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Do you use untreated or raw manure on your farm? I know it’s a weird question; I’m asking because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs information about how farmers use manure to grow produce, and CFSA’s Policy Team wants to make sure FDA hears from you.
It’s exciting that FDA is even asking about how and where you use manure on your farm. Do you remember the huge victory that you, CFSA, and the broader sustainable agriculture community achieved during the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? At first, FDA wrote the rules in a way that tried to severely restricted how and where farmers could use manure — particularly when it came to the length of time between the last application of raw or untreated manure to a field and when a produce crop is harvested from that field.
But then, farmers in the Carolinas, CFSA, and others in the sustainable agriculture community explained to FDA that a nine month waiting period between application and harvest did not account for regional differences in climate and growing seasons, or the diversity of production practices that farmers use across the country. FDA listened! It agreed to go back to the drawing board. And now we need to hear about your specific practices when it comes to using manure so that we can advocate for you with the FDA.
To make sure FDA’s research and the rule about manure use that it will eventually publish takes into account how farmers like you use biological soil amendments, particularly raw or untreated animal manure, we are asking for your participation in the survey below.
The information you submit will remain anonymous unless you choose to identify yourself. CFSA and NSAC will use your answers in the comments and in ongoing dialogue with FDA to ensure FDA’s new food safety standards work for sustainable agriculture.
Please complete this survey by MAY 20 so we can aggregate the responses and integrate them into the comments we will provide to FDA. We recognize this is a busy time of a year for you, and we apologize for asking for responses in such a short time window. The questions should take about 20 minutes to answer. Your input is so valuable to this process.
Thank you for all you do.
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