Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Regulations

After reviewing the mishmash of existing food-related regulations, a team from food law and policy divisions at Vermont Law School and Harvard Law School have issued what it’s calling The Blueprint for a National Food Strategy.

The team finds there are 15 federal agencies implementing more than 30 different food safety statutes.

Here are a few of its recommendations to streamline food policies:

  • Have one lead office or agency in charge, and give it the resources needed to create and implement policy.
  • Make state, local, and tribal governments key partners.
  • Create a transparent system that includes a written document with expected outcomes, goals, implementation measures, and concrete metrics. An annual reports that include factual progress on measurable goals will maintain this transparency.
  • Ensure a feedback from those affected by policy, including the public.
  • Keep the strategy realistic and relevant with scheduled updates to reflect changing scientific, economic, technological, and social advances.
  • Eliminate capricious implementation by creating a procedural mechanism to guide agency decision-making.

During the research phase of putting together their report, the team asked current food-policy experts within the USDA, EPA, and other governmental agencies, university professors, leaders of food-policy interest groups, and other influencers four main questions:

  1. What do you see as the opportunities and pitfalls of a national food strategy?
  2. What areas and issues should be covered as part of a national strategy?
  3. How should it be structured?
  4. Who should provide input and how?

The responses reflect the interests of the groups surveyed. Here’s what the Vermont and Harvard team learned about creating a unifying U.S. food strategy:

It’s too complicated. Many respondents felt “any attempt to achieve coordination among decision-makers would prove futile. Specifically, they felt that it would be difficult to bring all of the key players to the same table, let alone achieve any kind of agreement,” the team wrote.

The goal is too lofty. Many surveyed felt that unifying a food strategy would be either too abstract or too exhaustive, making it meaningless.

A top-down policy can be a problem. Would a centralized policy by the federal government eliminate local, regional, and grassroots perspectives and priorities?

A unified policy would exclude too many. Will underrepresented interests and groups (like small farms, low-income consumers, minorities, and state and local governments) have a voice?

It will be a platform for corporate interests. The stereotypes of  “large-scale agriculture” and big business made several of those surveyed nervous that any national strategy would benefit these groups more than consumers.

The report is interactive, requesting feedback at several points. If you would like to make sure grower voices are heard, you will want to click through and contribute your own comments.

To learn more, visit its website, FoodStrategyBlueprint.org.

