Next week, as early as Tuesday, April 13, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on S. 510, a sweeping overhaul of federal food safety law.
The House food safety bill passed last year (HR 2749) included several measures that threaten small-scale organic producers, including a registration fee of $500 and blanket application of complicated monitoring and traceability standards — regardless of one’s farm size. There’s no doubt that industrial agriculture needs better oversight. But family-scale local and organic farms are probably the safest in the nation – they are part of the solution, not part of the problem — and need to be protected.
Senator John Tester (D-MT), a certified organic farmer himself, is proposing an amendment to S. 510 that would exempt small-scale farmers and food processors from the most burdensome regulations. Small-scale operations are already subject to adequate regulation by local and state agencies.
Please call Senator Feingold (202-224-5323) and Senator Kohl (202-224-5653) to urge them to support the Tester amendment to exempt small farms from registration fees and regulations that could force family farmers out of business.