Senate Food Safety Update

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congressThe bill, with language that is substantially different from its original version, passed the Senate on Tuesday morning by a vote of 73 to 25. Our update has up-to-the-minute information.

The legislation—the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510)—was intended to get the FDA to crack down on unsafe foods before they harm people rather than after outbreaks occur. But it was especially controversial because of a number of provisions that would have created a litany of unintended regulatory consequences for small organic farms and supplement manufacturers. The bill is much improved from its earlier version despite pushback from anti-health-supplement proponents and the processed food industry. The work of a diverse and dedicated coalition and a few members of Congress helped change the bill for the better.

These are some of the changes that ANH-USA and our allies have made to the Food Safety bill:

  • Excluded excessive punishment.

Last week we learned that S. 510 would not include the obscene ten-year jail sentences for food and supplement manufacturers who violate complicated FDA rules. That draconian language was specifically designed to target supplement manufacturers while leaving pharmaceutical drug and medical device companies untouched.

  • Resisted international harmonization of food and health supplement policy.

Together we worked to modify language that would have committed the US to harmonization of international food and supplement rules similar to those in Europe, where attempts are being made to regulate away natural health.

  • Excluded small farmers from burdensome regulation.

Among the Senate bill’s last major sticking points was how it would affect small farmers and food producers. Some small-farm and organic food advocates warned that the legislation would destroy their industry under a mountain of paperwork. Working with the natural health community, ANH-USA succeeded in winning inclusion of an amendment from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), which exempts producers with less than $500,000 a year in sales who sell most of their food locally. ANH-USA and other organizations fought tirelessly to protect the bourgeoning local healthy food movement from unwarranted federal regulation, and from the processed food companies that are increasingly nervous about the new competition. Thirty processed food organizations like the American Frozen Food Institute and the Corn Refiners Association sent a letter to the Senate arguing that a local produce stand should face the same regulatory hurdles as their industrial-scale processed food operations.

As we previously reported, the House of Representatives has agreed to adopt this Senate version of the bill instead of the awful House version that passed last year. We still do not like the final bill; it has much that is wrong with it. But the House bill was such a horror that we can take comfort in the changes that we were able to make in the Senate. And we will have opportunities to shape its implementation through the rule-making process as the FDA puts more meat on the legislative bones.

Our thanks again to you, our grassroots activists, who overwhelmed the Senate with your letters, phone calls, and emails. You are making the democratic process work!

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  • Nathan

    Please post an itemized list of things that ANH-USA finds wrong in the version of the bill that passed.

  • Oralia Acosta

    IT IS STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH — THIS IS A MISTAKE!!!! AND I AM SURPRISED THAT HEALTH ALLIANCE IS IN ON IT!

  • http://www.wingsofbreath.dreamhost.com Anita Coolidge

    Thank you for your persistence in staying with this. Not only am I glad to hear it has lightened up so that the worst of the bill has been shifted, but I am encouraged by the fact that discussion and persistence across the table has brought about a change. Thank you!!!! Yes, many organizations have been working on this — I thank everyone who has taken action and made a difference. Times they are a’changin’ — light to the entire world. We can live in a world of peace — and the food issue is certainly a critical area ol focus. Thank you again!!

  • TRUTHANDLIGHT

    It is still a horrific bill and our public servants continue to ignore the will of the people who elected them, and pay their salaries! What else can we expect from this self absorbed, narcissistic group? This is not a comment on any political party – they are all in the same
    boat in the beltway.

  • http://none Eugenia

    Monsantos’ seeds are sterile and allowed to be used from this S 510 law. This is dangereous as through pollenation that is done through the honey bee all other crops will be made sterile. I am surprised that you did not include this information. This is very serious as will affect all food supply making other crops sterile and endangers our food supply when you look at the long term view of this law.

