DownsizeDC.org
August 25, 2010
Food Safety: Partial Victory! The Senate grants some of your requests
By James Wilson

NOTE: Infected eggs are in the news as we send this message. This once again demonstrates our contention that industrial farms are riskier than small farms. That's one reason we work so hard to protect small farms from federal regulations that industrial farms can afford, but small farms cannot. Speaking of which . . .

The routine is getting familiar . . .

1. We tell you that Senate bill S.510, the so-called Food Safety bill, could be coming up for a vote.

2. You ask your Senators to oppose the bill, or to offer amendments to protect small businesses and farms.

3. Panicked by the public opposition, the Senate postpones the vote.

4. Several weeks later we all repeat steps 1 through 3.

Well, it's happening again. We understand that S.510 will likely be put to a vote in September.

But this time, the bill will have many of the changes we demanded!

Although S.510 should still be opposed, we should also encourage Congress to retain the good changes that have been made to the bill, just in case it passes. Please send Congress a letter about this using our Preserve the Freedom to Farm campaign.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

I oppose S.510 because we need FEWER regulations. A free market backed by criminal and civil penalties for fraud and negligence will hold food producers to the highest standards. That's because in a free market, consumers will avoid producers with bad reputations.

I am, however, pleased with the changes made in the Manager's Amendment to S.510. With these changes . . . http://help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/WHI10337.pdf

* Only foods already regulated by the FDA will be subject to S.510 -- the firewall between the FDA and USDA-regulated foods will be maintained
* Farms, restaurants, and other businesses that were not already designated food "facilities," as defined by the Bio-terrorism Act of 2002, will not need to register with the FDA. http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/smallfarms.pdf
* Farms engaged in low or no risk activities will be exempted from new regulatory requirements
* The compliance burden for small producers has been minimized
* The FDA is prohibited from requiring farms and other food facilities to hire consultants to write food safety plans
* Food that is direct marketed from farmers to consumers and stores will be exempt from the tracking and record keeping requirements, as will food that has labeling that preserves the identity of the farm that produced the food
* The FDA cannot require farms to keep records beyond the point where the product leaves the farm http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/senate-food-safety-bill/

I also understand that the Tester amendment will be added to the Manager's Amendment. This will . . .

* Exempt food facilities under an annual gross sales threshold of $500,000 from "preventative control plan requirements"
* Exempt farmers who primarily direct market products to consumers, stores or restaurants from produce standards regulations  http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/senate-food-safety-bill/

While I hope you oppose S.510, I INSIST that you oppose any final bill that doesn't have these important changes. The future of small farms and small businesses could depend on it.

END LETTER

You can send your letter through DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

We also encourage you to tell your friends about DownsizeDC.org . . .

* Tell them about our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/downsizedc
* And ask them to sign up for the Downsizer-Dispatch: https://secure.downsizedc.org/users/newsletter

Thanks for being part of the Downsize DC Army!

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

Subscribe to the Consent Chronicle
Enter your email address twice: