[permaculture] S. 510, the Senate version of major food safety legislation - the vote on this is Nov. 18

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at bellsouth.net
Thu Nov 12 16:34:02 EST 2009

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] FW: A Weekly Update Special Alert
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 11:40:16 -0500
From: Annette M. Higby <annette at SUSTAINABLEAGRICULTURE.NET>

Apologies for cross posts.

From: Aimee Witteman, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
[mailto:awitteman at sustainableagriculture.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 10:30 AM
To: annette at sustainableagriculture.net
Subject: A Weekly Update Special Alert

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Weekly Update

November 12, 2009


The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will mark
up S. 510, the Senate version of major food safety legislation already
approved by the House of Representatives, next Wednesday, November 18.

The bill focuses on foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, not
meat and poultry which is regulated by USDA.

The bill includes several key reforms that would put real teeth into federal
regulation of large-scale food processing corporations to better protect
consumers.  However, the bill as written would also do serious harm to
family farm value added processing, local and regional food systems,
conservation and wildlife protection, and organic farming.

The good news is the HELP committee could fix those problems with the
adoption of some common sense provisions to retain a crack down on corporate
bad actors without erecting dangerous new barriers to the growing healthy
food movement based on small and mid-sized family farms, sustainable and
organic production methods, and more local and regional food sourcing.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Organic
Coalition, have fashioned just such a set of common sense provisions that
must be added to S 510.

We urge you to contact your Senator on the HELP Committee (list below) and
urge them to support the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and
National Organic Coalition amendments!

It's easy to call.  If your Senator is on the HELP Committee (see the list
below), please call or fax their office and ask to speak with the aide in
charge of food safety issues.  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 proposals for amendments to S 510
offered by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National
Organic Coalition."

Specifically, ask them to support the following key principles:

*	The bill should provide small and mid-sized family farms that market
value-added farm products with training and technical assistance in
developing food safety plans for their farms.
*	The bill should direct FDA to narrow the kinds of farm activities
subject to FDA control and to base those regulations on sound risk analysis.
(Current FDA rules assume, without any scientific evidence or risk analysis,
that all farms which undertake any one of a long list of processing,
labeling or packaging activities should be regulated.)
*	The bill should direct FDA to ease compliance for organic farmers by
integrating the FDA standards with the organic certification rules. FDA
compliance should not jeopardize a farmer's ability to be organically
certified under USDA's National Organic Program.
*	The bill should insist that FDA food safety standards and guidance
will not contradict federal conservation, environmental, and wildlife
standards and practices, and not force the farmer to choose which federal
agency to obey and which to reject.
*	 Farmers who sell directly to consumers should not be required to
keep records and be part of a federal "traceback" system.  All other farms
should not be required to maintain records electronically or records beyond
the first point of sale beyond the farmgate.

For more information on the Senate Food Safety bill, please see NSAC's
T3wCKRvfmki>  Talking Points here and its Policy Brief  Food
wCKRvfmki>  Safety on the Farm.

List of Senate HELP Committee Members

Senator                                   Phone                         Fax


Tom Harkin (IA)                     202-224-3254              No fax

Chris Dodd (CT)                     202-224-2823              202-224-1083

Barbara Mikulski (MD)           202-224-4654              202-224-8858

Jeff Bingaman (NM)               202-224-5521              No fax

Patty Murray (WA)                 202-224-2621              202-224-0238

Jack Reed (RI)                        202-224-4642              202-224-4680

Bernie Sanders (VT)               202-224-5141              202-228-0776

Sherrod Brown (OH)              202-224-2315              202-228-6321

Bob Casey (PA)                      202-224-6324              202-228-0604

Kay Hagan (NC)                     202-224-6342              202-228-2563

Jeff Merkley (OR)                  202-224-3753              202-228-3997

Al Franken (MN)                    202-224-5641              No fax

Michael Bennet (CO)              202-224-5852              202-228-5036

Senator                                   Phone                         Fax


Mike Enzi (WY)                     202-224-3424              202-228-0359

Judd Gregg (NH)                    202-224-3324              No fax

Lamar Alexander (TN)           202-224-4944              202-228-3398

Richard Burr (NC)                  202-224-3154              202-228-2981

Johnny Isakson (GA)              202-224-3643              202-228-0724

Orrin Hatch (UT)                    202-224-5251              202-224-6331

Pat Roberts (KS)                     202-224-4774              202-224-3514

Tom Coburn (OK)                  202-224-5754              202-224-6008

Lisa Murkowski (AK)             202-224-6665              202-224-5301


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