Agriculture and Human Values 28 (4):577-581 (2011)

Signed into law in early 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) marked the first major overhaul of the United States’ regulatory system for food safety since the 1930s. This presidential address explores how the social movement for local and regional food systems influenced the debates around the FSMA and, in particular, how issues of scale became pivotal in those debates. Specifically, a key question revolved around whether or not the proposed regulations should apply to small farms and processors who sell directly to consumers in local markets. Advocates of the so-called “Tester amendment” aimed to create a scale-sensitive alternative to the requirements in the bill. This address lays out the three interrelated arguments that amendment advocates used. The first was the idea that food safety risks are different at different scales, and therefore the rules should reflect those differences. Their second argument revolved around the character of the local, direct markets of small producers and the social relationships embedded within them. The third argument used to support the Tester amendment is that the costs of complying with the detailed regulatory requirements of the new food safety law place a disproportionately large burden on small producers and that might thwart the emerging market for local food as an alternative to industrial agriculture. I conclude by suggesting some research and policy questions that could be explored more fully, both with respect to this case and with respect to alternative agri-food movements more generally
Keywords Local food movement  Food safety  Food Safety Modernization Act
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10460-011-9338-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,827
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Food Justice to a Tool of the Status Quo: Three Sub-Movements Within Local Food.Ian Werkheiser & Samantha Noll - 2014 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (2):201-210.
Eating Right Here: Moving From Consumer to Food Citizen.Jennifer L. Wilkins - 2005 - Agriculture and Human Values 22 (3):269-273.
Choosing a Food Future: Differentiating Among Alternative Food Options. [REVIEW]Jeffrey R. Follett - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (1):31-51.


Added to PP index

Total views
29 ( #366,785 of 2,432,696 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #213,901 of 2,432,696 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes