Who’s Trying to Scuttle the Amendment that Protected Organic and Family Farms? Big Food on the Attack!

December 7, 2010

tractorToday we reveal the thirty agribusiness front groups and industrial agriculture lobbyists that continue to fight the Tester amendment. One of the few saving graces of the Senate’s controversial FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510)—which passed the Senate last week, only to be sidelined for the moment by a constitutional error—was the amendment introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). Small-farm and organic food advocates warned that the legislation would destroy their industry under a mountain of paperwork; the Tester amendment exempted producers with less than $500,000 a year in sales who sell most of their food locally. ANH-USA and other organizations successfully fought to get the amendment included in the final Senate bill.

The bill hit a roadblock within hours after its passage when the House Ways and Means Committee flagged provisions that would levy fees for various activities: reinspecting food facilities, mandatory recalls, registering food importers, etc. According to the Constitution, all revenue-raising provisions must arise in the House of Representatives, which means the Senate’s provisions make the bill unconstitutional.
Robert Guenther, a lobbyist for the United Fresh Produce Association, said the snag in the House could provide an opportunity for the House and Senate to go to conference on the bill and thereby remove the Tester language which exempts many small farmers and food facilities from new food safety rules.
In November, Guenther’s association—together with twenty-nine other agribusiness lobbyists and associations—openly and publicly attacked small and organic farmers. They wrote to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, saying that the same rules ought to apply to all farms and food producers, regardless of size—knowing full well that only the giants can afford to play by these rules.
These organizations (and the companies that are their members) believe that even the smallest food sellers, like mom-and-pop roadside stands, should face the same regulatory hurdles as their own industrial-scale processed food operations. Big Food is essentially trying to use the government to quash competition from small family and organic farms.
As Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, wrote in The Hill newspaper, “When legislation is made in Congress, industrial agriculture sets the rules and these minor protections are the only thing standing between the smallest family farmers and expensive new regulations that could drive them out of business.”
In their letter to the HELP Committee, these thirty groups write, “The undersigned organizations represent the vast majority of growers, producers, shippers, distributors, processors, packers, and wholesalers, and the vast majority of our members are small businesses.” While we acknowledge that many small businesses belong to these organizations, there is no doubt whatsoever that their membership is dominated by the largest food processors in the country.
You may be shocked at some of the names on this list:
American Feed Industry Association
American Frozen Food Institute
American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition
American Meat Institute
American Mushroom Institute
California Grape and Tree Fruit League
Corn Refiners Association
Florida Tomato Exchange
Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
Idaho Potato Commission
International Dairy Foods Association
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Chicken Council
National Grain and Feed Association
National Meat Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Turkey Federation
National Watermelon Association
Pet Food Institute
Produce Marketing Association
Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association
Texas Produce Association
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce Association
U.S. Apple Association
Western Growers Association

After the constitutional snafu invalidated the bill, thirteen of the above organizations plus ten other Big Food associations wrote to House leaders to reiterate their position and urge the Senate to go to conference on the bill.
Dave Murphy points out that “members of Congress and the elite class of agribusiness lobbyists continue to ignore the elephant in the room regarding food safety and agricultural production, which as most informed citizens know is concentration.” Murphy is referring to CAFOs, or Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations. It’s the standard model for large-scale food-producing-animal factory farms.
Some members of Congress, like Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), who sits on the House Agriculture Committee and represents California’s factory-farm-dominated San Joaquin Valley, are glad to see the Senate bill fail because it would give them the opportunity to strip the Tester amendment from the bill. Cardoza went so far as to call the Tester amendment “an abomination” (a very strong word for something that protects family farmers) and said, “A small farm can devastate the industry as easily as a big farm.” It should be noted that Rep. Cardoza’s campaign received more than $103,000 from the “Crop Production & Basic Processing” industry—the very people who are now demanding that Tester’s modest farmer protection provisions be killed.
Murphy continued, “This fact should not be lost on anyone, because this is how industrial agriculture has not only taken over food production in the US, driving farmers off the land, fattening Americans, and contaminating our food, but it is also how corporate agribusiness has corrupted our democracy.”

81 responses to “Who’s Trying to Scuttle the Amendment that Protected Organic and Family Farms? Big Food on the Attack!”

