FDA

The FDA Looks to Crack Down on Manure (Again)

Today's FDA misstep is tomorrow's FDA action.

|

Last week, the FDA announced it would investigate the use of manure and other biological matter.

Manure is animal poop. Rich in nutrients, it's been used by farmers as fertilizer for thousands of years.

But the agency is skeptical of the safety of the practice.

"The FDA is planning to conduct a risk assessment to determine how much consumer health is put at risk by the use of raw manure as fertilizer in growing crops covered by the final [Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)] Produce Safety rule, and what can be done to help prevent people from getting sick," the agency detailed. "Before starting the assessment, the agency wants the help of stakeholders in the produce industry, the animal agriculture industry, academia and members of the public in developing the model for this work."

The FDA posted a formal notice in the Federal Register that indicates just what this assessment is all about.

"The risk assessment is intended to inform policy decisions with regard to produce safety," the notice reads.

That the FDA intends to take action on manure will come out of the blue only to one who has a really short memory.

As I've detailed for years, the FDA's proposed FSMA rules would have forced small farmers "to adopt onerous, expensive, and unnecessary farming practices and procedures" that included "tough new regulations for using organic fertilizer," including compost and manure.

Pushback from small farmers and their supporters around the country forced the FDA to reconsider the worst of the proposed FSMA rules. Reconsider the agency did. And now they're back, beating the same drum.

Of course, the fact something like fertilizing crops with manure has been done a particular way for tens or hundreds or thousands of years doesn't make it safe.

Indeed, there's no doubt that pathogens sometimes found in manure make their way onto and into fruits and vegetables and sicken and kill Americans every year.

But there's also little doubt that the FDA's expertise in this area is (charitably) virtually nonexistent. Besides regulating uncracked eggs, as the agency does (poorly), the FDA has little or no experience regulating farming.

The FSMA produce rules, though, paved the way for FDA to inspect American farms.

The USDA, which regulates organic food, including crops fertilized with manure, has both the expertise and existing rules in place to regulate farms.

But that's not good enough for the FDA. "At this time, the FDA does not object to farmers complying with the USDA's National Organic Program standards," the FDA notes in a fact sheet that was updated after its Federal Register call for public comment (emphasis mine).

I'm sure the USDA is happy to hear that. At this time. Farmers who fertilize crops with manure, particularly the small farmers who pushed back against the FSMA produce rules, and who I portray in my forthcoming book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us, won't be happy either.

This pattern—by which the FDA haphazardly attacks a practice, backs down, and then comes back guns ablaze—is a common agency practice.

Remember the FDA's assault on artisanal cheeses in 2014, when the agency declared that the time-tested practice of ripening cheeses on wooden boards violated agency rules?

That was followed quickly by a subsequent issuance of an Urkel-like statement disavowing its own position.

I warned at the time that the agency had neither backed down nor reversed course.

The agency's statement also says that the FDA "will engage with the artisanal cheesemaking community" based on FDA's historic concerns "about whether wood meets [agency food safety] requirement[s.]" It will also "invite stakeholders to share any data or evidence they have gathered related to safety and the use of wood surfaces."

Parsing this language is almost unnecessary. The FDA still wants to ban the use of wooden crates in cheesemaking.

When the FDA "invites stakeholders" to "engage" with its bureaucrats, only bad things happen.

That's exactly what's happening now with the FDA and manure.

When you think the FDA is out of bullets, they've really just stopped to reload.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

73 responses to “The FDA Looks to Crack Down on Manure (Again)

  1. You know who else was full of shit?

    1. Bono?

    2. DiCaprio?

    3. Each and every Republican or Democrat running for president and/or Congress?

    4. Mr. Poopy-Pants!

  2. The shit is hitting the fan.

  3. Oh come now

    Government employees and agencies are all experts in spreading bullshit.

    1. But their variety of bullshit serves no useful purpose.

    2. Yes but not in SAFELY spreading bullshit.

  4. Love ya, Baylen, but who gives a

  5. This threads gonna be a shit show.

    1. Oh,I forgot ‘Organic’!

  6. Endangered feces?

  7. Next thing you know, the FDA will be telling us it’s a health hazard to use Reason to line the cat box.

    1. Well, that is a *lot* of E-waste you’re generating.

  8. So the progs beloved agency is now attacking the prog food supply?

    1. And yet the silly little fuckers will figure out a way to justify it.

      They are incapable of learning.

  9. Any one care to discuss the shit show in Chicago last night?

    1. A loud mouth says stupid shit about hitting people and calling people drug dealers and rapist,his lemmings eat it up and his security and a aide beat people and then his lemming sucker punches a guy.Then other crazies [I assume their Bernie and Hillary lemmings] show up and a shit storm ensues.That’s my take.

      1. When you can parse a sentence get back to us….oh, I forgot, when you learn to spell.

    2. I wasn’t around but it looks like everyone discussed the shit out of it last night.

  10. At this time, the FDA does not wish to exercise its right to prosecute people for following the law but it must insist it that it does in fact have the authority to do so. Anything you are allowed to do is a privilege extended to you by government and that privilege may be revoked at any time.

    1. I have changed our agreement,pray I don not change it further.

      1. Something wrong with your droid?

        1. One of my orphan’s did his job,poorly,he will be dealt with.

    2. This is why we have the Second Amendment.

      And woodchippers. Never forget the woodchippers.

  11. Only Central Committee knows what’s best for you.

    Dear Leader’s Cultural Revolution will clear the air of impure thoughts.

  12. Speaking of bullshit::

    “Obama claims middle ground in encryption debate”
    […]
    “…”My conclusion, so far, is you cannot take an absolutist view on this,” Obama said at the South by Southwest Interactive festival.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/a…..885521.php

    Yep, just give us the key and well let you claim you got something out of the deal.