  • http://idahoruminations.blogspot.com Ronald Matthews

    I got a shock in the email today. Senator Larry Craig sent me a NON-Form letter letting me know that letters like mine made him examine the Senate Bill closely and he found it to be badly flawed, not enough bang for the buck. He voted against it. Although I am impressed with this, he still thinks the FDA closely watches out for the goodness of products reaching his family. I still have work to do.

  • CJ

    Thanks for your efforts. Something is better than nothing!! Guess it is a good learning experience as well. Keep up the good work.

  • Elspeth Ham

    Whew! So only thing missing….it would be nice to send thanx to Senators, or rather their staff who received our phone calls and calibrated our petitions. AND we should start now precising the ways in which small producers must be distinguised from corporate industrial producers because you can see that the battle has only just been enjoined!

  • Frank Hill

    I would have been much better if the $500,000.00 limit on small farmers would be adjusted yearly by inflation. After a few years this amendment will be worthless and the Monsanto run FDA will attack them with a vengeance. Remember the FDA Food Czar is a former and most likely future Monsanto consultant or employee.

    • Genie

      We need a campaign to get Monsanto out of the government.

  • Deborah Singer

    It is a never ending battle but so happy to read of our present victory! We can not go to sleep and act as if it is all gonna be okay from here on out! The opposition is always waiting in the wings so they can kill their competition! The Natural health advocates “The Little People” as I believe they see us!
    Ha! ha! Not so and we will persist until the FDA finally realizes WE are not just going to go away!!
    The fight is on and I am thank full to be an active part of it!!

  • Lorenzo

    Thank you all at ANH! This fight for Food Freedom is far from over. Those who still believe that bill S.510 is going to help make food safer are clearly misinformed. Check this link http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510 scroll below and look at who supports and opposes this bill. Majority of those who support this bill come from those who use factory farming. The very source of E.Coli and Salmonella poisoning because of their overcrowding and inhumane practices. Ever single person in America should visit one of these factories and look with both eyes open. That is… if they will even allow you to get in. You would think that a name like Food Safety Modernization Organic farming businesses would jump in and be all for it. However we all know to well to never judge a book by its cover. Likewise, never judge a bill by its title.

  • http://anh-usa.org Kathleen McCole

    Our thanks to the legislaturers for beginning to listen to us and our needs as private citizens who want the freedom to make our own choices about what we consume and what we plant. I still say no to S 510! Why not look at what the FDA has approved that has literally made people sick (cancer) with the use of chemicals, hormones (causing girls to menstruate at age 9 or younger), antibiotics and pesticides in our FDA approved foods.!

  • Cuck Calahan

    When did we develope this huge problem with non trafitional food and vitamins?? Big brothers tyrannical arm is again developing another dictatorical agency .

  • Patrick

    This is truly good news! Let’s keep it up!

  • MAUREEN O’REILLY, ARNP

    YES!!!

  • Charles Dunham

    What else can we do? These attempts at tyranny must somehow be eliminated!!!

  • Enrique & Laura Dovalo

    The Senate should asked for original disclosure of bill S.510 We must stop this bill, otherwise we will be prissioners of our own food but the senate think they are fine with it. Let’s see what they will think when they realized what they have done to the human kind and to their self.

  • http://allianceforNaturalHealth Ellie Hill-Merica

    I am so very thankful for the great changes in the Senate’s Food Safety Bill. As a relatively new follower of your website and somewhat new to the real need for organic foods and supplements, I applaud your diligence and hard work in seeing the bill changed. May God continue to bless the work of the Alliance for Natural Health.

  • DF

    Tyranny! Unless we stand up against it, they will continue to destroy our great nation! WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • Gwen

    Thank you for recaping the changes to the S510 bill. It does not seem as dismal as it did before.

  • john lapienski

    Hegelian Dialectics. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. they’ll come back 4 more dictatorial controls. our best hope is “FIRESALE”. regards, jl

  • http://[email protected] Ken Putt

    As more and more find out whats really going on the better the congress and senate votes will be.I think they know when the people get upset they better listen to us and not the Anglo-American elite who have been telling them what to do for the last 100yrs.

