Green Party urges amendment to food
April 6th, 2009
of Article: http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/04/green-party-urges-amendment-to-food-safety-bills/comment-page-1/
h/t to my
co-blogger, Ian Wilder at www.onthewilderside.com Excerpt from a Green Party press
Green Party urges
amendment to food safety bills citing need to protect family farms and
Green Party leaders
voiced concerns about the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (HR 875 and S
425) and, while supporting the goal of food safety and farm inspections,
urged amendments in the bill to protect small and family farms, farmers’
markets, and organic farming.
America needs national
food safety guarantees in the age of genetic modification, misleading
labeling, food-borne illnesses and contaminants, especially
pesticides. But the ‘one size fits all’ approach of the bills endangers
family farms and local, organic agriculture. Without amendments, the
result of HR 875 and S 425 may be the demise of small farms and organic
agriculture, increased profits and the expansion of giant agri-businesses.
Rather than crushing
protocols and penalties, we call for regulation that ensures food safety by
working with family farms, farmers markets, and similar small businesses
and promotes the selling of locally, organically, and sustainably grown
Greens noted that the
bills do not address the problems of the large corporate farms: poor
working conditions, limitations on fast marketing because of large
quantities of produce, long-distance markets, overuse of chemicals,
petroleum dependence, and lack of quality, nutrition, taste, and freshness.
Recent breakdowns in food
safety have been the result of major corporate farming practices that fail
to control pathogens, because of indequate regulatory oversight caused by
the influence of agricultural monopolies on state and national agencies
responsible for protecting consumers. Greens said that all farms
should be held to strict standards and undergo inspections, but warned that
the cost of paperwork and oversight protocols would be prohibitive to small
farms and would ultimately harm consumers if small farms were subjected to
the same requirements as huge agribusiness farms.
The Green Party’s
national platform advocates “legislation that assists new farmers and
ranchers, that promotes widespread ownership to small and medium-sized
farms and ranches, and that revitalizes and repopulates rural communities
and promotes sustainable development and stewardship” (http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/ecology.html#753970).
For more information on
the Food Safety bills and concerns about their effect on small farms, visit
the Cornucopia Institute’s web pages: “Farmers Fear Being Run over by Food
Safety Juggernaut” (April 2, 2009)
(http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_17451.cfm); Action Alert:
Critical Pending Food Safety Legislation (http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/03/action-alert-critical-pending-food-safety-legislation).
See also “Food Safety
Hits the Fan: Regulatory Action, Inaction and Over-reaction and the Effects
on Small Scale Growers” by Steve Gilman, Northeast Organic Farm Association
- Interstate Council Policy Coordinator (http://www.nofa.org/policy/leafygreens.php).
Under: Green Party