  1. Roger Dedon says:

    The Tester amendment should be kept in the bill!!

  2. elliott haines iii says:

    tester has testosterone and needs support for his ammendment…

  3. Dave Hickson says:

    How about an action item to send to congress in support of the Tester Amendment? I would also like to see a rule banning drug companies from advertising.

  4. R Mackay says:

    According to Doreen Hannes” article, excerpted from News With Views below, the Tester amendment actually does very little to reduce the threat to our small farmers and our food freedom. The Tester amendment may actually be a bit of a red herring:
    “The largest deception played on the public in S. 510 is the inclusion of the Tester Amendment. This amendment was sold as the complete exemption for all small farms grossing less than $500,000 per year. But if one reads the actual amendment, it is evident that it will not do what it is purported to do for the vast majority of small producers.
    The Tester Amendment has strident restrictions on those who may be “exempted” from HACCP (Hazard and Critical Control Point) implementations. HACCP is 50 pages of instructions that require a certifier to sign off on the plan, and a team to be trained in ensuring the plan is followed on the farm. The requirement of this plan put about 40% of small meat processors out of business several years ago. If you fall under the “protection” of the Tester amendment, you won’t have to do it….but let’s see how protective the Tester Amendment really is.
    First, the Tester Amendment purports to exempt farms with less than $500,000 in sales from the requirements of S.510. However, to be “exempt” one must sell more than 50% of their products directly to consumers or restaurants within a 275-mile radius from production, and keep records substantiating those sales. The records are open for inspection and verification of the exemption. In other words, you have to prove you are playing by their rules through record keeping and approval of those records, or meet the more onerous requirements of S.510.
    You must “apply” to be included in the “protections” of the Tester amendment. You must substantiate through your records for three years that you fit the category of selling more than “50% of average annual monetary value” within this 275-mile radius. So, if you sell on the roadside or at a farmers market, you must have a map handy and ask for ID from everyone who purchases from you or lose your exemption. Nice, huh?
    Proof of Residence for Food? Really?
    I can see it now….A lovely early June day, with the birds singing and the smell of freshly mown hay hanging in the air like the best memory from childhood. A young mother pulls into the Farmers Market and readies herself for a wonderful shopping experience.
    She approaches the first stand with her mouth nearly watering at the bright display of fresh produce. “I’d like 3 cucumbers, please”, says the lady with her 3 kids and cloth grocery bag.
    “Great! Can I see your ID?” replies the guy in bibs.
    “Oh, I’m paying with cash” she replies with a smile.
    “No matter”, says the farmer, “We have to make sure you’re within a 275 mile radius of our farm in order to sell to you.”
    She looks perplexed and says, “Well, we aren’t. We’re on our way to visit my parents and I wanted to make a special dinner for all of using their locally produced foods so they could remember how good home grown veggies are….So I can’t buy from you without an ID?”
    The farmer scratches his head and says, “Now see, I have to be very careful. I belong to a CSA that sells to a Chipotle that’s 276 miles from us, so all of my sales at market have to be local or I lose my exemption and will have to hire 5 people to take care of the paper work and then I just go out of business. So no, I can’t sell to you. What’s more, all the vendors here are part of the CSA, so no one here can sell to you. You have a nice day now!”
    No Surprises-It’s Locally Global
    What we have in Tester is local Agenda 21 Sustainable Development. In sum, “control over all human impact on the environment”. Everything will need to be within the ‘food shed’, and if you are outside of the food shed, too bad for you. It’s a great way to surveille and monitor food production and distribution. And you still fall under the broad based “reason to believe” of the Secretary with the Tester amendment. If the “Secretary”, meaning the head of the FDA or HHS thinks you may have a problem, or deems what you produce to be ‘high risk’, you will be shut down until they say you can begin again. All of your product is subject to mandatory recall; that’s why you have to keep records of everyone you sell to. And you will have to register as a facility under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, referred to as Sec 415 throughout the bill. (Knock knock—this is “premises identification” as in NAIS)
    So please, don’t tell me how great the Tester Amendment is, and that the expansive powers being granted to the DoD, DHS, HHS, FDA and USDA in this bill will be helpful to small farmers and local food production and make my food safe. Wake up and smell the coffee!!! Oh, wait. The only state that could produce coffee within 275 miles is Hawaii. Never mind. Wake up, and smell the tyranny, please.
    (The best thing to do right now is to call the members of the House Ways and Means Committee as well as your own Representative and tell them they MUST blue slip S. 510. While I know it gets frustrating to call the Congress critters, the more they know that we know, the better the chance at slowing down the destruction they have planned for us. The switchboard number for Congress is 202-224-3121.)