  • Martha Wrright

    Thank-you for all the work you do to help do battle with the heavy hand of government. I have had experience in working in hospitals and seeing people die from various causes, of course mostly diseases and even from the medical care they were given. I wish I could pass on to the government law-makers my hard won experience. I have seen people so shocked because they had always thought he doctors could just deal with what ever they had or finally to at least get them out of pain. Well it doesn’t work that way. Te bottom line is that everyone is ultimatlely responsible ultimate;y for their own health and medical care. The best course is to avoid getting ill in the first place. That’s where holistic care shines. Most of our Western medicine is no geared for expensive and often unnecessary procedures or extraordinary emergency care. They are very poor at preventing disease and chronic disease conditions. I have seen so much suffering and mental and spiritual anguish. It is everyones responsiiblity to protect themselves and there is much difference of opinion as to how to go about it. I think all government legislatures should do 6 month volunteer work in hospitals taking care of people and holding the hands of the dying, (because no one else was around) like I did.

  • James Low

    Your good efforts in preserving nutritional food from being demonized and unduly regulated through the Congress, FDA and large food companies that do not have what’s healthy as their motivation, but rather their bottom line, are appreciated. Thank You.

    Sincerely, James D. Low

  • NGU

    Thank you for this well-informed summary of the bill and how things fell out!!

  • http://naturalfoods Joe L’Amarca

    Should any constituents violate the natural foods of this planet earth that mother nature has developed through evolution is guilty of a criminal offence and they suffer death like they are trying to cause to human nature .
    Please everyone that reads this ! plant a hemp plant so that we can have ropes made out of it and we will have plenty of rope for any Political traitors ! in fact thats what we need is a law with that Language in it , so that every time one of of those political traitors gets out of line when they get back to their State/city we can view his actions on his vote and if hes guilty hang the bastard
    At least we the tax Donkey’s would save the money of his pension .
    Thank You Joe L’Amarca

  • John M. Giannone

    It’s funny, though not comical, how reasonable a piece of legislation can sound when it is compared to a horror! So now our opposition has a solid foot in-the-door!

  • Gilbert Teran Sr.

    Thank you for efforts and our health.

  • BUCK CROSBY

    So how should I view my Senators actions in voting for this bill ? Good or bad ?

  • http://healthoutrage.com Russell Steele

    Hooray for real food safety!

  • Julianne Daily

    I still want to see vitamins and supplements left alone. The FDA approved drugs have
    killed thousands. Enough said.

  • David Shelton

    I think raw milk advocates should get educated on brucella. I’ve read lots of info put out by raw milk people, and hardly ever is there a mention of this disease. I read through the entire recent issue of biodynamic agriculture, which was largely about raw milk, and only once was brucella mentioned in passing, with no associated information. There was, however, a lot of emotional antiregulation language, and unfounded statements about the safety of raw milk products.

    While it’s true that very few cases of brucellosis occur on an annual basis in the US, this will change unless dairymen who don’t pasteurize their milk check their cows regularly for it. I have seen no mention of doing this in any of the raw milk literature, or indeed any mention of the disease itself. This is irresponsible, and will lead to people getting sick and not knowing what they have or how to deal with it, and if it isn’t dealt with in a timely manner, it can lead to very serious consequences, such as blindness, paralysis and death, especially in children.

    I have firsthand experience with this disease. I got it in Mexico, and ended up in a small clinic in a little town. The traveling doctor finally arrived after a few days, and gave his diagnosis, subject to a lab test, which was going to take a couple of weeks to verify his findings. Not wanting to wait, I went back to the states, went to a doctor, showed him the Mexican doctor’s diagnosis. This guy didn’t know anything about the disease, and couldn’t read spanish, so he ignored it, put me in the hospital for 3 days of extensive tests, and could find nothing wrong, until he was advised by an associate to check for brucella. Once diagnosed, it was 3 weeks of tetracyclene and it was gone, except that it ate up the cartilage in my joints, and I still have some problems from that.

