Contact Senator Sander’s office as soon as possible – telephone, 202-224-5141, fax 202-228-0776.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will take up S. 510, the Senate version of major food safety legislation already approved by the House of Representatives, next Wednesday, November 18.
The bill would put real teeth into federal regulation of large-scale food processing corporations to better protect consumers. However, the bill as written is also a serious threat to family farm value added processing, local and regional food systems, conservation and wildlife protection, and organic farming.
We need a food safety bill that cracks down on corporate bad actors without erecting new barriers to the growing local food movement based on small and mid-sized family farms, sustainable and organic production methods, and more local and regional food sourcing.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Organic Coalition, have fashioned five common sense amendments to S 510. We need your help to make them happen! The House has already passed their Bill. This is our last best chance to affect the final legislation.
Make a Call
Contact Senator Sander’s office as soon as possible – telephone, 202-224-5141, fax 202-228-0776 and ask for the aide in charge of food safety issues. Tell them you are a constituent and are calling to ask the Senator to support the amendments proposed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Organic Coalition to the Food Safety Modernization Act. Specifically, ask your Senator to support the following key changes to the bill:
- Farmers who sell directly to consumers should not be required to keep records and be part of a federal “traceback” system, and all other farms should not be required to maintain records electronically or any records beyond the first point of sale past the farmgate.
- The bill should direct FDA to narrow the kinds of value-added farm processing activities which are subject to FDA control and to base those regulations on sound risk analysis. (Current FDA rules assume without any scientific evidence that all farms which undertake any one of a long list of processing activities should be regulated.)
- The bill should direct FDA to ease compliance for organic farmers by integrating the FDA standards with the organic certification rules. FDA compliance should not jeopardize a farmer’s ability to be organically certified under USDA’s National Organic Program.
- The bill must provide small and mid-sized family farms that market value-added farm products with training and technical assistance in developing food safety plans for their farms.
- The bill should insist that FDA food safety standards and guidance will not contradict federal conservation, environmental, and wildlife standards and practices, and not force the farmer to choose which federal agency to obey and which to reject.