“We are encouraging Senators to ignore Big Ag’s bluster and to get on with the important business at hand – passing the amendment and the bill to improve food safety,” said Hoefner.
The so-called “bluster” is now coming from some of the biggest names in produce.
Twenty groups, including the Produce Marketing Association and several regional industry groups, sent a letter to Senate leadership and Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzie (R-WY), chairman and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has been working tirelessly on the bill.
“As organizations representing the vast majority of fresh produce grown and consumed in this country–from small, medium and large-sized farms–the Tester amendment utterly fails to protect consumers by including blanket exemptions from the rest of the bill’s strong safety net, without regard to risk,” reads the letter.
“Comments from Senator Tester and supporters are now making it abundantly clear that their cause is not to argue that small farms pose less risk, but to wage an ideological war against the vast majority of American farmers that seeks to feed 300 million Americans. We are appalled at statements by Senator Tester reported today in the Capital Press that ‘Small producers are not raising a commodity, but are raising food. Industrial agriculture, he said, takes the people out of the equation.’ ”
If the Senate can pass bipartisan food safety legislation, the House will agree to the most recent version of the bill, Sen. Harkin said on the floor yesterday. “If we pass it with bipartisan support, the House will take and pass it and send it right to the president,” he said.
The enforcement of existing regulations against large producers would suffice. But that's precisely what this government refuses to do, just as it will not rigorously enforce any new regulations against them. So a blanket exemption for small producers would simpyl render the bill moot for everyone, wouldn't it.
Why does the NSAC speaker warrant a piece of snark from this "reporter", while she's solemnly reverent in reproducing the words of the racket flacks? And why is there such an egregious imbalance in the quantity of quotes?
WHAT AN INSANE FACT!!!!