    1. He restated his commitment to strong encryption, but also asked how government will catch child pornographers or disrupt terrorist plots if smartphones and other electronic devices are made so that law enforcement can’t access the data stored on them.

      “Gosh folks you can have either security or kidporn and terror. Which one do you want?”

      Asshole.

      1. Someone should ask him how many terrorist plots have been disrupted, how many child pornographers have been discovered through their smartphones *before they committed their crimes*.

        1. Well, if you include teenagers sexting as child porn, and the government does, then that’s almost exclusively how they are caught.

          1. Huh? That’s not how they find out about it. That’s not even possibly how they find out about it. The crime is committed when the picture is taken

    2. Funnily enough though – he *does* (and the major figures of his administration do) take an absolutist view of it.

      What he seems to really mean is that you can not take a view other than what he thinks is appropriate.

      1. “What he seems to really mean is that you can not take a view other than what he thinks is appropriate.”

        Exactly. According to him, HE holds the correct view and anyone who sees it otherwise holds and “absolutist” view; AKA ‘poisoning the well’.
        Slimy POS.

      2. He is muad’dib,he can be many places at once and has given us his golden path to be continued by Hillworm.

        1. In the spirit of keeping on topic (shit)

          I did try looking into the place I dare not look, my toilet, and Obama was there staring back at me.

          1. Was he covered in corn?

  13. “Before starting the assessment, the agency wants the help of stakeholders in the produce industry, the animal agriculture industry, academia and members of the public in developing the model for this work.”

    If anybody’s getting together a group of stakeholders to show up at the FDA, I’ll be glad to join in. I’ll make sure to bring extra stakes if anybody needs ’em.

    1. I’ll bring the tar. Who’s bringing the feathers and fence rails?

    2. After you finish with the stakes dispose of them safely in the woodchipper along with any other useless biological material.

  14. We later got such a federal law in the form of RICO.

    1. Darn, wrong thread. I was referring to outlawing the Communist Party.

      1. nope, this one is about banning ACTUAL bullshit.

        …the jokes just write themselves on this topic.

    2. …in the form of RICO.

      Soave isn’t here, man.

  15. The FDA is a joke, like the TSA but worse lol.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

  16. Farming hundreds of thousands of years ago, really?

    1. Hundreds OR thousands.

    2. 1. The last of the Saurian people.
      2. Whales

      lrn2history

  17. After I been earnin $8768 this-past/five weeks and-a little over, $10k lass-month. it’s realy my favourite work I have ever had. I actually started 7-months ago and pretty much straight away was earning at least $87… p/h. I follow
    this website,
    ????

    http://www.BuzzSelf20.com

  18. After I been earnin $8768 this-past/five weeks and-a little over, $10k lass-month. it’s realy my favourite work I have ever had. I actually started 7-months ago and pretty much straight away was earning at least $87… p/h. I follow
    this website,
    ????

    http://www.BuzzSelf20.com

  19. We really need H Beam Piper’s Court of Political Justice. That way any congress critter that proposes an FDA can be shot on the capitol steps.

  20. The EPA came to the Animas River in Colorado and said, “Nice river ya got there, be a shame if anything happened to it”. Then the EPA released millions of gallons of milk tailongs into the river and said, “See!” Now many progressive locals want MORE EPA “protection” here in the form of s superfund cleanup. Go figure. Too many people value mere words and meaningless promises nowadays, even more than they value deeds.

    1. Oops, “mine tailings”

    2. For some reason when the government does the exact thing they accuse corporations of doing it gets a complete pass as long as they say something to the tune of ‘our bad guys’. The fact that these idiots don’t understand that you can’t sue the government never seems to enter their heads. Some random employee gets fired, business as usual!

  21. FDA agents should be allowed extensive time to investigate all the properties of manure, from a close personal experience.
    They could be assisted in this effort by added manpower seconded from the IRS.

  22. I brought this up with some farmer’s market, locavores a couple years ago when this shit started and they were all for putting it to big ag…I warned them they were next. Progs are fucking clueless.

  23. You’re getting ?197 worth of bonuses for just a fraction of that price. Everything to get you started in learning a proven system for accelerating your exam success. H So if that’s what you want to do, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.Find |Here…

    —- w?w?w.w?o?r?k?p?r?o?s?p?e?c?t?s?.c?o?m

  24. RE: The FDA Looks to Crack Down on Manure (Again)

    Sounds like a shitty thing to do.

  25. Fortunately with free trade, we can still import unregulated shat-upon food like Chinese/Vietnamese tilapia while the FDA does its job at ensuring that shitty shat-upon food like, say, American tilapia, becomes uncompetitive. So its no real problem. Still plenty of crappy crap to go around and nothing will change.

  26. The FDA should not be getting involved in politics.

  27. What a load of crap! Manure is partially digested grass (green), put back into the soil (given back to mother earth). Recycled, as it were. Reducing the need for farmers to use petroleum based fertilizers (bad fossil fuels).

    All stuff progs profess to love. I think their goal is to drive us all insane trying pin the “logic” tail on the donkey. Doesn’t fit.

  28. The most absurd environmental regulation that I’ve heard is New Zealand trying to tax sheep farts

  29. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.selfcash10.com

  30. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.selfcash10.com

  31. before I saw the bank draft which had said $9426 , I didnt believe that…my… brother woz like actualy earning money part-time at there labtop. . there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than fifteen months and by now repaid the dept on there place and got a great new Mini Cooper . read the full info here …

    Clik This Link inYour Browser??

    ? ? ? ? http://www.SelfCash10.com

  32. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.selfcash10.com

  33. We are all shit in some ways!

  34. Vietnam Adventure Tours, Vietnam Customized Tours and Holidays Packages!
    http://adventurejourney.vn/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.