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Campus of Massey University in New Zealand
Citrus
March 23, 2017
Count Down the World’s Top 30 Agriculture Colleges
Familiar names and several new faces among annual ranking’s elite. Read More
Business Planning
March 22, 2017
How HortTech Is Solving Grower Challenges
Dozens of tech companies are looking for solutions to real-world problems vegetable growers face. We take a look at what it could really mean for you and your business. Read More
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Proposed USDA, EPA Budget Cuts
New plan would slash USDA spending by 21%. Read More
fork digging into a plate full of salad
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Since When Did Eating Get So Complicated? [Opinion]
The bottom line to all this is the way we eat is undergoing massive disruption. Read More
Swadesh Santra of UCF
Citrus
March 16, 2017
UCF Stepping up to Be Farming’s Knight in Shining Armor
Hopes are high that the school's new agriculture research center will help growers solve production issues and feed the globe. Read More
A.H. Whitmore Farm in Leesburg, FL, as seen from Google Earth
Varieties & Rootstocks
March 16, 2017
Experimental Citrus Groves Disappearing in Florida
Challenges to growth expand as vital research is in dire need of a home. Read More
Frozen blueberries
Berries
March 15, 2017
Arctic Blast Gives Southern Fruit Growers the Chills
Peaches and berries in bloom most at risk from freezing temperatures. Read More
Citrus
March 15, 2017
Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Regulations
There are 15 federal agencies implement more than 30 different food safety statutes. A team of experts believe they have a solution. Read More
Cutting the power cord
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Can Your Farm Survive If the Grid Goes Down? Can You?
Even in a plugged-in world, the basics are needed now more than ever. Read More
Stormy skies over Florida
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Concerns Mount in the Sunshine State Over Growing Rainfall Deficits
Water conservation efforts called for as the dry season rolls on. Read More
Citrus
March 10, 2017
Jim Gorden Named California Citrus Research Board Chairman
Gorden, who previously served as chief of the California organization, was a partner in the first independent citrus pest management consulting company in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
Florida citrus grove
Citrus
March 9, 2017
Florida Citrus Crop Besieged By Sinking Feeling
Latest USDA estimate yanks healthy chunk out of projected yield for oranges. Read More
Banding dry fertilizer on a potato field
Citrus
March 7, 2017
The Andersons Divests Florida Farm Center Locations
Local, family owned custom blend fertilizer company taking over assets and product distribution responsibilities. Read More
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans speaks to crowd at Biocontrols USA West 2017
Citrus
March 6, 2017
More Growers Willing to Bet on Biocontrols
Industry event highlighting alternative pest management methods draws interested crowd to Reno. Read More
Florida red grapefruit samples
Grapefruit & Specialty
March 1, 2017
Is South Korea a Grapefruit Market Goldmine?
Researchers are finding high demand for the tart citrus, opening the door for opportunistic Florida growers to fill the need. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
March 27, 2017
Say Hello to the New Miss Florida Citrus
Storied tradition continues with crowning of the industry’s newest advocate. Read More
Citrus
March 25, 2017
New Videos Offer Tips on Planting Pollin…
A new video series on planting flowering habitats is designed to help growers support crop pollinators. Read More
Citrus
March 24, 2017
Marrone Bio Introduces Biostimulant to R…
Haven Anti-transpirant helps to reduce transpiration of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. Read More
Citrus
March 23, 2017
Count Down the World’s Top 30 Agricultur…
Familiar names and several new faces among annual ranking’s elite. Read More
Business Planning
March 22, 2017
How HortTech Is Solving Grower Challenge…
Dozens of tech companies are looking for solutions to real-world problems vegetable growers face. We take a look at what it could really mean for you and your business. Read More
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Pro…
New plan would slash USDA spending by 21%. Read More
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Since When Did Eating Get So Complicated…
The bottom line to all this is the way we eat is undergoing massive disruption. Read More
Citrus
March 16, 2017
UCF Stepping up to Be Farming’s Kn…
Hopes are high that the school's new agriculture research center will help growers solve production issues and feed the globe. Read More
Berries
March 15, 2017
Arctic Blast Gives Southern Fruit Grower…
Peaches and berries in bloom most at risk from freezing temperatures. Read More
Citrus
March 15, 2017
Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Re…
There are 15 federal agencies implement more than 30 different food safety statutes. A team of experts believe they have a solution. Read More
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Can Your Farm Survive If the Grid Goes D…
Even in a plugged-in world, the basics are needed now more than ever. Read More
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Concerns Mount in the Sunshine State Ove…
Water conservation efforts called for as the dry season rolls on. Read More
Citrus
March 10, 2017
Jim Gorden Named California Citrus Resea…
Gorden, who previously served as chief of the California organization, was a partner in the first independent citrus pest management consulting company in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
Citrus
March 9, 2017
Florida Citrus Crop Besieged By Sinking …
Latest USDA estimate yanks healthy chunk out of projected yield for oranges. Read More
Citrus
March 7, 2017
The Andersons Divests Florida Farm Cente…
Local, family owned custom blend fertilizer company taking over assets and product distribution responsibilities. Read More
Citrus
March 6, 2017
More Growers Willing to Bet on Biocontro…
Industry event highlighting alternative pest management methods draws interested crowd to Reno. Read More
Citrus
February 28, 2017
Trump Set to Ditch Controversial Water R…
WOTUS could be on the way out after an executive order calls for a top-to-bottom review. Read More
Citrus
February 25, 2017
Citrus Research Investments Yielding Pos…
Despite still having mounds of wood to chop, grower, federal, and state programs collectively are making a dent. Read More