    So, if people are going to start risking their health with raw milk, they at least need to know what the symptoms of this disease are, since few US doctors are going to have a clue.

    I think you should research this and post something on your site.

    http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-pasteurized-unpasteurized-and-UHT-milk/answer/Haluk-Taylan

    http://www.medicinenet.com/brucellosis/page3.htm#symptoms

    I’d like to add that cow’s milk (raw or otherwise) is not good for people’s health in general, and is partucularly bad for nursing infants, who need mother’s milk, if it isn’t too contaminated by all the chemicals one is exposed to in our culture.
    http://www.therealfoodchannel.com/page/29.html

  • http://ANH garry bobbett

    isn’t it sad that trust cannot be extended to our ego maniacal politicians and that trust honored by representing what is best for ALL Americans and not just their corporate master’s interest?

  • Deena Parry

    Can we get a list of how the Senators voted on Bill S510 in your email newsletter please? You are doing a great job and keep up the good work!!!

  • Kristin Kierig

    Thanks so much for saving our supplements and natural health from the European Union

  • http://robertjordanhealthservices.com Robert Jordan

    I am appreciative for the calmness and sanity of your website and it’s offerings. Rima Lebow’s Foundation goes a bit overboard in rhetoric at times. Also, she fails to write information she prints that doesn’t contain several typos.

    Again, let me share my gratefulness with you for the fervor that you express concerning the different important issues that are addressed. I will be happy to share your website with clients and friends as we move forward in an Alliance for Natural Health.

    In recognition of your good work,
    Robert Jordan

  • Chuck Pipich

    Many thanks for your efforts on the Food Safety bill. Yes it still not the best, vut our family really appreciates your efforts in getting the damage down to the lesser level of the S510 version. Mnay thanks again, and let’s all keep up the fight for food and supplement freedom. Chuck P.

  • APE

    S510 is the second worst legislation ever passed by the Senate. Your site is a hoax, not allowing any true controversy.

    The truth is that Americans are dying from processed food laced with toxic chemical additives, not from fresh, raw produce. Partially-hydrogenated oils, white sugar, aspartame, MSG and artificial food colors almost certainly kill far more people than bacterial contaminations.

    The American public is also dying from pharmaceuticals — anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 people a year are killed by FDA-approved drugs , most of which have been approved under the guise of blatantly fraudulent science and drug company trickery. The FDA doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, it has been a willful co-conspirator in the scientific fraud carried out by Big Pharma in the name of “medicine.”

    To think that the FDA — the very same agency responsible for the Big Pharma death machine — is now going to “save us” by controlling food safety is highly irrational.

    • Questfortruth

      I would agree. Are they selling out too? Are they giving us just enough to feel good? Who isn’t bought out by big industry? How many out there buy stuff they do not need without concern where it is made? We are in debt to China, a dictatorship. We are selling out our own country. Our government is in bed with corporate America and corporate America wants to make more money and that is it. It is sick. I am sick just thinking of the greed and lack of wisdom about who we are and why we are here.

  • http://FarTooMuch.Info Russ Lemon

    The Food Safety Bill still does not require food manufacturers to list toxic poisons on their label unless the amount is greater then 500 mg per serving. I think that a threshold of 10 mcg per serving would be more appropriate for arsenic, mercury, lead, uranium, fluorine, Bt-toxin, gylphosate, glufosinate, 2,4-D, cyanide compounds, PCBs, MEK, methanol, formaldehyde, and other toxic compounds.

  • http://www.lef.org pcburke

    It’s wonderful to hear that our efforts have prospered. Please inform as many people as you can and ask them to lend their voice to our campaign.

