Dec 05 2007
the entire program
GUEST: Judith Redmond, Board President of Community Alliance with Family Farmers and co-owner of Full Belly Farms
A recent amendment by California Senator Diane Feinstein to the 2007 Farm Bill on leafy greens, had family farmers up in arms. Feinstein has proposed regulating all leafy green vegetable production in the United States, a move which could negatively impact thousands of traditional leafy green farmers, in particular organic and sustainable farmers. As a result, the amendment could effectively eliminate access to local leafy greens nationwide. Feinstein did withdraw her amendment but could still bring it back. Instead of consulting with small and organic farmers, she had vetted her amendment with an industry association which helped to create the California Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (LGMA) guidelines. The LGMA was crafted in reaction to the 2006 E. coli outbreaks, which resulted in more than 200 illnesses and three deaths. But the approach of Feinstein and large commercial leafy greens producers, makes no distinction between pre-cut, industrially produced bagged salads, and traditional whole greens, available at most health food stores and farmers’ markets. Earlier this week the US Department of Agriculture accepted public comments on its proposal to handle regulations of leafy green products under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937.
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