103 food and farm organizations have signed a letter to Congress supporting an amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act, currently awaiting floor debate amidst the Senate's focus on financial reform legislation.
The group argues that the new food safety bill would impose costly regulation practices on smaller food processors making less than $500,000 a year and producers that sell more than half of their food directly to consumers.
The letter expresses the group's support for two amendments proposed byÂ Senator Jon Tester of Montana that would exempt small producers from certain record keeping and traceability provisions in the bill.
They believe that existing local and state regulations are sufficient to protect consumers, arguing that food-borne outbreaks "don't start with family agriculture" and the bill's new regulatory provisions would "deprive consumers of the ability to buy local, healthy fresh foods" by possibly forcing small producers out of business.
- Small Businesses Support Exemption From Food Safety Bill (FoodQualityNews.com)
- Food Safety Modernization Act - Full Text and Amendments (govtrack.us)