We need a food safety bill AND we need to protect small farms – please help!

ACTION ALERT from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
September 15, 2010

FOOD SAFETY LEGISLATION MUST PROTECT
FAMILY FARMS, SUSTAINABLE & ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND URGE THEM
TO SUPPORT THE TESTER AMENDMENT

The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) could reach the Senate floor as early as today.  NSAC has been able to win several improvements to the bill but more changes are needed to avoid serious harm to family farm value-added processing and the emergence of local and regional food systems.

S.510 would considerably ramp up FDA regulation on farms that even minimally process their crops and sell them to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools and wholesalers.  An amendment sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) would exempt small farm and small food processing facilities as well as small and mid-sized farmers who primarily direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants within their region.

Please call your Senators today and ask them to support the Tester Amendment.

It’s easy to call:

Go to Congress.org and type in your zip code.  Click on your Senator’s name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number.  You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.

The message is simple. “I am a constituent of Senator___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support the Tester Amendment and to include the Tester language in the Manager’s Amendment to the food safety bill.  The Tester Amendment will exempt small farm and food facilities and farmers who direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants.   We need a food safety bill that cracks down on corporate bad actors without erecting new barriers to family farms and the growing healthy food movement.  Our continuing economic recovery demands that we preserve these market opportunities for small  and mid-sized family farms.

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