I just sent the following to my Representative in the US House in response to HR 875 – the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2009 which I wrote about here. I lifted a large portion of the letter with permission from TennZen and tailored the message somewhat to Congressman Hall, my representative. Feel free to use it yourself in total or as a helpful starting point. I encourage you to read about what this bill would mean to small farmers everywhere. You can find your Rep here. I also submitted it to both my Senators. You can find your Senators here.
Dear Congressman Hall,
As a constituent and a homestead farmer, I am concerned about legislation that could affect my freedom to grow healthy foods to provide for my family’s nutritional and economic needs.
There is a bill in Congress right now – HR 875 – that has the potential to detrimentally affect that freedom.
This bill strips the state agriculture departments of their powers and binds them to enforcing federal standards – effectively turning them into “food police” for the new federal food agency that would be created. The broad language affects anyone growing food, even if they aren’t selling it, and all but criminalizes organic farming. The administrative aspect of the bill would place the job of interpreting the legislation into the hands of factory farming corporations and lobbyists. The remainder of the bill’s language is so generic that even a backyard gardener could find himself facing stiff fines and penalties.
As the representative for a largely rural area with many small farms, you surely must understand the impact a far-reaching bill such as this would have on not only their livelihood but also on those of us who depend on their productivity to feed our families.
I ask that you please oppose HR 875 – the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2009 – and encourage your fellow Congressmen to do the same.
1316 Valley Stream Drive
Wylie, TX 75098