If you don’t want that to be the headline in your local paper tomorrow, we need your support today!
Dear friends and lovers of good, fresh, locally grown organic food, please read the open letter (below) from my dear friend Michael Sligh, a leading authority on locally grown food and long-time advocate for family farmers.
We’re asking you to contact your two State Senators today and ask them to support the proposed Amendments to Senate bill S.510, that would allow local family farmers to continue to sell their products directly to the public at farmers markets, CSA’s, and local food coops, restaurants, and local stores. You can find your Senator’s contact info here.
Please call today, this is critical to being able to get the freshest organic food for your family. Thanks for making it a better day!
Open letter from Michael Sligh, Rafi-USA
Dear Friends of Organic Food,
Debate and voting on The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) is set to begin today, November 17th, on the Senate floor.
The bill takes important steps to improve corporate food safety rules, but S. 510 is not appropriate for small farms and processors that sell to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools, wholesalers and at farm stands and farmers markets.
As we ramp up food safety protections, we must not harm small family farms and local food systems by imposing expensive, one-size-fits-all rules.
Two amendments will be offered when S. 510 comes to the floor. Both are essential to protecting local food systems. Please call your Senators and ask them to:
Vote for the Manager’s Amendment, which would make a variety of changes to the bill, including providing flexibility for small processors, requiring the FDA to apply sound science to any requirements that might impact wildlife on farms, and minimizing record keeping for farmers who sell food directly to consumers or grocery stores.
Vote for the Tester-Hagan Amendment, which would improve food safety outcomes by creating size-appropriate requirements and less costly compliance alternatives.
Your call today is critical.
Dial the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121, and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office. If you don’t know who your senators are, visit www.senate.gov to find out.
The message is simple:
“I am a constituent of Senator___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to vote for the Manager’s Amendment and the Tester-Hagan Amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act. We need a food safety bill that cracks down on corporate bad actors without erecting new barriers to more local and regional food sourcing. Size- and practice -appropriate food safety regulation for small and mid-sized farms and processors is vital to economic recovery, public health, and nutritional well being. ”
Your call today will give small farmers and processors a voice as Congress shapes this critical legislation.
Michael, Sally, Claire, and the rest of your friends at RAFI
P.S. Advocates for family farms and sustainable agriculture across the country are mobilizing to support these amendments, from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Organic Coalition in Washington, D.C., to our neighbors at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Our calls will make the difference for family farms and local food.