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.
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.
For more information on why this bill desperately needs to be amended, please contact the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund (www.farmtoconsumer.org), or the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (www.farmandranchfreedom.org). 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.