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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Very Important: Please Take Action Now!

***CLICK ON CAPTAIN ACTION TO EMAIL YOUR SENATORS!***

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a sweeping overhaul of the food safety laws very soon! S. 510:FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is a "one-size-fits-all" approach that will unnecessarily burden both farmers and small-scale food processors, ultimately depriving consumers of the choice to buy from producers they know and trust. Please contact your Senators to urge them to support Senator Tester's amendments, or oppose the bill entirely. Senator Tester's amendments would exclude small facilities and direct marketing farms from the most burdensome provisions of the bill.

The Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance joined with 87 organizations to send a letter to the Senators urging that they amend S.510 to exempt small-scale and local producers from the more burdensome provisions of the bill. Read the full letter here.
Talking points below:

1. The major foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls have all been caused by the large, industrial food system. Small, local food producers have not contributed to the highly publicized outbreaks. Yet S. 510 subjects the small, local food system to the same, broad federal regulatory oversight that would apply to the industrial food system.

2. Increased regulations and record-keeping obligations could destroy small businesses that bring food to local communities. In particular, the reliance on hazard analysis and risk-based preventative controls, a concept similar to “HACCP”, will harm small food producers. HACCP has already proven to be an overwhelming burden for a significant number of small, regional meat processors across the country. Applying a HACCP-type system to small, local foods processors could drive them out of business, reducing consumers’ options to buy fresh, local foods.

3. FDA does not belong on the farm. S. 510 calls for FDA regulation of how farms grow and harvest produce. Given the agency’s track record, it is likely that the regulations will discriminate against small, organic, and diversified farms. The House version of the bill directs FDA to consider the impact of its rulemaking on small-scale and diversified farms, but there are no enforceable limits or protections for small diversified and organic farms from inappropriate and burdensome federal rules.

4. Food safety and security both come from a diversified, vibrant local food system. Local foods give consumers the choice to buy from producers they know, creating a transparent, accountable food system without federal government oversight. State and local laws, which are often size-specific rather than one-size-fits-all, are more appropriate for local food producers.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 12:24 PM

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