As part of its commitment to provide a strong + unified on behalf of the sprouting industry, ISGA has engaged a lobbyist to advocate for positive changes within the FDA toward sprouts. This advocacy is important to the ISGA because it will allow the industry an opportunity to have productive dialogue with FDA leaders regarding regulatory issues that impact stakeholders. We believe that this is an integral part of a modern trade association.
The cost maintaining a lobbyist is not cheap. It will cost the association $4,000 per month. Caudill Seed Company has taken the initiative and agreed to cover half the costs of the lobbyist ($2,000 per month). This leaves the remaining $2,000 a month up to the industry members and stakeholders to contribute.
The effort has already yielded great results. The ISGA was able to secure high-level meetings with the FDA on several occasions. Most recently, the ISGA attended a meeting with high-level officials, including Frank Yiannas, who serves as the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, number two at the administration.
We’re working to specifically:
- Educate key FDA officials on the sprouting industry’s improved safety record, and advocate for FDA to change its regulatory approach to reflect these gains.
- remove its categorization of sprouts as “high-risk” and adopt a regulatory approach that acknowledges sprouts’ risk as similar to other produce.
- modify or remove the warning label required on sprout products;
- publicly acknowledge improved industry safety data, and/or conduct a new Sprout Summary Report in coordination with industry leaders;
- make specific regulatory changes recommended by industry to accommodate and provide flexibility for businesses without reducing food safety.
- Prevent the FDA from enacting and implementing the Draft Sprout Guidance due to its overly burdensome requirements on sprout businesses, such as an inflexible definition of “production batch of sprouts” and placing fault on a supplier for a single positive test, etc. FDA amending, replacing or withdrawing the Draft Guidance would be a favorable resolution for the sprout industry.
- Generally, elevate the sprout industry’s presence, stature and influence with the FDA and Congress.
This is challenging and costly work, and we’re grateful for your support. Please consider a recurring (or one-time) donation to support our efforts.