Please Help Us Stop The Leahy Food Safety Bill

November 16, 2010
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Congress payoffCongress is back in session, and the sleeper in the Senate is Senator Leahy’s Food Safety Accountability Act (S.3767), poised to pass in the very near future unless you help stop it now.

The Senate rejected new and draconian jail terms for food and supplement producers in its Food Safety Bill. The Leahy bill has since been used as a vehicle to bring the jail terms ( already included in the House Food Safety bill, which passed) back into the Senate.

The plan was apparently to offer Leahy as a separate bill but then attach it to the larger Food Safety Bill. Senator Reid tried to set this in motion and failed to do so on first attempt, thanks in part to your vocal opposition.

We and allies (including among others the Natural Products Association) were able to persuade Senator Leahy to amend the language. The amended language is better, but not enough. For such harsh jail terms to apply, the bill should require both Leahy’s new language (”conscious or reckless disregard of a risk of death or serious bodily injury”) and the actual subsequent occurrence of death or serious bodily injury. The new Leahy language is too vague as it is and gives too much wiggle room to the FDA, an agency notorious for stretching the law in order to threaten and intimidate. We met with Senator Leahy’s office today but were unfortunately unable to win a promise to make further changes to the bill.

Food Safety (including the Leahy bill as a probable amendment) appears to be on a fast track in the Senate. We expect to see a vote to shut off debate, the procedural first hurdle, as early as Wednesday. Consideration of amendments and final vote could come very rapidly thereafter.

We were able to change some noxious Codex language (about international harmonization of food and supplement regulation) in the larger Senate Food Safety Bill S. 510. But despite this tremendously important improvement (thank you, Senator Hatch), we still regard it as a bad bill.

The ultimate test will come when the Senate and House Food Safety Bills are reconciled by a joint committee and then sent back for a final vote. We must do everything possible to stop the draconian jail terms for small farmers and food producers and supplement producers currently in the House bill and possibly to be added to the Senate bill.

Right now, our job is to stop the Leahy bill. Please take immediate action to let Congress know you are opposed. Those of you in Vermont should also let Senator Leahy know how disappointed in him you are.

Update: For the latest update on this bill, please click to see our newest article and current action alert.

84 Responses to “Please Help Us Stop The Leahy Food Safety Bill”

  1. Our government is meant to be a provisionary as well as a provider for safety of what is produced and or manufactured in this country. With the duties of maintaining what we Need, ‘they’ are responsible for making sure whatever ‘We’ use is the safest way to handle what we really NEED.
    If people are referred to herbologist or holistic doctors, then it Is the responsibility of ‘our providers’ to make sure ‘the ‘people’ get what they NEED.
    Please tell our ‘Providers’ to RESPECT our NEEDS and be there for us when we Need them .. !!

       1 likes

  2. EIEIO says:

    STOP THE LEAHY BILL!! Without my herbalist I would be on SSI not able to participate in life, my childrens life, or my grandchildren. In three weeks I went from severe tremors and having to hold my breath to talk to normal activity and very few flair ups. Government back out of this now, you’re stepping on the wrong toes!

       1 likes

  3. Maria Gabriela Pelaez says:

    I urge everyone to speak up and make your voice heard. We can’t continue to support, or just allow corporations to monopolize healthcare. Lets come together and own our freedom to choose, our right to having access to natural products.

       0 likes

  4. Linda Kacher says:

    Regulation of food supplements is one more way for the government to inject itself into our economy and usurp even more freedom. This will introduce more costs as the government enlarges its FDA agency and the suppliers are forced to adhere to new regulations. These are small businesses we are talking about, not the large mega-conglomorate pharmaceutical companies (who wouldl like to see them destroyed).

    Vote no for this intrusive bill, please!!

       0 likes

  5. Alfiya Aleeva says:

    for how long the corporation will create bills in their own interests only. How many people die every day from direct or indirect side effect of the drugs that FDA have approved. This all business to take under their umbrella all what humans consume and vitamin and minerals that 40% of people taking daily they want to grab for themselves as well.
    But the trouble is anything pharmaceutical company manufactured is dangerous, synthetic-so all vitamins and minerals today made of synthetic ingredients also in long term has side effect being toxic.
    Again all that farmers and nutritionists produces today is less or more healthy but all what do pharmaceuticals and food manufacturing giants produce all poisonous to human body.
    And last! they want to control us via food and poison food god knows by puting in what we will never know as I have read somewhere that they going to vaccinate people by puting stuff into the diary products.
    Hey, you are there Americans! All this trouble makers based on your land and therefore do not sit in your comfortable zones go out, unite and fight, if your power wouldn’t be enough say to rest of the world to kick off Monsanto and 4 other corporations. HOW LONG MY SOUL WILL CRY? IT is so obvious they want to reduce population by 2050 by 2/3 and we are sitting and watching them, think about your children please a bit more, they are going to be sick, stupid and miserable after all this regulated law and food they will force to eat.

