STOP S. 510! Protect Independent Organic Farms!
If passed without amendments, S. 510, or the "Food Safety Modernization Act" would prevent independent organic farmers from growing and transporting their own food without being burdened by unreasonable regulations that do not apply to the larger corporate farms.
This Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) exists for the sole purpose of stifling the creativity of the independent organic farming movement that seeks to provide consumers with healthy and pesticide free produce at reasonable prices, considering their competition from the corporate farms are heavily subsidized with tax dollars and can undercut the independent organic farmers.
This imbalance is not yet enough, and the nutritionally challenged corporate farms need to throw more obstacles in the way of the independent organic farmers, just as NAFTA has done with the local farmers in Mexico, flooding their markets with heavily subsidized produce and driving them out of business. The goal of the corporate farms is to break the backs of the independent farmers with excessive regulations.
What S. 510 seeks to do is place enough regulatory pressures on independent farmers that they are forced out of business and then the public has no other option than to purchase their foods from the corporate conglomerate farms.
Please contact your Rep. and tell them NO on S. 510!!
STOP S.B. 510!
Food Safety Bill Passes Senate
More Action Needed to Rescue Local Organic Farming from One-Size-Fits-All Food Safety Bill!
"A year after it was reported out of Committee, the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) passed the Senate, 73-25. The bill was sent to the House for their consideration, but is currently stalled because the Senate violated a constitutional requirement that tax provisions originate in the House.
The only way for the Democratic leadership to get the bill to the President's desk now is for the House to pass a new version of the bill and send it back to the Senate for a final vote. That's only possible with a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate in the Senate. The bill's chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), will not agree to such a deal, so the bill is unlikely to become law.
Six important amendments shepherded by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition that protect local, small and organic producers threaten to be lost in this final shuffle if the bill miraculously passes in the final moments of Congress's short lame-duck session. These are amendments by:
Senator Sanders (D-VT) providing FDA authority to either exempt farms engaged in low or no risk processing or co-mingling activities from new regulatory requirements or to modify particular regulatory requirements for such farming operations.
Senator Bennet (D-CO) to reduce unnecessary paperwork and excess regulation required under the preventative control plan and the produce standards sections of the bill, including instructions to FDA to minimize the number of different standards that apply to separate foods, to make requirements scale appropriate, and to prohibit FDA from requiring farms and other food facilities to hire outside consultants to write food safety plans.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to provide for a USDA-delivered competitive grants program for food safety training for farmers, small processors and wholesalers, with a priority on small and mid-scale farms.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to strip the bill of wildlife-threatening enforcement against "animal encroachment" of farms and require FDA to apply sound science to any requirements that might impact wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-CO) to exempt farmers from extensive and expensive traceability and recordkeeping requirements if they sell food directly to consumers or to grocery stores, to allow labeling that preserves the identity of the farm through to the consumer to satisfy traceability requirements, and to in most cases limit farm record keeping to the first point of sale when the product leaves the farm.
Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) to give small farms and food processing facilities as well as direct-market farms who sell locally the option of complying with state regulation or with modified, scale-appropriate federal regulation.
It's not beyond Food Inc.'s indentured servants in Congress to create this kind of hullabaloo for the very purpose of substituting a last-minute version of the bill that would help corporate agribusiness avoid meaningful regulation, while hurting their local, small and organic competitors.
We've all heard that passing legislation is like making sausage, but the safety of our food and the future of small, local and organic food producers is too important to be left to a last-minute process that could give powerful lobbyists the opportunity to perform 12th hour slights of hand.
Please call your Senator and tell them that the Food Safety Modernization Act is flawed -- and, without the small/local/organic amendments, potentially dangerous -- legislation. Ask Congress to instead encourage the FDA to fulfill its food safety obligations under existing law. Currently, the FDA only inspects 1% of the imports and 25% of the processing facilities in their charge, but seems to have unlimited resources to harass Amish farmers, raid food clubs and pull over raw milk deliverers.
Why Senators Should Oppose S 510
S 510 threatens the existence of small, independent farms and will limit the food choices of consumers. As written, the bill is fundamentally flawed. S 510 will not improve food safety. Instead it will bury farmers in regulations and paperwork and consolidate agricultural production into fewer, larger industrial facilities.
The FDA already has all the authority it needs to inspect processing plants and imports, yet they inspect less than 1% of imports and less than 25% of the processing facilities they are authorized to. The FDA has claimed that they don't have the manpower to carry out these inspections, yet they have the time and manpower to harass Amish farmers, raid food clubs, and pull over individuals who are transporting privately purchased fresh milk and make them dump it on the roadside. This agency needs no more authority as it abuses the authority it already has.
Should S 510 pass, it will increase the cost of U.S. grown and produced food across the board. The inspections and audits of both farming and harvesting processes will cost farmers in upfront expenses just to exist. Even if they are participating in direct or local sales, they will have to assume the audit and inspection costs as well as develop HACCP type plans for their operations. The larger corporations will not need to buy from domestic growers - they can import from countries with lower infrastructure costs to offset the expenses that S 510 regulations will force on U.S. producers.
There are many reasons to oppose S 510, but the fact that the FDA has stated in court that you have no right to consume any particular food, no right to bodily or physical health, and no right to contract should be sufficient reason to not grant them any authority over your food than they already have.
Amending this flawed legislation is like putting a tutu on a pig and calling it a ballerina. The mounds of paperwork this bill will generate are not going to increase anyone's food safety or food security."
ACTION NEEDED: Please click here to contact your U.S. Representative!
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Extra info on S. 510;
FDA/HHS urge Senate to pass S.510
The Empire Strikes Back... President Backs Forced Industrialization of Food!
FDA letter text: http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=6611
For more than a year, the plan to capture - and kill - clean, local, organic, independent and safe farming and gardening has been wending its way through Congress. Last year, the devastating HR 1279 passed although the Freedom Movement put up a good battle, delaying it for quite a while. However, at the end of the day, a good battle followed by a loss is still a loss.
Then the field of battle shifted to the US Senate and the fake "Food Safety" bill S.510, where we've held the forces of Big Agra and Big Govt at bay for nearly a year... We pushed back with over a million emails to the House of Representatives, but, as noted, HR 1279 passed, although with some language weakly protecting local food production, and we pushed back again with over a hundred fifty thousand emails to the US Senate over one weekend in November 2009. The bill went nowhere until the end of August 2010 when it was reported out (as the FDA letter below admits, as a "compromise" between the pro-Big Agra Biz Democans and the equally pro-Big Agra Biz Republicats) without any of the protective language that might have saved clean, local, organic, independent and safe farming and gardening...
Now the heads of FDA and HHS have just written all Members of Congress supporting the fake "Food Safety Bill"
Go here for Dr. Laibow's short YouTube video about S.510:
Several Freedom Groups, including DownsizeDC, Citizens for Health and Campaign for Liberty have active action items regarding S.510.
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