SENATORS, Vote “NO” on Cloture for H.R. 3082 & Oppose the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
By a 212-206 vote on December 8, the House passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (formerly S.510) as an amendment to H.R. 3082 (the “Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” to fund the government through September 2011). A food safety act should not be part of a spending bill.
House Democrats attached what was S.510 (as passed by the Senate on November 30) to H.R. 3082 because they were worried about Republican opposition to it as a stand alone bill. The next step for H.R. 3082 is to go to the Senate for a vote.
As this is the Senate, the first vote on H.R. 3082 will be on a cloture motion to limit debate before there is a vote on the bill itself.
People need to contact their Senators now to tell them to Vote “NO” on Cloture for H.R. 3082 and Oppose the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act” (Division D of H.R. 3082).
STEP 1 – Send a live fax message to your Senators through the online petition at www.ftcldf.org/stopS510
even if you’ve already used the petition this week.
STEP 2 – Call your Senators and be sure to give your zip code
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).
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is fundamentally flawed and is not in the best interest of small farmers, especially those who produce raw milk.
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. The Act 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.).
4. 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 Act does not address the fundamental problems at this agency in order to truly protect public health.
5. The Act will expand FDA’s involvement in regulating food in intra-state commerce, further interfering with local communities. State and local governments are more than capable of handling any problems related to food in intrastate commerce. All the major outbreaks of foodborne illness involve either imported food or food in inter-state commerce.
6. The Act 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. The Act does not address food security–the ability of a country to produce enough food to meet its own needs.