Small farmers Please act now

beagler1776(z6MD)December 6, 2010


S 510 Is Stalled In the House -

Please Call Your Representative Immediately

After S 510 passed the Senate last week and went to the House, House members showed that the bill's Section 107 creates new taxes, which can Constitutionally be originated only by the House. Both the House and Senate have options - including resurrecting an old House food bill like HR 2749, but until this matter is resolved the bill cannot move forward. Passage in the House is not a given, but we need to act quickly.

Please call your Representative immediately to OPPOSE S 510.

The situation with this bill could change any moment. Please act now if you don't want this bill to become law.

S 510 gives sweeping new authority to the FDA to control the food you want to eat. The amendments currently attached to the bill provide little to no protection for the vast majority of farms. And these "exceptions" for some farms can be removed if the FDA finds "reason to believe" that a farm has a contamination issue - they will not need evidence, just "reason to believe." The FDA's track record of aggressively persecuting small farms, food buying clubs and small dairies speaks for itself. This, and the fact that the FDA has stated in court that you have no right to consume any particular food, no right to bodily or physical health, and no right to contract is enough reason to not give the FDA any more control over your food.

S 510 would extend the authority of international trade agreements onto farms, including, among other things, requiring HACCP (a WTO program) type plans. HACCP wiped out about 40% of small meat processors - who had no history of foodborne illness or contamination issues - when it was imposed on them several years ago. These independent family businesses simply could not pay for the red tape.

Please tell your Representative you are smart enough to decide what you want to eat:

Talking Points

The FDA fails to do the job it is charged with. FDA should inspect the imports and processing plants it has the authority to inspect and stay out of farming. It only inspects a tiny fraction of imports and processing plants.

The rules and regulations the FDA will promulgate under S510 will harm our ability to get healthy, safe food. Tell FDA instead to require truthful labeling and disclose genetically modified products on labels. This would create a safer food supply and not harm the small family farmer.

S 510 will create even larger federal bureaucracy, giving additional power to the FDA and other agencies.

S 510 opens the door to violations of due process including illegal search and seizure and suspension of judicial review.

S 510 will harm the only productive economic engine in the country - small farms and local food. The Tester amendment still puts additional paperwork, record keeping and scrutiny onto direct marketers.


1. Please call your Representative to oppose S 510.

Ask to speak to the aide who handles S 510. Tell the aide this bill will make food safety issues worse, not better, because it will eliminate smaller farms - where the healthiest food comes from, and consolidate farming and food production into the industrial facilities that are the primary cause of food safety issues. Tell them the Tester-Hagan amendment does not fix the basic problems with the bill and gives uncertain protection to only a tiny number of farms.

For more details, particularly on the failure of the Tester amendment, please see these excellent pieces by Doreen Hannes and David Gumpert.

For a detailed explanation on the broader Constitutional problems of the bill, see this letter to Senators Stabenow and Levin from the National Organization for Raw Materials.

Read the actual bill here.

Yours for food freedom,

Deborah Stockton, Executive Director

National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)

Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products.

NICFA opposes any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.

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lily51(OH 5)

Thanks so much for the info. I'll pass it along on facebook.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 8:09PM
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I agree this is a bad bill. To my knowledge there is not a certifiable HACCP program. The only certifiable programs I can find are ISO22000, and SQF, SQF is available online for all to see the requirements. USDA HAD a TQSA program, but they did away with that sometime around 2008.

These programs are very cumbersome & will be hard for small operations to adhere to. They'd almost need to hire a full time person to write their manual, AND self-audit, vendor audit, and 3rd party audit. Too much for small companies.

I say let the people decide who they want to buy from, what they want to eat, and be done with it, buy local, We don't need babysitters to oversee every aspect of our lives.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 4:50PM
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So - would you exempt small restaurants and grocery stores from sanitation and food handling regulations?

Would you exempt small child care centers from child care regulations?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 7:04PM
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There are already rules & regulations regarding both, and then some. If an inspected plant that is regulated blatently refuses to cease production when salmonella is obviously present, do you really think more regulations will stop that?

They can't keep contaminated food from being imported, plastics out of our animals feed, poisons out of our childrens toys, and can't tell us where the missile originated off the coast of CA. Furthermore they created MAD cow disease from regulations allowing unnatural bovine additives to cow feed, allow cancer causing additives to regulated foods, allowing unproven genetically modified food into our food system, and use chemicals to ripen our fruits & vegetables. Wasn't there just an article regarding soda a couple of weeks ago? I don't feel they have a very good track record.

WHAT makes you think these burdensome regulations will improve anything? WHAT makes you think this paperwork just can't be falsified? At this fragile time in our economy, do we really need to be adding 18,000 government (read completely overhead government) jobs for the few taxpayers left to bear the burden? How about the cost of food rising to pay for this overregulated burden? How top heavy will we become before we topple?

It's a power scheme, to promote job security while giving the impression of providing safety, feel-good regulations that will further erode our freedoms. We already have the safest food in the world. This is overkill.

Glad it makes you feel safe, kinda like the SS I pay into-NOT

And no, I won't supply links to my statements. Look them up yourself.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 8:48PM
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brendasue - If an inspected plant that is regulated blatently refuses to cease production when salmonella is obviously present, do you really think more regulations will stop that? Yes, because this law gives the FDA the explicit power to order a shutdown. Before this law, they could not order a recall and could not shut down a processing plant. They could ask for it, they could recommend it, but they could not ORDER it.

Now they will have the same power as the local county restaurant inspectors :)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 4:05PM
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Actually I was thinking about the peanut incident & the ceo/owner whomever he was knowingly continued production although salmonella testing came back positive. My point no matter how many rules & regulations are on the books there are people who will continue to disregard them. You can't stop that, instead the over regulation gets applied to the poor companies who are struggling to comply.

FDA currently has plenty of power:

And this article a couple paragraphs down even states they will shut this company down, as stated in the 1st & 4th paragraphs:

And there is a PDF file online showing enforcement statistics the FDA accomplished - I doubt they are lying about them, maybe fudging & tweaking numbers but not outright lying. FDA also issues operating licenses which they can always revoke.

What about Morningland Dairy that had 6 months of cheese confiscated - sample pulled from out of state, no lot number supplied, stocked cheese not tested, and yet ordered to be destroyed? That type of power without due process, procedures, and solid evidence against the accused is exactly what I'm talking about. And they are not the only dairy on "the list".

Seems to me they have plenty of power to accomplish enforcement, without letting them be judge and jury. Can you imagine if police officers who have a bad day were given the authority to be judge & jury?

They do have the power despite your claim, and they have applied that power to those both willing and unwilling to cooperate. The FDA is a good thing, however too much of a good thing is always BAD.

Media spreads fear & that's what these people thrive on.

You didn't respond to the other issues posted above, not that I'm going to spend any more time on this, but just wanted to point that out.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 6:25PM
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