added expense is going to drive an awful lot of farms out of business, and at
a time when people are asking for more and more local food for their tables,
itís going to mean fewer venders available to sell to farm markets, fewer
choices for consumers."
According to the
FDAís own estimate, a small farm would bear an initial cost of more than $27,000;
then an annual cost of about $13,000. Laughlin says that would wipe out a good
chunk of annual profits for small farms like his.
While he agrees
food safety is important, Laughlin says the new rules favor big corporate farms
and hurt family farmers, who will struggle to absorb the costs of new equipment
do have rules and regulations, they do need to be size-specific, and it canít
be a 'one size fits all.'"
Laughlin says it
isn't just farmers who need to weigh in on the matter.
"For the consumers that are out there shopping at
the farm markets, if itís something thatís very important to you then you
need to get involved and get a hold of the FDA, and let 'em know what you
The Ohio Ecological
Food and Farm Association has posted information on how to comment on its
The FDA is accepting
public comments on the proposed changes until November 15.
Information provided by Ohio News Connection