  • ALFIYA

    THURTY processed food organizations like the American Frozen Food Institute and the Corn Refiners Association sent a LETTER to the Senate arguing that a local produce stand SHOULD FACE the same regulatory hurdles as their industrial-scale processed food operationsprocessed food companies that are increasingly NERVOUS about the new COMPETITION

    I reallyhave lost my hope if small farmers and organic food would survive. All in this corporations+FDA+GMO business is obvious they want not some but all of us being sick to make them profit on drugs, want all of us forget and it is happening next generation seems to be less intertested in the organic food because they would have NO clue about its tast and benefits. I would never belive that thirty organisations have written letters, but what I do believe is the people responsible for all this political movement work together in writing letter to senate to make a law for themselves. MY QUESTION IS WHY NATURAL HEALTH NOT DOING OPPOSIT THINGS WHY they cannot list obvious fact on organic food and claim that nothing can be more harmless than chemical free food. WHERE ALL OF YOU? I stop trusting you guys! All processed food is HARMFUL-diabetes because of artificial sweetener, fat eccess causing diseases because of fat itself from animal contain plenty of toxins and all people eats from other food is stored in this body fat again. WHO WILL NOT KNOW THESE?

  • Joy Ruth

    Thank you, ANH-USA, for all your hard work that led to this success and won inclusion of an amendment from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). As a consumer who has always been a part of the natural health community, I appreciate the diligence you have applied on the behalf of Americans who wish to buy produce from local farmers and to use supplements.

  • Norm Butler

    Thank you for the tireless efforts you have put forth in helping to resolve the issues of this dragonian style of governing WE have let get out of hand. The Government was oniginaly designed,as we all know, to be For the People and By the People and the results of these revisions in S. 510 are a true result of just that. The Voice of the People being Heard.
    Having been a small Organic farmer in the past and planning to restart the farm I am more comfortable , now than before, doing just that.

    Norm Butler

  • TeresaE

    I’m happy to hear that some sanity was brought to this (IF the House doesn’t muck it up!).

    This is still a sad day as more and more of our nation’s food is processed in Asia and imported into our shores. Does this bill do ANYTHING to increase regulation of THAT?

    With over 50% of all processed foods (try to find an American made Saltine cracker!) coming in from China, I just don’t see how more regulation within our borders can truly solve anything.

    Meanwhile, unemployment ends for 2 million citizens today, a HUGE tax increase is set to hit our lower and middle class (who cares about the “rich,” they can afford it, my poor machinist can’t afford another $30 weekly stolen from her pay) and Obamacare is set to crush those small farms (and any small business) under paperwork and increased costs.

    Amazing what people think is important in this country.

    Thanks to all whom worked to try and push back the tide.

    Even if in the end, our working poor can’t afford food – quality or not.

  • Ray Williams

    Monsanto, Monsanto surrogate FDA, and the FDA Food Czar Monsanto lackey have gotten what they wanted, the crippling and criminalization of future competition.

  • http://www.yahoo.com/SharonBishop Sharon C Bishop

    we need to still fight for our rights and beliefs. the oponants are not thinking. All the garbage they are feeding everyone is very much destroying all of us. Even themselves. Natural things are what where nade on earth to do. Not the way the Ellite side are thinking of.

  • fallingman

    “But it was especially controversial because of a number of provisions that would have created a litany of unintended regulatory consequences for small organic farms and supplement manufacturers.”

    The consequences were hardly unintended. The fascists want to crush their competition. That’s the whole point.

    There are way too many people who still think the government simply doesn’t understand the bad things they’re doing when they introduce bills like this and if we could simply educate them and reason with them, we’d get what we want. Utter nonsense. This is corporatist hardball. They will do exactly as much as they can get away with.

    Monsanto uber alles.

    Time to stop begging these scumbags to allow you to keep some shred of freedom. Withdraw your consent. Deny your support. Express your contempt. Keep it peaceful and simply refuse to play their corrupt game.

