USDA Looking for Input on New Program

The USDA held its first meeting this week to hear what growers and shippers think about the new leafy greens safety plan that may go into effect.
The main concern the USDA has is deciding if there is enough interest in the leafy green industry to implement a voluntary national agreement similar to the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) that went into effect after the 2006 E.Coli outbreak from spinach.
The plan allows leafy green handlers to use a USDA-approved food safety seal if they follow certain practices. This would give consumers assurance that extra precautions have been made to grow safe leafy greens.
California is the first state to use the LGMA and 99 percent of farmers use the agreement.
So far the USDA has received 3,000 comments about the new plan and the greatest concern is that small growers may be at a disadvantage if it’s a one-size-fits all approach.
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