Opinion

Vena A-Dae Romero: FDA failing to consult tribal governments






Vena A-dae Romero. Photo from Indian Giver / First Nations Development Institute

Vena A-dae Romero calls on the Food and Drug Administration to consult tribes on implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act:
The Food Safety Modernization Act was passed by President Obama in 2011. In 2013, the accompanying Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulations were released. FDA’s regulations articulate sweeping changes in how agricultural businesses and farmer’s grow, produce, and process specific produce. Most concerning for tribes, tribal producers, and tribal food and agricultural businesses are (1) provisions will regulate water standards, (2) provisions that allow for exemption for state and foreign governments, but NOT tribes, (3) lack of acknowledgment of regulatory authority of tribes over their own land, people, and resources, (4) and the enforcement of these rules which is seeming to be delegated to state agencies.

Since 2013, the FDA has continued to push these rules with little input from tribes and with only titular acknowledgment of the federal government’s obligation for tribal consultation articulated in Executive Order 13175. Only one official Tribal Consultation listening session was conducting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 23, 2013 with less than 30 days notice to tribes. At the close of comments, the FDA received numerous requests by tribes and non-profit tribal organizations to conduct tribal consultation.

Get the Story:
A-Dae Romero: The Federal Drug Administration Continues to Ignore Tribal Governments (Indian Country Today 10/28)

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Vena A-dae Romero: Asserting sovereignty through our food (09/22)