ACTION ALERT: Call your Representative to support amendments to the Farm Bill to support our farmers and local food producers
The U.S. House of Representatives is about to start debating its version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 1947. Over 200 amendments have been introduced, including several important amendments to protect farmers from burdensome food safety regulations and prevent the unauthorized release of genetically engineered crops.
Can you call today? It takes just a couple of minutes, and it truly does make a difference!
Call your U.S. Representative. The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121, or you can find contact information (including links to online contact forms) at http://www.house.gov/
Message: “My name is ___, and I am a constituent. I am calling to urge Representative ____ to:
1) Support Amendment #214 by Benishek to protect farmers from unnecessarily burdensome regulations. The FDA’s has proposed extensive, complicated regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act that basically assume the worst of every situation and then force the farmers to find science on their own to prove that their farming methods are safe. Many traditional and sustainable methods of cultivation will be guilty until proven innocent.
The Benishek amendment would require FDA to do a scientific and economic analysis of the regulations before they go into effect, focusing on the impact on agricultural businesses of all sizes. This amendment is important to ensure that FDA doesn’t drive farmers, particularly small-scale and sustainable farmers, out of business with unfounded and unnecessary regulations.
2) Support Amendment #136 by Lowey to address contamination by genetically engineered crops. The recent contamination of a wheat field in Oregon – and the resulting loss of consumer confidence both in the U.S. and internationally – has yet again shown that the existing provisions for testing unauthorized GMO crops are not sufficient to protect farmers and consumers.
3) Support Amendment #176 by Pingree. In addition to providing for various grant programs, this amendment directs USDA to establish a “local and regional farm and food system enterprise facilitation initiative to increase training and technical assistance” to help people working to establish local food businesses. The amendment also provides for critically needed technical assistance for small-scale meat processors, who are a vital piece of restoring our local food systems.
All of the amendments are posted online at http://rules.house.gov/bill/hr-1947. To read the text of any amendment, simply click on the sponsor’s name.