Food Safety Modernization Act

October 5, 2010

Dear Senator:

The 107 undersigned organizations represent consumers, farmers and ranchers, local food producers, and co-ops who are concerned that the pending food safety legislation, S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, will unnecessarily burden and handicap small-scale, local food producers. We urge you to support the amendment co-sponsored by Senators Tester and Hagan to ensure that small-scale direct-marketing farms and food producers are protected from unnecessary and overly burdensome federal regulations.

All of the well-publicized incidents of contamination in recent years – including the recent egg recall – occurred in industrialized food supply chains that span national and even international boundaries. The food safety problems in this system can and should be addressed without harming the local food systems that provide an alternative for consumers.

The growing trend toward healthy, fresh, locally sourced vegetables, fruit, dairy, and value-added products improves food safety by providing the opportunity for consumers to know their farmers and processors, to choose products on the basis of that relationship, and to readily trace any problems should they occur. Farmers and processors who sell directly to consumers and end users have a direct relationship with their customers that ensures quality, safety, transparency and accountability. In addition, small-scale food producers are already regulated by local and state authorities, and the potential risk their products pose is inherently limited by their size. For these farmers and processors, new federal requirements are unnecessary and would simply harm both the food producers and their consumers.

Although S. 510 includes some provisions for flexibility for small and diversified producers and processors, the bill’s new hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls would affect these facilities and authorize FDA to dictate growing and harvesting practices for produce. These requirements will impose significant expenses and burdens on individuals and small businesses. We therefore urge you to support the Tester-Hagan Amendment.

For more information, contact Sara Kendall at 202-547-7040 or sara@worc.org, or Judith McGeary at 512-484-8821 or Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org.

Sincerely,

Abundance Cooperative Market (NY)City Center Market (MN)

City Market/ Onion River Co-op (VT)

Common Ground Food Co-op (IL)

Community Food and Agriculture Coalition of Missoula County (MT)

Community Food Security Coalition

Constitutional Alliance

Cornucopia Institute

Corvallis-Albany Farmers Markets (OR)

Dakota Resource Council

Dakota Rural Action

Deep Roots Market (NC)

Eastside Food Co-op (MN)

Edible Austin

Edible Missoula (MT)

Edible San Marcos (TX)

Empire State Family Farm Alliance (NY)

Family Farm Defenders

Farm Aid

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

FarmAssist Productions

Fiddleheads Natural Food Coop (CT)

Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers

Food for Maine's Future

Fort Collins Food Co-op (CO)

Good Earth Market (MT)

Grand Forks County Citizens Coalition (ND)

Idaho Rural Council

Idaho's Bounty Co-op

Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming

Just Food Co-op (MN)

Lane County Food Policy Council (OR)

Local Harvest

Long Beach Grows (CA)

Lost River Market & Deli Co-op (IN)

Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association

Maryland Small Farm Cooperative

Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation

Massachusetts Smallholders Alliance

Maui Aloha Aina Association (HI)

Michigan Land Trustees

Michigan Land Use Institute

Missouri Rural Crisis Center

Montana Cattlemen's Association

Montana Farmers Union

Montana Organic Association

Moscow Food Co-op (ID)

National Family Farm Coalition

Natural Environmental Ecological Management

Nebraska Food Cooperative

Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society

Neighborhood Co-op Grocery (IL)

New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation

North Missoula Community Development Corporation (MT)

Northern Plains Resource Council (MT)

Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network

Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Co-Op (CA)

Oregon Farmers Market Association

Oregon Rural Action

Organic Consumers Association

Organization for Competitive Markets

PCC Natural Markets

Powder River Basin Resource Council (WY)

Raw Milk Association of Colorado

R-CALF USA

Red Lodge Farmers Market (MT)

Rising Tide Community Market (ME)

River Market Community Co-op (MN)

Rochester Good Food Co-op (MN)

Sacramento Natural Foods Cooperative (CA)

Second Chance Foundation (NY)

Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ND)

Slow Food - Austin (TX)

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farms Conservancy

South Agassiz Resource Council (ND)

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association

St. Johnsbury Food Coop (VT)

Sustainable Food Center (TX)

Swarthmore Co-Op (PA)

Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

The Growing Community (IN)

The Second Chance Foundation (NY)

Three Rivers Market (TN)

Tuscaloosa Property Rights Alliance (AL)

Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op (CA)

Upper Valley Food Co-Op (VT)

Valley Organic Growers Association (CO)

Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association

Western Colorado Congress

Western Organization of Resource Councils

Western Wake Farmers’ Market (NC)

Weston A Price Foundation

Whole Foods Co-op (MN)

Willmantic Food Co-op (CT)

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