  5. Thomas Dunn says:

    Small food producers must be exempt from the onerous requirements of big aqri-business. We want the quality that can come from small business owners that produce organic foods. it is well known that the big players don’t produce the quality that produces good health.

  6. Hillary bryan says:

    Support the future of America, support small farmers and leave the health of our communities intact. We have complete control of our bodies, this shouldn’t change just so that the pockets of “a few” may be lined with profit. Thank you

  7. Mel Smith says:

    There is so much chemical adulteration in our food source, like MSG (mono sodium glutamate) High fructose Corn syrup (HFCS) Aspartame, Hydrogenated Veg oil , and animal foods that contain Hormones and anti-biotics, and GMO (Genetically Modified Organizisms, that get introduced into the food and are not labeled, where the public consumer has idea it is causing most of their health problems.
    The FDA has allowed all these poisons to be added to our foods and they go unlabeled on the final product.
    This is not what the FDA was organized to do, and they are failing the public and are the cause of poor health of the American people.
    I think there should be a way to force the FDA to make all these poison additives to be labeled on all the final products on our shelves in the Super markets. That way the public has the choice if they want to consume these poisons, and if they don’t want to, then they can stay on the shelves until these huge corporations remove all these un necessary substances from their products.
    Especially all the GMO products that are never labeled on foods., We know Soy, and corn are mostly GE to receive Round up and are poisonous to all animal life, but all the other products made from Soy and Corn are in our food and most consumers have no Idea that they contain Roundup, as it is used in the process of growing these food crops, and those crops are contaminated with that poison, Roundup.

  8. slywlf says:

    Sad to say it looks like the old SF writers were on to something; years ago several different writers posited a near future where Big International Business became the true ultimate power, with national governments first falling under their sway through gifts, then graft, then finally became obsolete. We no longer declared our allegiance to the USA or France, but to whichever BIB held sway where we lived.
    Our governments so-called watchdogs are already deeply in Big Oil, Pharma and Agri – now the governments themselves seem to be following suit. I never thought to see life imitate art in my lifetime, but if this continues that is where the world is headed.

  9. Dennis Jones says:

    Please stay vigilant and fight for our rights as consumers and for the rights of small organic farmers. God bless.

  10. Don Jusko says:

    Keep the Tester amendment.
    Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), who sits on the House Agriculture Committee and represents California’s factory-farm-dominated San Joaquin Valley, are glad to see the Senate bill fail because it would give them the opportunity to strip the Tester amendment from the bill.
    Corporate agribusiness has corrupted our democracy.

  11. Mara Williams says:

    We need clean and healthy food which Big Agri does not provide. We need options to take high grade supplements for health issues. WE have the right to clean food. Please fight to protect small farmers from heavy regulation that will ruin them. We are responsible for discerning what is good food and if we choose to eat organic from a small farm that should be our choice and right!!!

  12. Ruth Reddaway says:

    Friends of mine from other countries (Communist countries) have told me they were taught America’s capitalism is “ANYTHING for a buck.” Previously I have replied it isn’t true. I guess I never thought I would live long enought to see our great country corrupted by the crushing greed of these huge corporations. Is there no stopping them?

  13. robert yankevicz says:

    this is a battle against all that is good with america. big bussiness and big money want to take away produce rights away from the farmers of america. these farmers produce a healthy crop to be bought by our families. taking this away will only fill the pockets of a few greedy few. eventually all the gmo crops will be destroyed by the smart lawmakers of this country. we will need these farmers for food to feed our famulies and keep us healthy. this is much more important that some greedy slob of some seedy corporation buying 6 vacation homes in france for himself.

  14. Stop the politics and stop the lobbyist! Americans want small organic farmers to be free to produce and make their crops available to farmers markets and to the public without all the Big Agra interference!

