Family Farmers Fear Being Run Over by Food Safety Juggernaut
Organic and Local Farmers Seek Protections in
“There is no question that our increasingly industrialized and concentrated food production system needs a new regulatory focus,” said
In the last several years, contamination of bagged spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, beef and peanuts have sickened thousands of Americans. And currently a massive recall of food products containing pistachios is underway.
After years of industry-friendly regulations and deteriorating inspection budgets, holes in the food safety net have prompted a push for increased federal oversight.
The process has sparked an internet flurry, with some warning that agribusiness and biotechnology lobbyists are conspiring to outlaw organic farming and home gardens. One bill, The Food Safety Modernization Act (HR 875), sponsored by Congresswoman
Congresswoman DeLauro is scrambling to assure organic advocates that they are not the target of her bill: “The purpose of this bill is to improve the safety of food products derived from large industrial processing facilities by increasing the inspection frequency and safety standards at these plants.”
Added DeLauro: “Organic farmers have a strong record in providing safe, high quality foods to American families and I will continue to work toward making sure that organic farming continues to thrive.”
Hearings have already begun on food safety legislation in the U.S. House. Of the multiple bills being considered, the FDA Globalization Act (HR 759), sponsored by Congressman
After the 2006 spinach contamination outbreak in
The Cornucopia Institute is calling on farmers and consumers to stand up for and protect organic and sustainable local farmers. An action alert with talking points and guidance can be found at: http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/03/action-alert-critical-pending-food-safety-legislation/
SOURCE The Cornucopia Institute