Right now former Monsanto super lobbyist Michael Taylor is busy crafting new food safety rules at the FDA that could drive tens of thousands of America’s small, local and organic family farmers out of business.
That’s right, Michael Taylor, the former Monsanto lawyer who crafted the FDA’s 1992 policy that won’t allow GMO labeling in the U.S., is back at the FDA, this time appointed by the Obama administration as the new food safety czar.
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Now Taylor’s responsible for writing new regulations that could kill the local food movement and drive thousands of America’s best family farmers out of business.
Even worse is the fact that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is also a guiding force in crafting these local food, family farm killing regulations.
The GMA is the same corporate lobbying front group that illegally donated $11 million to defeat GMO labeling in Washington state.
Now the GMA is bragging on their website about working with the FDA to craft these new regulations that could wipe out as much as 50 percent of small farmers’ profits with one-size-fits-all regulations.
Small and midsize family farmers shouldn’t be forced out of business because factory farms and giant corporations have created greater risks in our food supply.
Here’s a copy of the letter that family farmers will sign to be delivered to the FDA. Please join us today!
Re: Preventive Controls Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920, Produce Standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921
I am a [concerned consumer, parent, entrepreneur, etc.] writing because I am concerned about the impact that FDA’s proposed FSMA rules will have on [the farms that I buy food from, my business, my family’s ability to find local food, the environment]. I ask you to ensure that new regulations do not put family farms out of business, harm farmers’ soil, water, and wildlife conservation efforts, or shut down the growth of local and regional healthy food systems!
[Customize your comment: Do you make an effort to buy from farms that use sustainable practices like organic? Why? If local farms went out of business due to the rules, how would that limit your access to fresh produce? Why is it important to you that farmers be able to support habitat for honeybees and wildlife?]
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I urge you to modify the rules so that they:
- Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs. Specifically, FDA must not exceed the strict standards for the use of manure and compost used in certified organic production and regulated by the National Organic Program.
- Ensure that diversified and innovative farms, particularly those pioneering models for increased access to healthy, local foods, continue to grow and thrive without being stifled. Specifically, FDA needs to clarify two key definitions: first, as Congress required, FDA must affirm that farmers markets, CSAs, roadside stands, and other direct-to-consumer vendors fall under the definition of a “retail food establishment” and are therefore not facilities subject to additional regulation. Second, FDA should adopt at least the $1,000,000 threshold for a very small business and base it on the value of ‘regulated product,’ not ‘all food,’ to ensure smaller farms and businesses (like food hubs) fall under the scale-appropriate requirements and aren’t subject to high cost, industrial-scale regulation.
- Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs. Specifically, FDA must clearly define the “material conditions” that lead to a withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status in scientifically measurable terms. FDA must also outline a clear, fair, process for justifying the withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status and for how a farmer can regain that status.
Thank you for your consideration,
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