The Senate will likely vote this week to limit debate on substitute amendments to the new food safety bill – S510.
While everyone is for food safety, it is important to remember that one size does not fit all.
Any version of S510 which penalizes small farms and ranches with onerous regulations targeted to the food giants will stifle competition, and drive many small independent food producers out of business.
Democrats Jon Tester of Montana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina have proposed an amendment which would exempt from the new regulation small farmers and food facilities with less than $500,000 in annual sales that directly market to consumers in a 275-mile area.
Call your senator and support the Tester-Hagan amendment to S510.
Many websites have also warned that S510 could – intentionally or unintentionally – interfere with people’s ability to grow food in their own gardens. While I have seen no evidence of that (admittedly, I haven’t spent any time looking at the issue), people should also demand that the language of S510 be clarified to explicitly exempt home gardens.
Update: Less than 24 hours after I wrote this post, the Senate passed S510, with the Tester amendment included. Thanks to those who called.