November 23, 2010
Send FAX through petition to Reject S.510 now H.R. 2751
Update 12/19/10: By unanimous consent on December 19, the Senate approved HR 2751 whose language was replaced by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (formerly S.510 and then included in amended spending bill, H.R. 3082). H.R. 2751 is expected to be up for vote in the House as early as Tuesday, December 21.
Contact your Representatives now! [See 12/20/10 action alert]
UPDATE 12/8/10: S.510 as passed by the Senate may be "blue slipped" by the House. See 12/7/10 Action Alert.
UPDATE 12/3/10: The Senate passed an amended S.510 by a 73-25 vote on November 30. Call your Representative to Reject S.510; watch for further alerts. The talking points below are still valid.
VOTE "NO" on CLOTURE
& OPPOSE S.510
On Monday, November 29 the Senate will take up for consideration the "manager's package" of S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
First the Senate will vote on whether to invoke cloture, which takes a three-fifths majority (i.e., 60 votes) to pass.
If the cloture motion passes, the Senate will take up a list of specified amendments (repeal of the 1099 requirements from the health care bill, a moratorium on earmarks, and a substitute bill by Senator Coburn). The Senate will then proceed to a final vote on S.510.
We continue to believe that S.510 is NOT in the best interests of small farmers, and especially raw milk farmers. Even though the Tester-Hagan Amendment makes important improvements in the bill, S.510 remains fundamentally flawed.
The core problem is that S.510 will significantly increase the power of the FDA. In response to our suit challenging the ban on raw milk in interstate commerce, the FDA stated on public record that the American people have no ''fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health" and "do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish". This agency should not be given any increased power!
STEP 1. Call your Senators and tell them to VOTE "NO" on CLOTURE and OPPOSE S.510
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121; ask to be connected to your Senator's office.
Go to www.Congress.org; enter your zip code on the right side under "Get Involved" and click "Go". Click on your Senators' names then click the "Contact" tab to get office phone number(s).
Clearly state you are calling about S.510, the Food Safety bill; ask your Senator to VOTE "NO" on CLOTURE & OPPOSE S.510 and give your zip code.
If you get voicemail, leave a brief message with your zip code.
STEP 2. Send a live message to your Local Newspaper through the online petition to Reject S.510 at www.farmtoconsumer.org/stopS510.
1. FDA does not respect individuals' rights to obtain healthy, quality foods of their choice. The agency has stated, as a matter of public record, that:
"There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food."
"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
FDA has even participated in armed raids on small-scale co-ops and membership organizations. This agency should not be given any additional power.
2. FDA has adequate powers under existing law to ensure food safety and effectively deal with foodborne illness outbreaks. FDA has power to inspect, power to detain product and can readily obtain court orders to seize adulterated or misbranded food products or enjoin them from being sold. The problem isn't that FDA needs more power; it's that FDA does not effectively use the power it currently has. The agency has power to inspect imported food yet inspects only 1% of food coming into this country from outside our borders.
3. FDA has used its existing power to benefit the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries at the expense of public health (e.g., allowing the overuse of antibiotics in confined animal feeding operations and refusing to require labeling for genetically-modified foods). This bill does not address the fundamental problems at this agency in order to truly protect public health.
4. S.510 will hurt our ability as a nation to be self-sufficient in food production because it has more lenient inspection requirements for foreign than domestic producers creating an unfair advantage for food imports. Giving an advantage to foreign producers will only increase the amount of food imported into this country that does not meet our domestic standards. S.510 does not address food security--the ability of a country to produce enough food to meet its own needs.
5. S.510 does nothing to address many significant food safety problems in this country, such as those resulting from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and various contaminants (e.g., BPA, pesticides, herbicides, etc.).
Last revised: 12/20/2010