Merkley Joins Effort to Help Farmers Improve Food Safety

Merkley Joins Effort to Help Farmers Improve Food Safety

Co-Sponsors the Growing Safe Food Act to Protect Families by Strengthening Food Safety Practices

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley announced today that he has co-sponsored legislation to increase food safety by assisting local farmers and processors with new food safety regulations.  The Growing Safe Food Act will help educate and train farmers and food processors about the best safety practices to ensure that the nation’s food supply is safe for citizens.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry that the lunch they pack for their kids might make them sick,” Merkley said.  “This is about getting food safety right up front, not waiting to issue a recall after the damage has been done.  It’s also important that we provide small farmers the tools they need to meet new compliance standards and ensure that the food they bring from the fields to our tables is safe.”

The training program will be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Integrated Food Safety Initiative and will educate farmers and food processors in safe handling, packaging and storing practices, manufacturing, produce safety and sanitation standards, and food safety audits.   The bill will also help small farmers, processors and wholesalers implement reforms to comply with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which is currently pending in the U.S. Senate.

The Growing Safe Food Act was introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and co-sponsored by Senators Bingaman (D- NM), Boxer (D-CA), Gillibrand (D-NY), Leahy (D-VT) and Sanders (I-VT).