Walden, Simpson ask FDA to reconsider new water quality rules

Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) recently met with top officials at the Food and Drug Administration to discuss new water quality rules that could cripple family farms.

The proposed rules would determine the amount of bacteria allowed in water. The rules would also require farmers to test their water weekly if they grow consumable fresh produce.

“When I heard concerns from eastern Oregon farmers, particularly onion growers, about new water quality rules the FDA is drafting, I asked for a meeting with the agency to air these concerns directly,” Walden said. “I’m pleased that the agency has agreed to work with farmers as the rules are drafted, and that they are willing to travel to eastern Oregon and Idaho to hear from onion producers and other growers there directly.”

FDA officials will travel to Oregon and Idaho next month to talk with farmers about the new rule.

“I’m greatly concerned about the impact the FDA’s proposed rule will have on agriculture in Idaho,” Simpson said. “With an administration that seems to issue an abundance of rules and regulations for all industries, it is especially important that we seek input from Idaho producers to ensure that we reach an effective and sensible solution.”