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Extension Legal Services Initiative

The Extension Legal Services Initiative website, a joint project of Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) and University of Vermont Extension's Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety (NECAFS), provides free legal educational fact sheets about compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for farmers and food producers, with a focus on the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

The website houses an interactive map illustrating the specifics of each U.S. state's produce safety program, as well as seven fact sheets covering:

  • The relationship between FDA rules, guidance, and other communications;
  • Produce farms, foodborne illness, and legal liability;
  • Produce Safety Rule inspections and third-party audits;
  • Produce Safety Rule coverage and exemptions for farms with multiple business entities;
  • Alternatives and variances to the Produce Safety Rule;
  • Supply chain program requirements for processors and their produce suppliers; and
  • How to use the FDA Technical Assistance Network and the Freedom of Information Act to access information about the Food Safety Modernization Act.

This project is funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.