News Column

According to Joe Taylor Southlake, New FDA Regulations Impact Farmers Directly

May 6 2013 12:00AM



SARASOTA, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 05/06/13 -- Joe Taylor Southlake, owner of Southlake's Wood Fired Pizza, is speaking out on new regulations from the Food and Drug Administration that aim to reform the nation's food safety system. This year, the organization adjusted policies regarding which fruits and vegetables would become subject to strict new rules. They determined that foods that are mostly consumed raw would be included under the new regulations, while those that are frequently cooked and processed did not need to get included.

These new policies have angered many farmers, with tree fruit farmers becoming particularly annoyed. They state that the FDA's approach lacks sense. This resistance illustrates how difficult it will become to implement the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act, which was aimed at preventing food-borne illnesses instead of just reacting to outbreaks when they do occur. Though the new system sounds effective in principle, actually figuring out where to draw the lines presents a significant challenge for the organization.

Joe Taylor Southlake comments on these proceedings noting, "It's important to protect the American consumer, and the government needs to try to take a more defensive approach to food-borne illness. However, it's also important to ensure that the regulations are fair to all food producers, and will not cause severe harm to some individuals or groups."

Under these new regulations, farmers will have to devote more energy to items that have been known to cause deadly outbreaks in the past. These products include spinach and cantaloupes. Items that have a nearly perfect safety record, grow above the ground, and have protective skins will get less focus than in other years.

Apple farmer Phil Glaize is offering his thoughts on these developments stating, "Our product is quite safe. We're perfectly willing to look at ways to make it safer. However, what's being proposed is very onerous and expensive. The costs would end up getting passed on to the consumer, if we didn't go out of business first."

The FDA explains that the new rules are more of a jumping off point, and that the organization is receptive to making alterations to create a science-based system that is more effectively able to adapt to different crops, different regions of the country, and different growing conditions.

Michael R. Taylor, a top safety official with the FDA comments, "It's complicated. It's a big, transformational thing that we're doing. We're creating a whole new food safety system here, so we accept that it will take some time to get the rules right."

Joe Taylor Southlake supports the attempts at a new safety system, and is eager to see how the efforts turn out.


Joe Taylor Southlake is the owner of Southlake's Wood Fired Pizza, a popular dining choice in Sarasota, Florida. The eatery provides a range of selections, thus allowing individuals with a host of dietary concerns to enjoy a freshly made slice of pizza. The restaurant is regularly home to children's birthday parties.

Source: Marketwire

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