Pee Dee farmers contact State legislators to discuss new FDA regulations

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – The New Year means new regulations. On January 1st, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed rules surrounding farming. Farmers are now required to consult a veterinarian for livestock antibiotics.

The rule also changed retail requirements, products that were once sold over the counter must now have a prescription.

New rules have many Pee Dee farmers worried about the future of their farms, so they contacted their South Carolina legislators.

Alexander Paul has been farming in Darlington for over 50 years, he says the new regulations are a financial burden because farmers will now have to pay a veterinarian to visit there farm and give a prescription for antibiotics or minerals.

“Now we’re learning about it. We didn’t know anything about it until we learned we couldn’t buy certain antibiotics even minerals for our cattle, Paul explained.

“I’ll probably quit if I can’t get what I need. I don’t use antibiotics but suppose I need them. I have to pay an additional fee for a vet to visit my farm then pay for the prescription.”

Paul invited local farmers and members of the state legislation to discuss their concerns.

Robert Williams, House of Representative member district 62, Darlington and Florence said, “We need to hear from them to communicate their issues to Columbia and to Washington.”

Paul says he believes in the representatives because they helped farmers with last year’s Farm Bill.

“I have confidence that they are going to work on it. I don’t have confidence that they can change it because they are only one or only what we had here, Paul adds.

Farmers also brought up concerns about job security. The legislators plan to assist the farmers with the new regulations they hope to meet again later this year.