  15. Ramona Lindsey says:

    It is an absolute horror to me as a consumer that these unscrupulous food companies are permited to put food on the shelves of any grocery store that has been genetically altered with out my knowledge.
    How dare they believe its ok to put deadly chemicals in my food and genetically alter it , and present it to me in a store . Leave the little farms alone.

  16. Donald says:

    IF THINGS ‘ CONTINUE LIKE THEY HAVE ‘ , OUR BELOVED COUNTRY WILL
    — GO TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET — . WE MUST BRING THESE LARGE CORPORATIONS INTO LINE , OR OUR CHILDREN WILL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE .
    WE HAVE FAILED THEM SO FAR , HOW LONG WILL WE CONTINUE TO DO SO ? ..

  17. EddieW says:

    What it failed to tell us is that it was written by Monsanto people, for Monsanto people, against the rest of America!!! Tester’s amendment don’t fix it…Monsanto won’t allow it to be fixed!!!

  18. Shirley Weyand says:

    For interesting details on the Tester Amendment go to NewswithViews.com Doreen Hannes of December 7, 2010

  19. Ditoh says:

    Aprox 80 % of Russia’s food come from small family farms, my friend in Kiev says they are happy and well people and the food is freash and tasty. Lots of roadside stands too.

  20. Patrick says:

    Keep the Tester amendment in the bill. We need to protect the small farmers.

  21. bill robertson says:

    this is the stuff that scares me.
    do we have any friendly congressmen or senators?
    what can or are you (and we) doing?

  22. Pamela Wood says:

    I used to work for the government, so I KNOW how much paperwork, hassle, and time the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) will be placed on small and organic farmers. This needs to be STOPPED unless the amendment introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) goes through as well!
    Thank you for your efforts!
    Pam

  23. Debbie Troxell says:

    Protect our choices to have unadulterated, healthy foods and nutrients that we as educated consumeres want.

  24. Jerry Burge says:

    Pleased if U could start a petition for us to sign an forward to all of the idiot members of Congress. I would definetly sign one and send it . We need help for this bill to get the proper attention it needs. Thank You very much.
    Sincerely ,
    Jerry Burge

  25. Susan Prowell says:

    The smaller farms and food businesses need protection from over regulation and over requirments of government. Stop treating citizens like babies who can’t make sound food purchases at local and small farms and food producers. The small food producers are not the problem – the problem came into being with huge farms/food production conglomerates.

  26. William Eckloff says:

    Rep. Jon Tester (D-MT) is truly an American Hero to citizens of our country who value food quality and know the need to prevent Big Agra from forcing the little guy out of the business. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) just shows that there are politicians on both sides of the aisle who can be bought. That $103,000 should keep him and his family happy and fat with genetically modified and processed foods for years to come.

  27. Melissa Gibbud says:

    As the owner of a small family run organic farm I resent BIG BUSINESS buying off the politicians.
    I am here to help feed local folks which in turn saves on shipping, handling, and third party expenses.
    All of this helps the environment and make food more affordable for those of us struggling to eat well.
    After 200 years on this farm it would be a crime to let BIG BUSINESS tie my hands making it impossible to afford to comply with the new regulations. As a small farm I know each one of my animals. I know when one is not feeling well. I’m there to assure a safe delivery at calving time. I’m there to feed my animals twice per day and make sure that they are healthy, have clean water, are well fed and able to go out and enjoy the fresh air and green grass. I’m there to check and clean each udder before milking. All my animals have names. For the time they are with me they are treated humanely, with love and appreciation for what they are here to provide me with.
    Don’t stop these types of farming practices with stupid regulations that corporations need because their bottom line is the all mighty buck.

  28. Brenda Ray says:

    Sadly, economic disparity (between rich and poor) is a fact of life in this country. The law will continue to side with the rich against the poor; that’s what all this bill-tinkering amounts to. We can protest all we like, but frankly I don’t think it will do any good. Big Business, Big Food, Big Pharma, etc., are going to continue to “make the laws.” And, sadly, it’s way too expensive for (poor) folks like me to simply boycott the Big Boys. Anything that hurts their Bottom Line they will pay attention to, but that would require a massive boycott of Big Anything. I’m afraid that’s unlikely to happen.
    Meanwhile, let’s raise our voices, rock the boat, all we can. At least our congressmen will know that we don’t approve of the direction they are taking.

