Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A real update coming soon, I promise...

In the mean time, one of my friends, who is a local food producer herself, forwarded this me. It also went out on the Moore's Family Farm mailing list this week as well. If you're passionate about locally produced, non-industry food, it would be a good idea to read up on this issue and make your opinion known to your representative. The representative for the 30076 ZIP code is Tom Price.

I rarely send political messages, but there’s a bill that went to the floor of the house today that will directly affect Athens Locally Grown, to the point of possibly making us stop what we do. -eric


There is no question: our food system needs to be safer. But Congress is currently debating food safety legislation (Food Safety Enhancement Act – H.R. 2749) that could hinder beginning, sustainable, and organic farmers’ access to markets, require expensive fees, and lead to the dismantling of important conservation practices and wildlife habitat.

HR 2749 is scheduled to go to the floor of the House TODAY under a suspension vote, which means limited debate and no amendments, but a requirement for a two-thirds majority for passage. With negotiations still underway, however, it seems reasonably likely that a vote could be pushed to Thursday.

Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Sam Farr (CA-17), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL-2), Peter Welch (VT-at large), Chellie Pingree (ME-1) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) last week submitted a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee with specific proposed changes to HR 2749 that addresses many of the concerns raised by the sustainable and organic agriculture community.

At the same time, the House Agriculture Committee majority concluded negotiations with the sponsors of HR 2749 that secured one of the changes proposed in the Kaptur-Farr et al request – namely, a greater role for USDA in all the farm-related portions of the bill. That was helpful as far as it went, but it did not directly address other critical concerns.

It is important that you call your Representative TODAY and ask them to join the effort to protect small and mid-sized family farmers, the environment, and consumer choice by supporting the provisions in the Kaptur-Farr proposal to HR 2749.


It’s easy to call. Please call or fax your Representative’s office and ask to speak with the aide that works on agriculture. If you don’t know your Representative’s name, please click here and enter your zip code in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Then call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Representative’s office: 202-224-3121.

The message is simple. “I am a constituent of Representative___________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support the Kaptur-Farr proposal to HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. I am also asking him/her to vote against HR 2749 unless the proposals included in the Kaptur-Farr letter are included in the final bill.”

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