Action Alert -- New Senate Bill Threatens Small Farmers
October 13, 2009
On July 29, 2009, the House of Representatives passed HR 2749, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and the next step in the process will be the Senate.
Although it is not certain, the Senate will probably focus its food safety discussions on S. 510, sponsored by Senator Durbin of Illinois. S. 510 is different from HR 2749, but it contains many of the same problems.
H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enforcement Act (FSEA), added over 130 pages to the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act with a myriad of new requirements and penalties for violations.
The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund agrees that the industrial food safety system has serious flaws and needs to be fixed. The US has seen numerous outbreaks of foodborne illnesses caused by imported foods or domestic foods that were processed in huge facilities and shipped throughout the country. Unfortunately, HR 2749 does not focus FDA’s efforts on these very real problems. Instead, it creates a regulatory framework that will heavily burden the small farms and local food processors, the very people who provide a safe, healthy alternative to the industrial food supply.
S.510, they say, is more of the same, and needs to be defeated.