Action Alert: Call your Senators to reform S510 before it’s too late

April 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm 3 comments

Congress could act  soon on S510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. If it passes without reforms to address the needs of small-scale farming and food processing,  it could kill sustainable agriculture.  Now is the time to call your Senators and ask them to add important changes to the bill.

Here’s what Roland McReynolds of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association suggests you tell your Senators to do:

  • Require FDA to write new, flexible rules for small businesses. Small food producers are already subject to state and federal rules.  S 510’s on-farm and HARPC rules should not be applied to these small businesses.  Support the Sanders and Tester amendments.
  • Establish USDA training programs for small farms and food entrepreneurs. The Senate should include S 2758, the Growing Safe Food Act, in S 510, and fund programs to get critical food safety information into the hands of small food producers.  This is the best way to ensure the safety of local food.
  • Eliminate pointless traceability rules for farmer-marketed products. Farm-identity preserved products should be exempt from bar-coding or other schemes meant for tracking products through the “Food Inc.” supply chain.
  • Focus on real animal risks, not wildlife and farm dogs. FDA should use proven science to identify animal sources of pathogens and appropriate controls, instead of the current approach of treating all animals on farms as a food safety threat.

Here are the numbers to call:

Sen. Richard Burr, NC, (202) 224-3154

Sen. Kay Hagan, NC (202)-224-6342

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Entry filed under: Commentary, Food Safety, Politics/ Policy, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matt  |  April 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I’m calling tomorrow!

    Reply
    • 2. sustainablegrub  |  April 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

      Thanks, Matt! It’s really important.

      Reply
  • 3. sustainablegrub  |  May 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Roland McReynolds of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, filed this update 4/30:
    Good news! Sen. Kay Hagan today announced that she is co-sponsoring two amendments to the Senate food safety bill, S.510, that would exclude facilities with gross incomes of less than $500,000 from the most burdensome performance and record keeping requirements in the bill, and protect small producers that primarily sell directly to restaurants and consumers from new FDA performance requirements. The proposed amendments, originally proposed by Montana Senator and organic farmer John Tester, would dramatically strengthen protections for small farms and food businesses from one-size-fits-all safety rules. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association supports the Tester amendments.

    I’d encourage everyone with an interest in this issue call Sen. Hagan’s office to thank her for her strong support of small farms and food producers; the number is (202)-224-6342.

    Sen. Richard Burr has also been working to make S.510 safe for local food systems; I encourage folks to call his office to thank him for his work so far and to ask that he join Sen. Hagan in co-sponsoring the Tester amendments, (202) 224-3154.

    http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org

    Reply

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