James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food Safety: Keep Up the Pressure to Kill a Dangerous Bill

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/food-safety-keep-up-the-pressure-to-kill-a-dangerous-bill

Downsize DC MAY be on the verge of another victory, but it's up to you to keep up the pressure.

You see, last November, a Senate committee unanimously approved a poisonous "food safety" bill, S.510.

Seven months later, however, the bill still hasn't reached the Senate floor.

Why?

Because of you!

DC Downsizers and a broad coalition of farm activists objected to the draconian regulations that would destroy small farms and the organic food industry.

In response, Sen. Jon Tester proposed some amendments that would exempt family farms and small food processors. Other Senators have proposed other amendments, and Majority Leader Harry Reid is facing division within his own party on the bill.

It's possible that Sen. Reid won't bring S.510 to the floor at all this year. This would be ideal.

It's also possible that the Senate will debate the bill sometime in the coming weeks, so let's be prepared . . .

* tell Congress you oppose this dangerous food "safety" bill
* and at the very least, insist on Sen. Tester's amendments

Please send your message using DownsizeDC.org's Freedom to Farm campaign.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

In general, I oppose federal "safety" regulations. Our food supply would be safer if the free market and the states supplied the regulations.

* Private trade associations and certification boards will compete to win consumer confidence in the safety and reliability of their products
* Firms that sell liability insurance would have flexible, site-specific safety requirements instead of one-size-fits-all regulations
* Consumers would be more likely to purchase from local growers and sellers that they know and trust
* States could learn from each other the most effective government regulations, if any are needed

In principle, then, I believe you should oppose S.510 and work to repeal most of the federal laws and regulations on the books.

I also demand that you make the bill "less bad" by insisting on the inclusion of Sen. Tester's amendments. These amendments would exempt . . . http://tester.senate.gov/Newsroom/pr_041410_foodsafety.cfm

* Producers that add value to food through processing and whose adjusted gross income is less than $500,000 per year;
* Producers who sell their food directly to market (such as farmers’ markets).

Please support other amendments that would make the bill less burdensome for farmers and small processors. There will never be a 100% guarantee that all food will always be safe, but . . .

* recent food-borne illness outbreaks have not been caused by family farms and other small businesses
* if outbreaks were to occur, the number of victims will be small and the effects will be localized

In contrast, excessive fees and regulations could wipe out many small farms and businesses. This would make our food LESS safe because no amount of regulation or inspection will prevent every outbreak, and outbreaks in the corporate food chain will have far more victims and more widespread effects.

We do not need more federal regulation. We would be safer if we had more freedom.

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

And we encourage you to share this message with your friends. Retweet it.

Thanks for being a DC Downsizer!

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

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