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“FDA Food Safety Modernization Act”

Talking Points: “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act”
Fake “Food Safety” Bill (S.510 – HR.4739) Threatens Family Farms
Over 1,000,000 Citizen Petition Emails to Congress & White House say “NO!” to S. 510

Rumor in DC is that the forced-industrialization of food production bill, S.510 will come to a vote in the Senate this week or next week. If you value local, natural food production, NOW is the time to act! Please use this Action Item and send the message to the Senate: NO FAKE FOOD SAFETY BILL. Demand clear protection for local, natural food production! Please forward this message to everyone you know and ask them to act too! The “Hidden Tax” Fees section of the bill lays out another part of its true agenda: “…fees are authorized to remain available until expended. Such sums as may be necessary may be transferred from the Food and Drug Administration salaries and expenses account without fiscal year limitation…” With the average Federal Govt employee making twice the average private sector employee (hardly a sustainable situation!) and as hyperinflation takes hold, FDA is scrambling to grab hidden taxes wherever it can. Unless YOU say “Stop!”

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Talking Points to Oppose S.510

1. The House passed the so-called, but mis-named, “Food Safety Modernization” bill, HR 4739, in July 2009, sending it to the Senate, where it is being considered as S.510. The Senate HELP committee “marked-up” the bill in November 2009 and the Manager’s Amendments were offered at the beginning of April 2010.

2. The Manager’s Amendments do not satisfy the Citizens Petition which demands:

“Rule of Interpretation – No provision of this act shall be deemed to apply (a) to any home, home-business, homestead, home or community gardens, small farm, organic or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.”

3. The bill as written threatens small farm, home, local and community food production with onerous rules that, while perhaps appropriate for industrialized food production, will create impossible “barriers against entry” that will rapidly destroy such local and natural production. No protective language is included in the Senate bill that satisfies these concerns.

As an example of the type of controls imposed, Section 106 provides in part for the regulations issued to be kept secret from the public, “In the interest of national security, the Secretary … may determine the time and manner in which the guidance documents issued under paragraph (1) are made public…”

4. The bill as written, in effect, incorporates the “HARMonization” provisions of the discredited “Dietary Supplement Safety Act” S.3002 and actually calls upon the FDA to recommend harmonization of American nutritional freedoms with Codex Alimentarius’ restrictions.

Section 404: “Nothing in this Act… shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with… any …treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.”

Section 306(c)(5): “Recommendations on whether and how to harmonize requirements under the Codex Alimentarius.”

5. Codex Alimentarius, a United Nations Commission administered and funded by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization, promulgates increasingly industrialized food standards and guidelines. HARMonization of US food production with Codex standards and guidelines represents a serious degradation of US food standards. This bill mandates such HARMonization, to the detriment of US health and agriculture standards.

6. The vast majority of recent food safety scandals in the U.S. — E. coli on fresh spinach, melamine in dairy products, Salmonella in peanut butter — were all linked to industrial agribusiness practices. Large-scale operations clearly warrant more federal food safety oversight and strict enforcement action. What is NOT needed is a “one-size-fits-all” approach that poses unfair costs and onerous reporting on our safest farmers: local, family and organic farmers.

7. Registration fee ($500) regardless of farm size followed by blanket application of complicated monitoring and traceability standards and draconian fines for paperwork infractions ($500,000 or more for first time offense) will drive small farmers out of business.

8. FDA recall authority and fees represent a regressive tax on small farms and farmers which are unnecessary to prevent food contamination since virtually all food contamination outbreaks are the result of large-scale factory farming and/or massive food processing facilities.

9. Cost of Program: Section 401, $825,000,000 taxes in the first year

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