Can We Have Our (Safe and Local) Cake and Eat It Too? Oregon Re-crafts Food Safety Regulations for Farm Direct Marketed Foods
AbstractFood safety regulations involve a tradeoff: the costs of regulatory compliance in exchange for a reduction in the risk of foodborne illness. But local food advocates point out that these costs have a disproportionate impact on small food producers, and that this impact threatens the viability and continued growth of the farm direct marketing sector. Oregon's farm direct marketers and local food advocates crafted new legislation to reform three areas of food safety regulatory affecting farm direct marketers: (1) licensing of the physical spaces where farm direct products are sold, (2) streamlining produce peddler licenses, and (3) deregulating specified low-risk producer-processed farm direct marketed products. Oregon's Farm Direct Marketing Bill, HB 2336, passed the Oregon legislature; it became effective January 1, 2012. The Oregon Department of Agriculture issued final administrative rules on June 1, 2012. After reviewing the narrow exemptions in the law and the unique characteristics of farm direct foods, it appears that Oregon's Farm Direct Marketing Bill preserves food safety while fostering the direct farm marketing sector.
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