       0 likes

  6. Greg Johnson says:

    This is the reply that I received today from Senator Lieberman. It sure seems to me that he supports this bill. I urge anyone in CT to write in to him and let him know that he is not in agreement with those that put him in office.

    November 17, 2010

    Mr. Gregory Johnson
    (address removed)

    Dear Mr. Johnson:

    Thank you for contacting me in support of reforming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I share your concerns regarding FDA’s procedures to indentify and recall dangerous food products.

    Despite legislation passed by Congress in 2007 to strengthen the FDA, it seems the agency has not yet reformed its regulations and procedures to efficiently diagnose threats to the safety of our food supply. In response to the plethora of food-borne illness outbreaks over the last few years, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry has conducted hearings to examine FDA’s management of these issues. You may view the hearings before the Senate Agriculture Committee online at http://agriculture.senate.gov/.

    As you may know, in 2007, with my support, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-85). This Act included provisions that required FDA, during recalls of human or pet food, to work with companies and other organizations to collect and aggregate data; use existing networks of communication to enhance the quality and speed of communication with the public; and post information regarding recalled human and pet foods on FDA’s website. In addition to that, in the last Congress, I supported Senator Richard Durbin’s (D-IL) amendment to the FDA Revitalization Act (S. 1082), which would have required domestic and foreign facilities to notify the FDA of food safety problems. Unfortunately, this legislation did not pass prior to the close of the 110th Congress in December 2008.

    Most recently, Senator Durbin introduced the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510). This bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to regulate food, including authorization to suspend the registration of a food production facility and to collect fees related to facility reinspection and recalls. It also would require food importers to verify that imported food is in compliance with U.S. rules and regulations. FDA is to require certification for foods based on risk and to deny entry to a food that lacks certification or that is from a foreign facility that has refused U.S. inspectors. Finally, under this measure, FDA is mandated to include a search function on its website to assist consumers in locating relevant information about recalled products. S. 510 was approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in December 2009 and is now pending consideration before the full Senate.
    Please be assured that I am closely monitoring developments on this issue, and I will keep your views in mind when this legislation comes to a vote before the full Senate during this 111th Congress. To keep track of the progress of S. 510, you can click on the “Track a Bill” button at http://lieberman.senate.gov/.
    Thank you again for sharing your views and concerns with me. I hope you will continue to visit my website at http://lieberman.senate.gov for updated news about my work on behalf of Connecticut and the nation. Please contact me if you have any additional questions or comments about our work in Congress.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph I. Lieberman
    UNITED STATES SENATOR

    JIL:kht

       0 likes

  7. K Hunziker says:

    Big Pharma wants to turn natural remedies into drugs so they can profit from them, period. Haven’t they already done that with some fish oils ? All they have to do is add 1 ingredient to it to change it and they can retail it as a “prescription” Need those prescription commissions you know !
    Just makes me sick that we live in a country where that is actually being considered…
    GREED drives every aspect of this world today and if we stay quiet, we will all pay the price !

       0 likes

  8. L Watson says:

    It’s so bazaar to see how our “leaders” and agencies that are suppose to protect us are going in a way that makes absolutely no sense. Big pharma and big food are killing people by the thousands for profit and these people don’t see it or see it and are a party to this outrage for profit as well. We are told in scripture that humans will come close to annihilating all life from the planet and then Jesus will return with power and with glory to rid this world of corrupt governments and false religions. He along with the saints will rule over all nations. I pray for that time to come quickly.

       0 likes

  9. Stan says:

    I added the following comment to the letter you folks kindly prepared:

    ‘Nothing in this bill is intended to deny or disparage the right of the public to safely produced food supplements.’

    I agree: the FDA could use the words in the bill as they are to wriggle and ‘interpret’ and win the day for Big Pharma; or more precisely, the medical-pharmaceutical-government complex. We need to come out from under the thumb of the allopathic medical profession and their cohorts in crimes against humanity, for blocking the public’s access both to natural, health-providing products and the legitimate info about them. Too much government, and not enough common sense. We can read for ourselves, for heaven’s sakes: stop with the thinking of doing the job for us There lies not just the road paved with good intentions, but corruption.

       0 likes

  10. Breda Griffin says:

    I oppose the Leahy bill. The very people who want to reduce my freedom are mostly ignorant of the facts, therefore untrustworthy. I know what I need and I read the fineprint unlike some who pass scary Bills without reading them. How dare they try to impose their arrogant views on the folks who know better.

       0 likes

  11. JUDY BOITT says:

    Think it’s about time all things should come to a vote by the American public. It should be our choice as Americans in this FREE country to choose.
    Seems the big box companies cannot pay us all off. It’s bad enough we have to choose who
    the politicians want to run the country and we have to pick from that bunch, no choice really.
    Too much payoff. FDA is out of control. This all stinks in my opinion.

       0 likes

    • Lisa says:

      YES – I agree – LONG OVERDUE!!!

         0 likes

    • stevel says:

      WOW. You sound like a female me. I have been saying that most things should be a public vote as the politicians only vote for who gives them the most. And yes, I think all politicians should be booted out of office. They are only concerned with their bank accounts. They don’t care about real Americans. If they really wanted to help America, they would jump off a cliff. More and more laws. The Fed is too big. Need to cut half the departments they have. Most don’t do anything anyway. Dept of Energy came about in the 70’s because of the gas shortage. They have done nothing to ease energy use or find alternate energy. Down with Washington.

         0 likes

  12. Rose Scarlet says:

    What we NEED is a bill to downsize the FDA! When we have a federal agency saying that Americans do not have the right to choose what we want to eat, we have a real problem. Look at all the pharmaceuticals that are taken off the market (because Americans DIED from taking them) after going through the ‘new drug approval process’ and yet the companies stay in business. A farmer who makes a claim about the health benefit of the food he/she grows would be out of business AND jailed under the proposed legislation. “Sweeping Legislation” rarely affects the people who are breaking the laws we already have…they ignore the new laws too. Legislation just breaks the backs of the honest, hardworking folks who are already trying to do the right thing.

       0 likes

  13. Pedro Sanabria says:

    By limiting access to health food supplements with the pretense of safety, the pharmacy industry(which is not safer) gets a greater advantage in the market which is contrary to a free market of a democratic nation. It thwarts the advancement of free enterprise and the freedom to choose of Americans.

       0 likes

  14. November 17, 2010 : RED ALERT – Save Your Natural Supplements Day of Reckoning is at Hand. Protect Your Rights to Health Freedom.

    Please forward this message widely. Please “take Your 3 Action Items” FREE below for each person in your family and urge others to do the same to kill the “fake food safety” Senate Bills S. 510 , S. 3767 , and S. 3002 in the lame duck Congress Today! You Must Limit the Power of Gestapo – F.D.A. (Fraud and Death Administration) over your natural organic foods and dietary supplements.

    Your 3 action items, to contact Your US Senators NOW, are here:
    USE ALL THREE LINKS – THEY ARE FREE!

    Health Freedom Link:
    1. http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4613

    Citizens for Natural Health Link:
    2. http://www.citizens.org/?page_id=40

    Alliance for Natural Health Link:
    3. http://www.anh-usa.org/action-alert-please-help-us-stop-the-leahy-food-safety-bill

    They say they want to cut costs and reform health care, but then behind our backs put forth legislation that would make it illegal to access organic foods and natural supplements. We cannot let this pass in this lame duck session of Congress Today. They will be taking away your health rights and individual freedoms.

    THIS IS A RED ALERT! YOU MUST FLOOD THE SENATE NOW!

    Thanks. – NaturalNooks.com

       0 likes

  15. Stop chemical Companies like Monsanto from distroying our Natural food products with their GE food products

       0 likes

  16. Stan K Alderson says:

    Please consider: most Patriotic Americans can sound decisions without government intervention.
    Do you need the government directing your personal choices?

       0 likes

  17. Kristine Winnicki says:

    I support anh-usa”s objection to the Leahy bill. I am concerned that it will allow the FDA more power to restrict supplement use. I believe it is the FDA that more of a problem than supplement manufacturers.

       0 likes

  18. Elaine Gries says:

    this food bill will take away so many freedoms regarding food.

