Call Now!: Senate Set to Vote on Food Safety November 29th

      Posted On: November 29, 2010

Voting on The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) is set to begin on the Senate floor this evening, November 29th.  The bill takes important steps to improve corporate food safety rules, and, thanks to the support of advocates like you, now includes an important amendment that protects direct-marketing farmers and local food producers from inappropriate regulation.

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Michael Pollan and Eric Scholsser called ‘A Stale Food Fight,’ in favor of passing this new version of Senate 510.  Today, Food Safety News includes an excellent Op-Ed by Roland McReynolds of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, explaining why the bill is important for local food systems. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), too, urges support for the passage of the bill, now that it includes the Tester-Hagan provisions, in a letter sent last week and again today to Senators.

The challenge, now, is getting the bill passed amidst a lot of misinformation, coming both from Big Ag (who doesn’t like the idea that local food systems get an “exemption”), and from those who falsely claim that the bill itself would outlaw gardening, organic farming, home canning, and a host of other things that are actually protected in the bill.  The Farmers Market Coalition stands by A Sustainable Agriculture Perspective on Food Safety, which we recently helped author with other members of NSAC’s Food Safety Task Force.

When S. 510 comes to the floor for a vote, we hope your Senators vote in favor of S. 510 with the Tester-Hagan language.  To encourage them to do so, please take a couple moments out of your day to reach out and give them a call.

It’s easy!: Go to and type in your zip code.  Click on your Senator’s name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number.  You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.

The message is simple: “I am a constituent of Senator___________, and a representative of ___________ Farmers Market, and I am calling to ask him/her to vote in favor to the Food Safety Modernization Act.  We need a food safety bill that cracks down on corporate bad actors without erecting new barriers to more local and regional food sourcing.  With the inclusion of the Tester-Hagan provision, I support the bill and encourage you to, as well.”