FAMILY FARMS, SUSTAINABLE & ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND URGE THEM
TO SUPPORT THE TESTER AMENDMENT
The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) could reach the Senate floor as early as tomorrow. NSAC has been able to win several improvements to the bill but more changes are needed to avoid serious harm to family farm value-added processing and the emergence of local and regional food systems.
S.510 would considerably ramp up FDA regulation on farms that even minimally process their crops and sell them to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools and wholesalers. An amendment sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) would exempt small farm and small food processing facilities as well as small and mid-sized farmers who primarily direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants within their region.
Most sustainable agriculture and family farm groups think the Senate bill with changes won by NSAC is a very significant improvement over the companion bill passed by the House of Representatives (HR 2749) last year. The changes listed below will be included in the bill that goes to the Senate floor for a vote. We can’t support the Senate bill, however, unless the Tester amendment is also adopted. We strongly oppose the companion House measure, and stand ready to defend the “good amendments” to the Senate bill when it goes to conference with the House later this year.
The Manager’s Amendment to S.510 already includes the following important improvements to the bill that have been backed by NSAC:
- Sanders (D-VT) amendment (requiring FDA to write regulations to determine low risk on-farm processing activities that can be exempt from regulatory requirement);
- Bennet (D-CO) amendment (to reduce unnecessary paperwork and streamline requirements for farmers and small processors);
- Stabenow (D-MI) amendment (to create a USDA-delivered competitive grants program for farmer food safety training);
- Boxer (D-CA) amendment (to eliminate anti-wildlife habitat language from the bill); and
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