If you care about your local farms (not only here in FL, but everywhere in the United States)... your local milk, eggs, produce... or if you just plain enjoy drinking and eating fresh milk, eggs, veggies... please call or email our senators today to ask them to support the Tester Amendment to the Federal Food Safety Bill!
All the information, as well as talking points, can be found below. I did not know Senator Tester myself, so I looked and this is what I found on him-  http://tester.senate.gov/Jon/index.cfm

Please take 5 minutes to call our Senators! This is nation-wide, and affects ALL of us! 
Here are the direct local numbers for our FL Senators (easier to reach a real person on the other end of the line, and actually chat with them- neither senator has a position on this yet, so it is important that we speak up):
  • LeMieux: 866 630-7106
  • Bill Nelson:202 224-5274 or 904 346-4500
We need to support the Tester Amendment so that Small Farmers are exempt from FDA regulations designed for Industrial Scale farms. 
  • The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a sweeping overhaul of the food safety laws within a few days.
  •  As it is currently written, S. 510 will actually make our food less safe.  S. 510 will strengthen the forces that have led to the consolidation of our food supply in the hands of a few industrial food producers, while harming small producers who give consumers the choice to buy fresh, healthy, local foods. 
  •  Call both of your Senators. You can find their contact information at http://www.senate.gov/, or call the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 (toll-free at 877-210-5351).
  • Ask to speak with the staffer who handles food safety issues. Tell the staffer that you want the Senator to support Senator Tester's amendments to S.510. If you get their voice mail instead of the staff, leave the following message: "Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______. I'm very concerned that S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, imposes unfair and burdensome regulations on local food sources, which are very important to me. I urge the Senator to support the Tester Amendment to exclude small facilities and direct marketing farms from the most burdensome provisions of the bill. Please call me back at ____________."
  • 1. The major foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls have all been caused by the large, industrial food system. Small, local food producers have not contributed to the highly publicized outbreaks. Yet S. 510 subjects the small, local food system to the same, broad federal regulatory oversight that would apply to the industrial food system.
  •  2. Increased regulations and record-keeping obligations could destroy small businesses that bring food to local communities. In particular, the reliance on hazard analysis and risk-based preventative controls, a concept similar to "HACCP", will harm small food producers. HACCP has already proven to be an overwhelming burden for a significant number of small, regional meat processors across the country. Applying a HACCP-type system to small, localfoods processors could drive them out of business, reducing consumers' options to buy fresh, local foods.    
  • 3. S. 510 calls for FDA regulation of how farms grow and harvest produce. Given the agency's track record, it is likely that the regulations will discriminate against small, organic, and diversified farms. The House version of the bill directs FDA to consider the impact of its rulemaking on small-scale and diversified farms, but there are no enforceable limits or protections for small diversified and organic farms from inappropriate and burdensome federal rules. 
  • 4. Food safety and security both come from a diversified, vibrant local food system. Local foods give consumers the choice to buy from producers they know, creating a transparent, accountable food system without federal government oversight. State and local laws, which are often size-specific rather than one-size-fits-all, are more appropriate for local food producers. 

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