  29. Joyce Hansen says:

    Okay, what do we do now? What can we do? Both of my Senators either quit or lost this last election here in Wisconsin. Ron Kind doesn’t pay attention when I meet and make requests of him. I’ve been trying to stop “big pharma” from getting patents on our vitamins (B 6 in particular) and he’s done nothing to stop these drug/medical rapists from patenting two parts of OUR B 6. B 6 only has three components to it and now they’ve patented two of them. Our bodies do NOT make B 6 and now it is impossible for All of us to buy the complete (three component) B 6. I’m presently looking for a source outside the US to purchase complete B 6.
    We have a small farm and can grow most of our food. Haven’t figured out what to do about a fuel substitute yet, but at least we can burn wood to keep warm. It’s a work in progress. I feel really sorry that we citizens don’t matter to our government, but until we do, and until they reverse the last Supreme Court decision that makes corporations have the same rights as us human citizens. it doesn’t look good for us humans. Not everyone can grow their own food either, so they’re really between a rock and a hard place. I wish there was a way to legislate ethics and morals.
    Big agribusines, banks and government have and continue to RAPE ALL OF US!

  30. Pat Kersten says:

    There are those of us in the United States that are doing everything we can to keep healthy and our own government is doing everything they can to make sure we don’t. Did we not send representatives to speak the voice of the people, not the voice o[

  31. Lorree Gardener Milne says:

    “… industrial agriculture has not only taken over food production in the US, driving farmers off the land, fattening Americans, and contaminating our food, but it is also how corporate agribusiness has corrupted our democracy….” says it all. Please allow real human beings (farmers, small scale producers and consumers) to be in control of the food products that we grow and eat.

  32. R.H.Girshick says:

    So where is the letter writing campaign?????

  33. Ty Markham says:

    Our leaders must pass fair elections laws and break up the big Food-Ag monopolies. What we stand to lose is staggering.

  34. Valerie Friedman says:

    Once again the big corporations lobby government for concessions that hurt the little guy. Our goverment is being run by big business, when it should be the other way around. Big business should be accountable to our citizens and goverment. I see problems ahead, real problems.

  35. How do we act to block the major corporations from removing the Tester Amendment?

  36. What has the government got to do with small farms or anything organic? Nothing but more trouble and loss of freedom. Maybe the people voting for this junk should move to another country – maybe Russia or China! I personally do not like imbibinb chemicals and pesticides, and choose to plant my own garden or buy organic. Having had cancer and suffering a stroke was my wake-up call! Go organic!!!

  37. Gloria New says:

    We need organic food farmers and they need to be protected! We don’t need corporate agribusiness!!

  38. John Kaemer says:

    Lobbyist and big business run this country. We need to revolt aif we wnat to see real cahnge. Such a shame but that is the reality

  39. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  40. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  41. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  42. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  43. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  44. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  45. Let the little farmers have some peace of mind. I live in Brentwood, Ca. We still have local famers market and I would like to continue enjoying fresh local fruits and vegetables.

  46. David Shelton says:

    Gigantic, too-powerful corporations need to be legislated back to a reasonable size. What happened to the antitrust laws? If they evaporated somehow, reinstate them. This cannot go on.

  47. Tom Combes says:

    A take action link, not provided above, but found via the Organic Consumers Association web-site:
    http://www.capwiz.com/grassrootsnetroots/callalert/index.tt?alertid=14909896&type=CO

  48. Morgan Tegtow says:

    This is a revolution!
    We need to stop big agribusiness from telling us what food they’re going to give us and tell them what food we’re going to pick for ourselves!
    I want organic, grown sustainably by my local small family farmers.

  49. Cynthia B Hill says:

    Prove that you have the conviction of the office to which you were elected. Do the right thing. Stand up for what’s right even if you are standing alone. Remember, the IQ of mob opinion is quite low. Use your God given intelligence and morality and stand up for all Americans on the issue of food manipulation and contamination. The line has been crossed, and sand thrown in our faces. We need you to be our champion. Please.

