Wednesday, December 1, 2010
BAD FEELING ABOUT THE FOOD SAFETY BILL
Yes, The Food Safety Bill passed in the Senate yesterday. But it looks like there will be problems in the House. Not the least of which is described in this Food Saftey News article:
To add to the uncertainty in the House, large produce industry groups, including the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marking Association, are working feverishly to convince lawmakers that the final legislation should not include the small farm exemptions, which were recently adopted into the Senate bill at the urging of Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT and Kay Hagan (D-NC).
The Tester-Hagan amendment intends to protect small farmers and the burgeoning local food movement from cumbersome regulation. The larger produce industry, which is in favor of broad safety requirements to help prevent dangerous and economically damaging foodborne illness outbreaks, has remained squarely against any blanket exemptions based solely on farm size or geography.
(The Tester amendment was the only reason Michael Pollen and Eric Shlosser and a lot of others supported the bill.)
"We're pushing for a conference and for the removal of the Tester amendment. We think there is time to do conference," Robert Guenther, executive vice president of public policy at United Fresh, told Food Safety News yesterday. "[The amendment] fundamentally undermines the entire legislation, the rest of the bill is science- and risk-based."