November 18, 2010
Food safety bill could hurt small farms.
Yesterday, Newser highlighted a number of press reports about S 510, a major food safety bill making progress in the Senate. While it contains some important protections, a number of people are justly concerned about the bill’s impact on family farms. The problem is that it will will require small scale operations to adhere to the same expensive and complicated regulations required of mega-factory farms and agribusinesses. The food corporations can afford the new cost, but their small scale competitors can’t. It’s an easy way for agribusinesses to <ahem> clear the field.
Two well-known personalities from the food world are backing an amendment proposed by Jon Tester (D-MT) that would help :
“S 510 is the most important food safety legislation in a generation,” [Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser] said in a joint statement. “The Tester amendment will make it even more effective, strengthening food safety rules while protecting small farmers and producers. We both think this is the right thing to do.”
Food Safety News reports that “large food and agriculture interest groups, like the American Meat Institute, the United Fresh Produce Association, and the United Egg Producers” are pressing for the Tester amendment to be excluded from the bill. What a surprise!
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