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The Conversation: Hawaii Farmers and the Food Safety Modernization Act

Flickr - Sue Salisbury

Food Safety. Love to eat? Hate to get sick with a food borne illness? The federal Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011 but new rules are expected to kick in in the new year. Are Hawaii farmers ready for the stricter rules? What does it mean for small farmers and for consumers?

Today we talk about food safety as we enjoy the food that come from farms to our table.Our guests are:

  • Albert Louie who has been with the Hawaii Dept of Agriculture, Quality Assurance Division, Commodities Branch for 38 years. He is currently the acting Commodities Branch Manager, overseeing the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetables quality inspection service and is also the USDA food safety auditing coordinator for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. He has been conducting food safety audits on farms, produce wholesalers, and packinghouses since 2002, and he has educated local farmers in the past in the prevention of food safety recalls of their produce. 

  • Kevin Kelly has served as an advisor to the University of Hawai‘i’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation and currently manages a large federal research award for the University of Hawaii. He founded the North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership to map out regional strategies. One idea is the development of a food aggregation facility. Kelly is also involved with Hawai‘i’s only USDA GroupGAP food safety certification program.


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Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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