FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2018
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GUILLEN ENCOURAGES FARMERS TO HELP IMPLEMENT PRODUCE SAFETY LAW
Meetings To Be Held Around The State Regarding New Federal Mandate On Produce Safety
AUSTIN - Representative Ryan Guillen (D - Rural South Texas) seeks to raise awareness about upcoming Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) meetings, which will be held to collect input from Texas growers ahead of the implementation of the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Specifically, he encourages stakeholders to voice their opinions about implementing the new produce safety rules.
"These federal regulations will have an enormous impact on our farmers and ag community," remarked Guillen. "We want to make certain that everyone knows the meeting dates. We want them to have the opportunity to show up and be a part of the rule development process, since it will directly affect their farms, procedures, and businesses going forward."
The Food Safety Modernization Act is the first time in almost seventy years that federal legislators in D.C. have passed legislation regarding food safety. The produce safety rules, under the Act, will establish science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. Congress passed the law in an effort to change the system of food safety regulations from one of contamination response to one of contamination prevention. Opponents argue that this change in policy may place a significant burden on farmers since they will face increased scrutiny on food production.
In response to local farmer concerns, Representative Guillen will be working closely with the Texas Department of Agriculture and the agricultural community of District 31 in order to make sure that the new rules are implemented efficiently and without headache for growers, and will continue to be on the side of Texas farmers. The Produce Safety Administrative Rule development meetings, as they will be called, are being held in part to help with this effort.
"With agriculture being a significant part of our economy and way of life, new regulations will affect almost everyone in South Texas,” added Guillen. We need to do everything we can to implement the new mandate not only for the good of public food safety, but especially for the good of our Texas farmers."
Meetings will be held around the state in the month of May. The closes meeting for District 31 will be on Tuesday, May 8th from 10:30AM- 12:30PM in Weslaco, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen