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Organic Food Sellers Worry About New Regulations

Food Safety Eggs

Food recalls due to Salmonella and E. coli outbreaks have prompted the Obama administration to look into stricter food regulations. While some food corporations support the proposed regulations, some organic food stores and small farms are worried that the new rules might hurt their businesses. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

The White House is working with the Food and Drug Administration to find new ways to trace contaminated food.

President Obama wants to be able to trace contaminated food back to the seller, so consumers in that area can be notified more quickly.

The new regulations are intended to also to crack down on the selling of eggs contaminated with salmonella sold in grocery stores.

This may seem like a good idea to most people, but owners of small farms and organic food sellers are worried they will be regulated out of business.

Tony Fronce, an organic chef in Springfield, believes these regulations are a strategy the government is using to support larger food corporations.

He says the government and these big food corporations will eventually shut out small farms and organic food stores altogether.

“These regulations that are going to be set up will eventually choke out larger businesses. The regulations and fines will be so ridiculous that these organic people aren’t even going to mess with it. They’re just going to say, ‘Well, we’re just going to grow for ourselves.’ So, initially that’s what you will see, a drop off in the major companies that are making organic foods,” Fronce said.

Fronce says these strict regulations will eventually carry over to small farms, meaning those farmers will have a hard time selling the food that they grow now.

“What they’re really going to try to do is to keep people from selling the food that they grow. That’s probably what we are going to see in a worse case scenario. But, we’ll probably still be able to grow our food, but selling it. So, they’re going to create an environment so it’s very difficult to set up an economy based on quality food, so corporations can completely dominate,” Fronce said.

He says his biggest fear is that the government will use these regulations to control everyone and their businesses.

Fronce says he hopes the government will not make it too difficult for organic food stores and farms to operate.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.

Tony Fronce is a whole foods chef at Springfield's fastest-growing natural foods store. (photo credit: Sam Senovich) (photo credit: Sam Senovich) (photo credit: Sam Senovich) (photo credit: Sam Senovich) (photo credit: Sam Senovich)