       0 likes

  19. I think this punishment should apply to those that are aerial spraying us 24/7. The chemicals are deadly and there is nothing politically correct about mass murder. These chemicals are in our soil and water and these atrocities are an attack on all life. They all seem to be bought and paid for. If they don’t go with the flow they get rid of them. I hope I live long enough to see justice for the real criminals.

       0 likes

  20. E Co says:

    It’s a known fact that, the democrats, in both the Senate, Congress, Czars,and current White House administration. They want to pass legislation that is harmful, to the US Taxpayer’s. While, have their lobbyist, and special interest groups, to return, campaign favors to. Please, deny them.
    Thank You

       0 likes

  21. Chuck Churchman says:

    Please stop the Leahy bill. This is a danger to all natural health-related products which I have been dependent upon for most of my adult life. If you have any compassion at all STOP THIS BILL!

       0 likes

  22. Rob Karnuth says:

    Please oppose this bill S 510. This is absurd to even think some SENATOR wrote this. I have rea this bill. I happen to write my own surveys and previously worked in the survey business. Most people I speak to on daily basis in AMERICA want health. They don’t want the crap the pharmacutical drug companies keep shoving down our throats on advertised media campaigns. I will fight the SENATE, CONGRESS and the U.S. Government all the way to a complete Supreme Court hearing on this issue and I mean business. You are not dealing with a child, I am a grown adult and earn my living by selling real whole live food supplements. Period!!!! Thank-You. Oppose this immediately.

       0 likes

  23. Helen Mankenberg says:

    I am glad to see that headway is being made to acknowledge the good of supplements.I am excited about this action to stop the Leahy’s Food Safety Enhancement Act. I live in northern Minnesota and I am alarmed that I am not seeing many honeybees, or other bees for that matter. There is something in the environment that is killing them. I believe the public has the right to know the truth about FDA and how they are hurting all of us instead of helping. I believe in wholesome natural supplements. I know that my husband who died last October 2009 survived to the age of 97 and he accredited his longevity to his starting on supplements when he was 50 years old. He was still living in our home, had to use a walker for the last year, was hospitalized with septis for a week and was on his way to recovery when he drank some water and it went down his windpipe and no matter how hard he coughed, he could not get it out and he suffered a heart attack after 5 minutes and died in my arms.

       0 likes

  24. carl king says:

    Senator Leahy’s Food Safety Enhancement Act (S.3767) is undemocratic, autocratic. We are supposed to be a free country. But it is not free like when i was growing up. I insist on the right to chose my own food and my own supplements and to eat in the natural (and healthy) form that it was in when god gave it to us.

       0 likes

  25. Robert Ross says:

    This is ridiculous. Natural nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, plant extracts, and the like are as safe as anything on the planet and have been part of our diet for hundreds of thousands of years. Nevertheless, the gov’t wants to regulate them right off the market. Meanwhile artificial, man made drugs which are known to cause serious side effects and kill thousands of people every year remain on the market. I wonder why. Could it be that powerful drug companies control the Congress? Yeah, that’s it.

       0 likes

  26. Larry says:

    We don’t want draconian legislation restricting what supplements we can buy but we do need effective enforcement to insure that what supplement makers say is in their product is actually in their product, potencies are accurate, and the product is not contaminated. Some don’t give a damn about health, just making a lot of money; selling supplements can be lucrative. There should be heavy fines, maybe even jail time for lying about potencies, and ingredients. There does need to be reasonable safety assurances as well, as long as the drug companies aren’t involved with that determination, and are commensurate with the dangers of pharmaceuticals.

       0 likes

  27. bob coleman says:

    Putting suppliments through FDA testing is INSANE. The pharma industry is finally being threatened by an alternative and they are just protecting their interests.

       0 likes

    • Margo says:

      Big-Pharma’s “interests” are all about making money, no matter what. Money trumps humans healthy existence. Herbs, vitamins and supplements by far, surpass pharmaceuticals and Big-Pharma is all too aware of this fact.. and it thwarts their part in the slow, killing off people in so to thin out the population and make mega-bucks in the process.

         0 likes

  28. Stop the Leahy food safety bill

       0 likes

  29. Katie Viren says:

    Though noble in intention, I am afraid of the long-reaching consequences and expense of enforcement of this bill. i feel that the legislation is much more harmful than the problem it seeks to address. Please do not pass this piece of legislation. Thank you

       0 likes

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