FDA Regulations Could Rain on Farmers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

FDA Regulations Could Rain on Farmers

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses like E. coli and salmonella have led the Food and Drug Administration to create a new blueprint aimed at strengthening food safety, but it may come at a cost to farmers and consumers.

Dorchester County Extension Agent Sudeep Mathew said under the newly-proposed regulations, farmers would have to be certified for each crop they grow and sell.

"The only concern is it involves some sort of financial investment and there is no way to recoup that investment, so if you are a farmer you are not going to be paid more to do this," Matthew said. "So farmers have to think are they going to make money. If they aren't, it's going to go red."

Farmer Greg Gannon said more regulations mean more money out of his pocket.

"It seems to be piling on faster and faster in perhaps all areas beyond even food production, to the point where people would probably agree with me that we are regulated enough," he said.

Gannon said if new regulations lead to greater financial burdens, more farmers could pass on growing certain crops.

"If it's such a small percentage of the operation to comply with all of this, it probably won't be worthwhile," Gannon said. "I'll probably drop out 5 percent of my income that's fooling with a patch of produce."

If fewer farmers are growing and selling fruits and vegetables, consumers all over could see higher costs at the store.

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