I copy & pasted this from another SP group discussion. It was posted by another SP friend. ======================================== ==
S 510 is horrible. BUT from what I understand, the bill stalled in the House because it provides for new taxes. Only the House can initiate bills which raise taxes. Here is a good article to read more: (I know we're not supposed to post whole articles, but I got this as an e-mail so I don't know how to link to it -- besides, it said to broadcast it, so I don't think the authors will mind!)
S 510 Is Stalled In the House - Please Call Your Representative Immediately
After S 510 passed the Senate last week and went to the House, House members showed that the bill's Section 107 creates new taxes, which can Constitutionally be originated only by the House. Both the House and Senate have options - including resurrecting an old House food bill like HR 2749, but until this matter is resolved the bill cannot move forward. Passage in the House is not a given, but we need to act quickly. Please call your Representative immediately to OPPOSE S 510.
The situation with this bill could change any moment. Please act now if you don't want this bill to become law.
S 510 gives sweeping new authority to the FDA to control the food you want to eat. The amendments currently attached to the bill provide little to no protection for the vast majority of farms. And these "exceptions" for some farms can be removed if the FDA finds "reason to believe" that a farm has a contamination issue - they will not need evidence, just "reason to believe." The FDA's track record of aggressively persecuting small farms, food buying clubs and small dairies speaks for itself. This, and the fact that the FDA has stated in court that you have no right to consume any particular food, no right to bodily or physical health, and no right to contract is enough reason to not give the FDA any more control over your food.
S 510 would extend the authority of international trade agreements onto farms, including, among other things, requiring HACCP (a WTO program) type plans. HACCP wiped out about 40% of small meat processors - who had no history of foodborne illness or contamination issues - when it was imposed on them several years ago. These independent family businesses simply could not pay for the red tape.
Please tell your Representative you are smart enough to decide what you want to eat:
* The FDA fails to do the job it is charged with. FDA should inspect the imports and processing plants it has the authority to inspect and stay out of farming. It only inspects a tiny fraction of imports and processing plants. * The rules and regulations the FDA will promulgate under S510 will harm our ability to get healthy, safe food. Tell FDA instead to require truthful labeling and disclose genetically modified products on labels. This would create a safer food supply and not harm the small family farmer. * S 510 will create even larger federal bureaucracy, giving additional power to the FDA and other agencies. * S 510 opens the door to violations of due process including illegal search and seizure and suspension of judicial review. * S 510 will harm the only productive economic engine in the country - small farms and local food. The Tester amendment still puts additional paperwork, record keeping and scrutiny onto direct marketers.
1. Please call your Representative to oppose S 510.
Ask to speak to the aide who handles S 510. Tell the aide this bill will make food safety issues worse, not better, because it will eliminate smaller farms - where the healthiest food comes from, and consolidate farming and food production into the industrial facilities that are the primary cause of food safety issues. Tell them the Tester-Hagan amendment does not fix the basic problems with the bill and gives uncertain protection to only a tiny number of farms.
For more details, particularly on the failure of the Tester amendment, please see these excellent pieces by Doreen Hannes and David Gumpert.
For a detailed explanation on the broader Constitutional problems of the bill, see this letter to Senators Stabenow and Levin from the National Organization for Raw Materials.
Read the actual bill here.
Yours for food freedom,
Deborah Stockton, Executive Director National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA) firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.nicfa.com
Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products. NICFA opposes any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.
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