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New regs ‘assault’ farming, Gary Black says

The ag. commissioner is not happy with new FDA regulations on farmers.

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Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is not amused by new regulations from the Food and Drug Administration, and he minced no words in his assessment on Monday.

Speaking at the University of Georgia, he called them an “assault on the farming industry” from the federal government, saying the FDA is “coming into areas they’ve never been before.”

The regulations in question resulted from the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. According to the report by The Athens Banner-Herald, it means regulations imposed on “the use of animal manure, water sanitation and other factors that could affect microbial contamination of fresh produce” as means of protection from microbial contaminants.

“The Food and Drug Administration should not be on the farms of America,” Black continued, arguing that opening the door to produce farm regulation is a road to more oversight from the federal government.

He instead argued the FDA should have its sights on food imported into the United States, not domestic farmers.

Black, the Peach State’s first elected Republican to the ag commissioner’s spot, is up for re-election this year.

-Brandon Howell

[Editor’s note: The author has worked at the Georgia Department of Agriculture during Gary Black’s tenure and aided his 2010 campaign effort.]