Regarding: Food Safety Enhancement Act (FSEA), New York Times, 07/30/09

Letter to the Editor: New York Times
Submitted: 07.30.09
Your recent editorial supporting the Food Safety Enhancement Act (FSEA) fails to recognize many shortcomings of this pending legislation.
For example, FSEA is financed by a $500 user fee, requiring a small business and a giant food-processor to pay the same fee. This is unfair, financing a huge new bureaucracy on the backs of small and family-owned operations.
The bill grants expansive and invasive authority to FDA with no oversight, which is difficult to justify if we look at recent FDA actions (e.g., the Vioxx debacle).
FSEA also threatens organic and diversified farmers and small food-producers by subjecting them to regulations and record keeping aimed at large agribusinesses. It even gives the FDA the authority to tell small farmers how to grow their crops – something it has neither the knowledge nor expertise to do.
Food safety can be improved, but FSEA as drafted is not the answer.
Tami L. Wahl
Legislative Director

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