By Justin Walker
We’ve entered the second month of the government shutdown.
How does that affect agriculture? How about your food?
Farmers and ranchers are impacted by the shutdown because they don’t have access to production reports, access to farm bill programs and resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In the era when internet rumors circulating faster than wildfire, many claims have been made as to which agricultural services have stopped in the wake of the shutdown. Clever memes and fearful posts have speculated the recent romaine lettuce situation may get worse, and others are concerned about packaged food and produce not being inspected properly.
But these aren’t true. Yes, agriculture is affected by the stalemate in Washington. It will get worse if not resolved, but consumer health remains of utmost important in ongoing practices.
Consumers can trust their food is being grown safely.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still conducting routine inspections of high-risk foods, which consist of cheeses, produce and formula.
Programs such as the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement were not impacted by the shutdown and continue to monitor the romaine lettuce recall.
Long-term effects of the shutdown have yet to be seen, but be cautious of the misinformation that circulates online.