Food safety is important to everyone. But sometimes, in an effort to make things safe, regulations come that can end up hurting some just as much as they can help.
According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), “we can’t let rules designed to address serious food safety deficiencies in our industrial food system shut down the move toward healthy, natural and local food.”
The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) now on the Senate floor will increase FDA regulations on farms that even minimally process their crops and sell them to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools, and wholesalers. The new regulations would include many expensive requirments that could erect substantial barriers to these important markets for small and mid-size farmers.
The NSAC recommends the following action:
Senator Gregg sits on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which has jurisdiction over food safety legislation. He needs to hear your views on this legislation!
Calling your Senator is easy.
Step 1: Call Senator Gregg’s office at (202) 224-3324 and ask to speak to the aide responsible for agriculture. If the aide is unavailable leave a brief voice mail message. Be sure to leave your name and a call back number.
Step 2: Urge Senator Gregg to support amendments to S. 510 which:
-Focus FDA regulation only on those processing activities that present the most risk for causing food borne pathogen contamination.
-Exempt farms with modest gross sales from new FDA regulation. These farms would still need to register with FDA and would be subject to existing state food safety regulation.
-Exempt from recordkeeping requirements foods using labeling that preserves the identity of the farm all the way through the supply chain to the ultimate consumer.
-Exempt from recordkeeping requirements food produced on farms and sold directly to a consumer, restaurant, or grocery store.
-Cosponsor the Growing Safe Food Act (S. 2758) introduced by Senator Stabenow (D-MI). This bill creates a program to deliver training and technical assistance appropriate to small and mid-scale farms to reduce the incidence of food borne illness.
For more information visit:
the NSAC’s blog http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/
the Growing Safe Food Act (S. 2758) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.2758:
the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:2:./temp/~c111FUxNNm::