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Sep 2010 Update

Food Safety Call Details

This month we moved our food safety call from the usual second Tuesday of the month to the third Tuesday - September 21 at 3:30pm Eastern (12:30pm Pacific). This update will add the visual dimension: instead of a conference call we will present a webinar. This is free but you must register.

Dave Gombas, Sr. VP of food safety and technology will present the results of the several meetings of the GAP Harmonization Technical Working Group. We will have 30 + minutes for your questions after the presentation.

 

Learning Opportunity

Wallace/NGFN Food Safety Coordinator Steve Warshawer will be presenting at CFSC (Community Food Security Coalition) “Short Course on Liability and Food Safety issues” October 16, 2010.

 

Federal Legislative / Regulatory Update

S510: The Food Safety Modernization Act

The bill is expected to be taken up after summer recess.  We will be watching the Senate calender upon the return to work after labor day.

A special note on “action alerts” and S510:  Information repeated from August “update”:

Does everyone remember last spring? The virulent, viral, internet “scare campaign” about HR875?  That campaign, which was launched by unidentified actors, led to an enormous amount of chaos and confusion for many parties, including producers and advocates, and was in no way accurate enough to be worth the attention it received.

This piece is an attempt to cast S510 in a light similar to HR875.  It is a great read, and for anyone who has been following S510 it is so obviously and patently absurd that it holds no credence.

Here is Steve Gilman of NOFA Interstate Council's response. (COMFOOD listserv posting. Free registration required.)

We encourage NGFN members and supporters NOT to forward any alarmist emails about S510.

 

USDA/FSIS: The National Advisory Committee on Meat & Poultry Inspection (NACMPI)

The first meeting of the newly appointed advisory committee will be held on September 29-30 at the USDA in Washington, DC. I am a part of that Committee, and will report what I can from the meeting.

 

GAP Harmonization initiative

The GAP Harmonization TWG will present a progress report to the Steering Committee on September 13, and will have what is expected to be its last working session on October 21-22 at Costco Headquarters in Issaquah, WA.

The second draft of the standard for activities up to harvest has been completed. The second draft of the post harvest standard is in process and should be completed at the next meeting.

Comments continue to be welcomed at the UF Blog.

 

Wild Farm Alliance initiative to support Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS)

NRCS has approved the WFA CIG grant proposal.  WFA is now moving into planning and implementation mode and will update us further.

 

Global GAP group Certification and other “alternative” GAP approaches

GlobalGAP North American Office will be officially opened in Bethesda, Maryland on September 9th.  A North American Web site will be launched in conjunction with the opening of the office: http://www.globalgap.org/north-america/

Wallace Center / NGFN Commitment to evaluate and create QMS support tools:   

We continue to await word from USDA/RAM about our grant application to develop QMS tools and pilot projects

USDA GAP research and pilot project

Ken Petersen, USDA GAP program Coordinator, reports that under the pilot project launched as a result of a presentation by NGFN Food Safety Coordinator Steve Warshawer, trainings are being conducted with farmers in Northeast and Central Iowa.  These trainings will help USDA establish baseline costs for training and certifying farmers according to the “one field - one farm - one audit” approach.  In order to test the process and costs associated with Group Certification, NGFN RLT Good Natured Family Farms of Kansas City has been selected as the project partner for USDA.

Of course, we will update you as we have more information available about progress with the GNFF Group pilot.

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