Hagan slams FDA regulations on small farmers

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Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat small farmers fairly in new food safety regulations.

Hagan said recent rules proposed by the FDA were unclear on whether a farm could qualify for small-operations food safety requirements.

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“I am committed to ensuring that family farms selling at farmers' markets and local co-ops are not burdened by regulations that are designed for large producers,” Hagan said Tuesday. “One size does not fit all, and the FDA must follow through and ensure that final rules do not unnecessarily threaten the livelihood of local farmers and hurt economic growth.”

Hagan and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) offered an amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 that allowed family farmers and smaller producers to be overseen by local and state food safety and health agencies. But she said the new FDA rule proposed “inadequately” defines which small farms will have to abide by the food safety requirements.

Hagan is expected to have a tough reelection race in 2014.

The lawmaker said the agriculture industry employs nearly one-fifth of her state's workforce, generating $77 billion in economic activity.