New food safety bill could crush local food movement

Farmers' Market. Jackson, Mississippi. Flickr photo by nataliemaynor

Next week, the Senate will vote on a measure that could potentially extinguish California’s local food movement. Lobbied for by multinational agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Monsanto, as well as supported by the pharmaceutical industry, The Food Safety Modernization Act would impose financially crippling and practically useless regulations on family farms and small-scale food processors according to opponents.

“We’re really taking a punch at people who don’t need to have a punch taken at them,” [Sen. John] Tester said at a press conference. While he agreed that food safety laws needed to be tightened, he refuses to support a law which will jeopardize small, organic growers and farmers’ markets.

He is sponsoring amendments to exempt producers with adjusted incomes less than $500,000 and those selling through farmer’s markets.

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