  • http://kibitzer-truthseeker.blogspot.com Stan

    I’m sorry, but I can’t help feeling that this has been a case of Bre’r Rabbit pleading not to be tossed into the briar patch. We have been invited to look at how bad it COULD have been, instead of seriously looking at what it allows to get on the books and fighting tooth and nail to keep THAT from being passed. (There are already laws against unsafe practices.) And now the people behind this can slip their agenda items back in in the Senate-House reconciliation process, and we the dutiful Little People can be told, Oh dear – Well, we did the best we could; sorry about that. Just keep moving on, folks. Nothing more to be seen here, now.

    Not.

  • http://kibitzer-truthseeker.blogspot.com Stan

    I find I need to say a little more about this. Folks: The fox is STILL in charge of the chicken coop. The Tester Amendment isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Monsanto needs to be kicked out of the swivel-chair controlling seat of the FDA – THAT’S what needs to happen. And root-and-branch reform of ALL of the regulatory agencies of the federal government. Which are nothing more than revolving doors between the corporate world – supposedly being regulated BY these agencies – and the federal government.

    Guess who’s still in power? And now with more power??…

  • tessac

    http://www.naturalnews.com/030576_Food_Safety_S_510.html

    Please read the above article.

    What you dont know…and the US Senate does know, is..we’re headed for hyperinflation. Which would push all small farms over the $500,000 limit.

  • Questfortruth

    We are in denial if we think that this is a step in the right direction. It is a pacifier in the mouth just like all of the other pacifiers the media and our sick government gives us: false entertainment/distractions galore from the real issues, fake food, vaccines (24 of 36 a baby gets by age 1), pharmaceuticals, EMF’s (fluorescent bulbs is what Obama has ordered, even though they are dangerous to our health, and as of 2011, incandescent bulbs will be gone), fast food, big malls with TV’s so that we can continue to be brainwashed and numbed), oh and big stores like Wallmart and Sam’s so that we can buy more crap we do not need and food that is dead! If you buy crap made in China, you are supporting a dictatorship, a communist regime, where people are seen as numbers and life is not really yours anymore. Our government has sold out too, as the Free trade Agreement passed, all that crap from China can be sent here for free. You can buy the crap cheap and feed the monster that does not care an inch fro you, just your money. Buy made in USA only!

  • Suzanne Kirby

    This is just disgraceful.

  • Victoria Kooyenga

    Horrifying !. One manipulative word at a time and they slowly take it all away.I dont mind sincere concern being shown for my fellow brother and sisters, but there defineately is something out of balance with this information. Why is this bill so shrouded with double talk and clandestine meanings if it’s really intended for the highest good of the people?

  • richard mcfeters

    How impersonable your descisions are does not shine a good light on America.
    We don’t like it hen you pass bills yo’ve hardly looked at. I am sure one of your staff has the ability to speed read, and if they don’t, or you don’t, that is bad sop. Pasing a bill with inapropriate wording, or wording that says one thing but, means another are of vast immportance in the type of bill passed. Do the right thing, is not just a sentence. Itis a demand to your morallity to do the right thing, especially when it concerns the right of our American people, and wildlife. thank you

    • Birgit Michael

      All these bills are written by LAWYERS, hence the forked tongue language. Forked tongues are of the devil… Consider the source of all of those draconian bills. that enrich the banksters and impoverish the poor(some more)

  • Nynature

    And this is good? The entire bill needs to be thrown out! How dare the government or any of their regulatory gestapo tell us what we can and cannot eat, who to buy it from, etc. I am sick of the lot of you all. This is just the governments attempt to control the people. Once they have our food source, they can starve us to death. It worked for Mao Tse Tung, why do we think it won’t happen here. New world order? Not on your life!! The people won’t stand for it.

  • Birgit Michael

    This is how they snare US, a little at a time. We’re willing to not storm the house, because they made the bill less nasty .In the old days …. well they knew how to deal with ‘representatives’ like that 200 years ago