a bipartisan, bicameral group of 20 Senators and Representatives in calling on the FDA to come to New England after hearing concerns about these new rules potentially burdening small farmers throughout the region.

The event will be hosted by the New Hampshire and Vermont Departments of Agriculture on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Hopkins Center on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover.  The session will specifically focus on FDA’s proposed rules for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a 2011 law revamping food safety laws to increase the safety of our food supply.  Small farmers across New Hampshire and New England could be substantially impacted by these regulatory overhauls.

“Our farmers represent a vital part of our economy and they deserve protections from excessive, burdensome regulations,” said Shaheen and Kuster. “This public forum will give our farmers an opportunity to express concerns about these new rules and regulations and we’re pleased the FDA has extended this opportunity at our request. We hope the FDA will fully consider all the concerns raised by New England’s farmers and consumers before finalizing these rules.”

Although the questions and comments posed by the public will not be considered part of the official comment period, this session will offer an opportunity for the FDA to hear directly from farmers and consumers and help provide needed clarification about the proposed rules.  Members of the public are also encouraged to submit their questions and comments for the official record in addition to attending the public input session.

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