URGENT Vote on HR 2749 on Tuesday

The House of Representatives is scheduled for a vote on HR 2749 (The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009) on Tuesday, July 28 (tomorrow).  HR 2749 will be voted “on suspension”, meaning that debate will be limited to 40 minutes and no amendments will be considered.  A two-thirds vote will be required for HR 2749 to pass.  The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is asking everyone to contact their U.S. Representatives requesting that they vote against HR 2749.

Industrial food processors and food imports need effective regulation, but this should not be done at the expense of the ‘local food system.’  HR2749 will impose burdensome regulations on small farmers and local food producers including registration fees and extensive paperwork requirements for which many small food businesses will not have the resources to comply.  The ‘local food system’ is not the source of the food safety problems in this country, small farmers and local artisanal producers are part of the solution.

HR 2749 would reduce FDA’s accountability while significantly increasing its power.  The bill would empower FDA to conduct warrantless searches of business records without any evidence whatsoever that a violation has occurred, to order a quarantine prohibiting or restricting the movement of food in a geographic area.  HR 2749 also creates severe criminal and civil penalties with the potential for substantial fines for even minor violations of the law.

Urge your Representative to vote against HR 2749 and support a food safety bill that will target imports and industrial foods while leaving small farmers and local food producers alone.

Three Ways to Contact your Representative:
1.  Send an email through the “Oppose HR 2749” petition at http://bit.ly/Oppose_HR2749
2.  Go to “My Elected Officials” at www.congress.org and enter your zip code to find your legislators.  Call and/or send a fax.
3.  Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to contact your Representative’s office.

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