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Monday, November 15, 2010

S510 Vote This Week - CALL TO ACTION

UPDATE: 23 November  

cORNUCOPIA iNSTITUTE - pLEASE CALL LEGISLATORS AGAIN


Agribusiness Shows Its True Colors!
Even though an agreement was reached on the Tester-Hagan amendment last week, by the leadership in the Senate, this issue in the food safety bill is still not over!
The Tester-Hagan amendment would exempt smaller, organic and local growers from expensive regulatory burdens.
For over a year, the big Agribusiness trade organizations have supported passage of S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. From agribusiness’s perspective, the bill was a win-win: they could absorb the costs of the regulations because of their size; they’d gain good PR for supposedly improving food safety practices, gain some protection from legal liabilities—and hobble the competition—local food producers by crushing them with new regulatory burdens.
Their anti-competitive motivation was only speculation until now. But when the Senators agreed to include the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill, to exempt small-scale direct-marketing producers from some of the most burdensome provisions, agribusiness revealed its true colors. Late last week, twenty agribusiness lobby groups fired off a letter stating that they would oppose the bill if it included the Tester-Hagan amendment.  Complete article > see link above

FOOD POLITICS


Senate Food Safety Bill Moves Ahead

 

Who's Buying Whose Vote on S510 These is a whole lot of money being paid out on this one!





URGENT ALERT- CLOTURE VOTE ON S.510 THIS WEEK
  
S.510, the Food Safety Bill contains language that seriously threat to our access to dietary supplements according to attorney Jonathan Emord. See the interview with him below.
  
Please call both of your Senators today to oppose it via the Capital Switchboard at
202-224-3121. When you get connected ask for each of your Senators. Tell them to kill S.510 The Food Safety Bill Tell them not to hand broad new regulatory powers to the corrupt FDA that would be used against dietary supplement manufacturers and also small farmers!
The legislation encourages the FDA to harmonize its regulations to those of the European Union where dietary supplements are very heavily restricted. It also creates a financial incentive for the FDA to engage in numerous inspections of dietary supplement companies and small farmers in which small businessmen would be charged for the hourly cost of any reinspection. This sets the stage for gross regulatory abuse by an out of control agency with a long history of abusing its power:
See the following excerpt from an interview below of attorney Jonathan Emord by Jon Rappoport and please forward this alert widely- call everyone you know to urge them to call their Senators. We must apply huge pressure THIS WEEK during this Lame Duck session of Congress if we are to successfully kill this bill because many who support it are on their way out of office and don't care what we want.
The entire interview can be seen at this link http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/the-threat-to-health-freedom-now/  but the excerpt below pertains directly to S.510.
RAPPOPORT:  This past summer, Congress took up a food safety bill (S.510).  What’s its present status?  Does its wording really suggest we may be subject to Codex regulations vis-√†-vis the sale of nutritional supplements?  What are the shortcomings of the bill?
EMORD:  This bill is a significant threat to the supplement industry.  It contains a provision that permits FDA to charge the hourly cost of its inspections of [nutritional-supplement] establishments if the agency finds a violation warranting a re-inspection. 
That creates an incentive for FDA to find fault on first inspections and to do re-inspections as a revenue raiser.  The bill also includes a provision that encourages FDA to evaluate harmonization between domestic and foreign regulation.  That invites the agency to construe its regulations to effect a change in them favoring the EU model.  At a time when the FDA is in great disrepute for abusing its powers (approving unsafe drugs, failing to force the withdrawal of unsafe drugs form the market, and censoring health information concerning supplements), the Congress is about to entrust the agency with yet more vast new regulatory powers. 
That is a big mistake.  Congress should be moving rapidly in the other direction, taking away power from this corrupt agency.  The problem is that Congress, too, is quite corrupt.  Senator Harry Reid said that he would not move the bill forward in the Senate until after the election.  The election is likely to result in Republican control of the House and either Republican control of the Senate or a loss of Democratic dominance in the Senate.  If that happens, S. 510 could become a casualty of an angry electorate desirous of stopping the regulatory train before it leaves the station.
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ALSO SEE THIS ALERT AGAINST S.510 BY THE WESTON A PRICE FOUNDATION-
IT ALSO THREATENS SMALL ORGANIC FARMERS-- WHEN YOU CALL YOUR SENATORS ALSO DISCUSS THESE TALKING POINTS
URGENT ACTION ALERT ON FOOD SAFETY LEGISLATION

The Senate is coming back for the lame duck session, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) is scheduled for a cloture vote this week.  We have asked you to take action on this issue several times this year, and now were in the final push.  It is critical that you call your Senators NOW to urge them to amend or oppose S.510!

S.510 greatly expands FDAs authority over both processed foods and fresh fruits and vegetables, and would give FDA authority to impose extensive, burdensome requirements on even the smallest processing facilities and farms that sell to local consumers. 

We need the Tester-Hagan amendment to protect our vulnerable local food producers!

TAKE ACTION

Please call BOTH of your Senators.  You can find their contact information at www.Senate.gov or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. 

Urge your Senators to amend or oppose S.510, and specifically to:

1) SUPPORT the TESTER-HAGAN AMENDMENT to prevent the imposition of new federal regulations on small-scale, direct-marketing producers.

2) OPPOSE any amendment to add criminal penalties to S.510.

As it is currently written, S.510 would make our food supply LESS safe by harming local producers, increasing our reliance on imported foods due to the burden on domestic producers, and giving FDA new powers without holding the agency accountable for its failures.
TALKING POINTS

1.  Small, local food producers have not contributed to the highly publicized foodborne illness outbreaks and should not be subjected to extensive new federal regulation.   Although S. 510 includes some provisions that call for flexibility, the bills current language still imposes extensive new requirements on even the smallest farmers and food producers.  State and local regulation have already proven to be enough for local food producers; we dont need new federal regulations. 

2.  Increased regulations and record-keeping obligations could destroy small businesses that bring both jobs and food to local communities.  In this time of economic hardship, we need more local food businesses! Congress should work to reduce regulatory burdens on them, not increase them.

3.  Food safety and security both come from a diversified, vibrant local food system.  Local foods give consumers the choice to buy from producers they know, creating a transparent, accountable food system without federal government oversight. 

4.  Additional FDA regulation is counterproductive.  FDA has not used its existing authority well.  Instead of focusing its resources on the problems posed by imported foods and large processing facilities, FDA has chosen to target small processors.  While approving unlabeled GMOs to enter our food supply, it has opposed raw milk and interfered with the free choice of informed adults who want access to this healthy food.  Simply giving FDA increased authority and power will not improve the food supply unless Congress requires the agency to focus on Agribusiness and not small, local producers.

5.  Increased regulation of our domestic food suppliers will lead to greater dependence on imported foods, harming both our economy and our security.  The bill will create incentives for retailers to import more food from other countries, because it will burden family farms and small business and because it will be practically impossible to hold foreign food facilities to the same standards and inspections.  The bill will create a considerable competitive disadvantage for ALL U.S. agriculture and food production (see analysis at http://ftcldf.org/news/news-20Oct2009-2.html)

6.  S.510 does not address many of the fundamental problems with our food.  The bill does not cover the factory livestock farms that are the source of dangerous E. coli 0157:H7, nor does it address issues such as BPA, pesticide and herbicide contamination, GMOs, or the many other contaminants that impact our health.  It is not productive to focus on bacterial contamination and nothing else.

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