The recall of a half million eggs is likely to help move the Food Safety bill, S 510, through the U.S. Senate (a similar bill already passed the House) more quickly. Small farm advocates have been suspicious of the intent (or at least the impact) of the proposed legislation. While I certainly understand why we might be suspicious of anything coming from the federal government, in this case – I believe we need this legislation.
A recent brief from the Senate staff suggests that the legislation is NOT aimed at small farms. Specifically it states:
Regulatory Flexibility for Organic Foods
Throughout the bill, consideration is given to the unique agricultural practices and requirements of organic foods under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.
Protections for Farmers Markets, Cottage Industries and Direct Farm-to-Market Sales
Small entities that produce food for their own consumption or market the majority of their food directly to consumers or restaurants are not subject to registration or new record keeping requirements under S. 510. This includes food sold through farmers’ markets, bake sales, public events and organizational fundraisers.
For details, here is a summary of the amendments that have been filed to protect small farms from being unfairly disadvantaged. Personally, I can support this bill – BUT it is not a cure all. There are bigger, more systemic problems associated with the industrial food system, such as:
I believe the most effective action we can take s individuals and families is to “grow food justly”…
For more on solutions see; Just Food Now.