HR 2749 FAILS TO PASS, BUT HOUSE TO VOTE ON BILL AGAIN!
HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act, did not pass the House on Wednesday. It was scheduled on the Suspension Calendar, which meant no amendments could be offered and only 40 minutes of debate. But the proponents failed to muster the necessary two-thirds vote to pass the bill under suspension. Instead, 150 Members of Congress said "Stop!"
But the fight is not over!!!
In a very unusual move, the Rules Committee met Wednesday afternoon and reported the bill to the floor a second time under what's called a "closed rule," which allows only one hour of debate. So the House may vote on HR 2749 again as soon as today, Thursday!
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is asking everyone to contact their U.S. Representatives AGAIN requesting that they vote against HR 2749.
Industrial food processors and food imports need effective regulation, but this should not be done at the expense of the 'local food system.' HR2749 will impose burdensome regulations on many small farmers and local food producers including registration fees and extensive paperwork requirements for which many small food businesses will not have the resources to comply. The 'local food system' is not the source of the food safety problems in this country, small farmers and local artisanal producers are part of the solution.
HR 2749 would reduce FDA's accountability while significantly increasing its power. The bill would empower FDA to conduct warrantless searches of business records without any evidence whatsoever that a violation has occurred, to order a quarantine prohibiting or restricting the movement of food in a geographic area. HR 2749 also creates severe criminal and civil penalties with the potential for substantial fines for even minor violations of the law.
Urge your Representative to vote against HR 2749 and support a food safety bill that will target imports and industrial foods while leaving small farmers and local food producers alone.