"what is very clear is that government raids of producers, distributors, and even consumers of nutritionally dense foods appear to be happening ever more frequently. Sometimes they are meant to counter raw dairy production, other times to challenge private food organizations over whether they should be licensed as food retailers"
It's much more than raw milk- consider Farmer's Market's.
>>The primary goals of the new regulations are the prevention of problems and the ability to trace a contaminated food back to the field it was grown in within 48 hours.
In order to achieve the rigorous traceability goals, the Food and Drug Administration will have to increase requirements for recordkeeping, which will cost farmers time and money.
One of the more contentious provisions of the bill would require farmers who sell to the public to get the contact information from every single customer. Some customers at roadside stands might balk at giving a stranger their personal information just to buy a cucumber, especially when they can buy some from the grocery store without having to give up their name and address.
Additional costs incurred by the bill will likely include purchasing new sanitary harvest containers, toilet facilities and hand-washing stations.
There are provisions in the bill that would also require farmers to register with the FDA, paying a $500 yearly fee and also undergo safety inspections every year. Some media reports say the inspections could cost up to $100 an hour.
As a result, to sell some green beans to your neighbors, a small farmer may have to pay as much as $1000 to satisfy government regulations before they even sell a single bushel.
Many local farmers and farmer’s market coordinators in North Carolina have expressed their outrage at the bill, especially as the public have shown an increased interest in buying food from local sources.
“In regards to the new ‘food safety’ law i think it’s a shame,” said Jason Stegall, who operates two farmer’s markets in the Raleigh area.
The farmer’s markets allow local food growers to sell directly to the public at higher than wholesale prices, allowing them to receive a greater return. Incurring further costs and regulations could keep many from selling to the public, he said.
“The local sustainable food system has gained great momentum over last few years,” said Stegall. “For the first time we are seeing out of work people turn to the land to do this extremely important work of providing quality all natural food at fair prices. This new law will be a huge discouragement for many as it is already a very tough job.”
“This law will definitely affect many and damper the momentum we have all worked to build up,” he added.
Another farmer in eastern North Carolina who both sells to wholesale suppliers and the general public echoed those sentiments.
“I wouldn’t be against having all farms requiring some kind of sanitation coursework, but I think when you mandate it based on something bigger, it’s always going to affect the little guy more so,” said Ben Davis, owner of a transitioning organic farm in Washington, N.C.