Friday, February 5, 2010

Protect Local Food Sources - Call Your Senators

Dear Senators Cornyn and Hutchison:

As your constitutent, I am writing to ask for your help to amend the food safety bill (S510) that has recently come out of committee in the U.S. Senate. Two amendments are sorely needed:

1) to exempt farms who sell a majority of their products directly to consumers,
2) to exempt small processors.
Boggy Creek Farm

I believe that food safety is of critical importance for our country's health and security. I also believe that support for small businesses and diverse, local food sources are equally important. S510 as it is now written would put an unreasonable burden on small family farms and ranchers, local bakers, small food processors, farmers' markets, and local restaurants that specialize in dishes prepared from locally-grown food. In these tough economic times, our country does not need a bill that will put these small businesses under and create further job losses.

Not one of the highly-publicized major foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls have been due to a small local Texas food producer--not one. I have complete confidence that our state and city health departments can manage the safety of the local food supply, as they have for many decades, without the negative impact that this federal bill will have.
The Hen House at Boggy Creek Farm

For more information on why this bill desperately needs to be amended, please contact the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (, or the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance ( Please note: the Farm Bureau does not represent small producers of local food.

Please help make S510 a bill that protects both small business and food safety. Thank you.

Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. I love it when they talk about supporting small businesses. HA!

  2. Thanks for calling my attention to this. One piece of good news is that it appears that NAIS (National Animal Identification System), at least in its current federal form, is being scrapped (for now.)

  3. Iris, I thank Jenny and Brad Stufflebeam of Home Sweet Farm for giving me the heads up. Brad posted about this issue today on the Austin Permaculture listserv. He recommends we also contact our Texas Representatives and ask them to put pressure on our US senators.

  4. Here's another article, "Another Call to Add Help for Farmers to S. 510" by Helena Bottemiller of Food Safety News: Feb 01, 2010.