Send a live email message to your Senators through the online petition to Reject S.510.
The “lame duck” session of Congress begins today and S.510 –the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act–is scheduled for a cloture vote sometime this week.
S.510 is a major threat to the local food movement. It greatly expands FDA’s jurisdiction over intrastate commerce and imposes one-size-fits-all regulations that will make it more difficult for small farms and food processors to remain in business.
It is urgent that you call your Senators and ask them to oppose S.510.
S.510 will interfere with your ability to obtain the foods of your choice. It will benefit the industrial food system and imports, the two sectors of the food economy that are most responsible for outbreaks of foodborne illness in this country.
Through regulating small, quality producers out of business, S.510 will decrease food safety and this country’s ability to become self-sufficient in food production.
1. Call both of your Senators and ask them to oppose S.510.
Go to Congress.org and type in your zip code in the box in the upper right hand corner.
Click on your Senator’s name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number.
You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.
Once connected, ask to speak to the legislative staff person responsible for agriculture. If they are unavailable leave a voicemail message. Be sure to include your name and phone number.
2. Send a live email message to your Senators through the online petition to www.ftcldf.org/stopS510
Be sure to follow up with phone calls.
1. FDA has more than adequate powers under existing law to ensure food safety and effectively deal with foodborne illness outbreaks. FDA has power to inspect, power to detain product and can readily obtain court orders to seize adulterated or misbranded food products or enjoin them from being sold. The problem isn’t that FDA needs more power; it’s that FDA does not effectively use the power it currently has.
2. S.510 will give FDA extensive power to regulate food in intrastate commerce; state and local governments are more than capable of handling any problems related to food in intrastate commerce. All the major outbreaks of foodborne illness involve either imported food or food in interstate commerce.
3. S.510 will hurt our ability as a nation to be self-sufficient in food production; it has more lenient inspection requirements for foreign than domestic producers creating an unfair advantage for food imports. Giving an advantage to foreign producers will only increase the amount of food imported into this country that does not meet our domestic standards. The bill does not address food security–the ability of a country to produce enough food to meet its own needs.
4. S.510 will provide a competitive advantage to industrial food producers–the sector of the food system causing most of the food safety problems; they will benefit from this legislation because it will cripple many small farmers and local producers–the solution to the food safety problems in this country. The bill will impose burdensome regulations that will punish local food producers, many of whom won’t have the economies of scale to comply with S.510’s requirements.
5. S.510 gives FDA the power to dictate growers’ practices by establishing national standards for produce; the same standards applying to big firms-where the food safety problems have occurred-will apply as well to small growers who have had no food safety issues. Small growers will be forced to change practices that have produced safe, quality food.
6. S.510 does nothing to address many significant food safety problems in this country, such as those resulting from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and various contaminants (e.g., BPA, pesticides, herbicides, etc.).
For a more detailed discussion, see S 510 is hissing in the grass.