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Farm Foundation reports:

The 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first major overhaul of federal food safety laws in more than 70 years.

FSMA shifts the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to prevention of food-borne illnesses. The legislation includes new regulations at the farm level and for certain food processing facilities.

Three years after President Obama signed the legislation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues the process of issuing final rules. This week, Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that FDA has enough resources to issue final rules but not to implement the law. FDA proposes a user fee on food facilities and food importers to help fund enforcement, a plan that has drawn fire from food industry groups.

The Farm Foundation Forum on Wednesday, Feb. 19, will examine the implementation of FSMA.

Panelists for this Forum will include:

*Christopher Waldrop of the Consumer Federation of America, discussing background on FSMA and consumer perspectives, and

*Paul Muller of Fully Belly Farms, an organic fruit and vegetable producer from California.

The Forum will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington. D.C. There is no charge to participate in the Forum, but registration is requested. Panelists will each have about 10 minutes to present, after which the floor will be open for discussion.

To attend the event, register online HERE or at the Farm Foundation website. An audio cast of this Forum is being provided. It will include speaker PowerPoints as available, and the opportunity for the audio cast audience to submit questions. To participate by audio cast, CLICK HERE. Audio casting is made possible by a grant from Farm Credit.

Who should participate in the Forum: People with an interest in agricultural, food and rural policy, including members of Congress, congressional staff, executive branch officials, industry representatives, NGO representatives, academics and members of the media.

The Forum: Farm Foundation, NFP organizes these public forums to engage all stakeholders in informed dialogue on food, agricultural and rural policies. Participants examine current policies, explore and analyze alternative policy proposals, and give voice to new proposals.

Audio from the session will be recorded and posted on the Farm Foundation website. Presentations and audio files from past Forum sessions are also available at the website.

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