  50. dave h says:

    this story is exactly whats wrong with our contry.we should get the names of every senator who votes against this and vote them out in next election.just plain stupid and as normally just follow the money trail.

  51. Don Newsom says:

    Hi,
    I totally believe in small farms selling great organic product. But don’t have a bunch of money to pay there huge government fees to get certified. I buy from lots of them at farmers markets here in Iowa. There prices can be higher, in some cases very high. Maybe there certified or whatever. Which in most cases decide not to buy from them. I do ask alot of questions and go from there. It seems that the government is our enemy in the last 10 years. Wanting to control things and cost lots of money. It is time we purge these stupid greedy bastards out of our government. And move on to things that can help our health. Last election proved that a little bit. I believe that us older folks, I’m 64 years old will knock these people outta there in time, if not it’s our fault. Keep up the good work. Later. Thanks for listening.
    Sincerely,
    Don M Newsom

  52. Helen A Goldenberg says:

    Let’s get this bill passed with the Tester amendment now! Thank you.

  53. Tara Federman says:

    The abomination is that greed is corrupting the food and agriculture we depend on. Let small farmers, organic producers and family farmers stand and keep their rights to grow food the way nature intended and be protected in their rights.

  54. Michael W. Brown says:

    These are some sick individuals. They can’t let the weeds take hold, otherwise we’ll take over the garden.

  55. Judith McAloon says:

    There they go again!

  56. M. Pazera says:

    The organic and family farms are the only sources left for Americans to purchase healthy seeds and to consume foods that remain free of pesticides, unhealthy additives, and detrimental GMOs.
    There must be a law enacted against all lobbyists!
    Monopolies bring slavery…..let true freedom reign!

  57. C Lupo says:

    It is time to STOP BIG business’ of all kinds that prey for the gain of money instead of a product with integrity and safety and rightful livelihood. A person’s Job is not something to play with. Accountability is the name of the game, and our government needs to start with themselves and check out why they are not already taking action at these monopolistic inhumane juggernauts. It’s time for our Government to throw a wrench in the gears of the huge Food/Farm Companies and put them in their place. Isn’t it obvious that the Big Companies are trying to squeeze out anyone not of their game. We the People should have the right to grow food anyway we like, as we have since the first seed was planted with intention to grow for food. Non Big Business Farms certainly should not to be penalized by the GMO Bastards suing them for growing GMO seeds that were pollinated by the next-door GMO Company’s pollen that drifted and trespassed on the non GMO farm in the first place. WTF?! What a pity we even have to have this kind of conversation with the congress when they most likely know all about it… Doesn’t the Business Farm companies give money to their campaign?

  58. nancy pawlen says:

    Small family farmers must be protected in our country from large agribusiness. Who wants to be responsible for causing even more Americans to become unemployed? In addition, who wants to take the responsibility for the growing number of food poisonings which have come from less food inspections of agribusiness crops and livestock food supply? It’s time now to work together for the common good, not just working for those who line pockets with their contributions.

    • nancy pawlen says:

      Small family farmers must be protected in our country from the power of large agribusinesses. Who wants to be responsible for causing even more Americans to become unemployed? In addition, who wants to take the responsibility for the growing number of food poisonings which have come from less intensive food inspections of agribusiness crops and livestock? It is time now to work together for the common good, not just working for those who line pockets with strings-attached contributions.

  59. rachel says:

    Democracy turned upside down by greedy organizations supporting big businesses.
    Shame, shame on them thinking they can destroy small and local farmers including farmers markets.
    Let the LIGHT shine through their big business darkness and attitudes. I shop at a local
    farmers market in Charlottesville, VA. It has tripled in popularity in five years because smart
    people know LOCAL IS BETTER AND HEALTHIER. Its’ also best for the farmers and environment.
    namaste’, rachel

  60. Ronald Brown says:

    Protect organic family farms and by doing so you will protect American families.

  61. Patricia King says:

    The vast majority of food related illnesses are caused by food grown and processed by large agribusiness companies. True organic farmers are small and primarily sell their produce locally. Organic farming, unlike large scale production, does not put labratory produced chemicals into our food supply and water supply. Growth hormones and antibiotics are not permitted in the production of organically grown meat. Because these small farmers are not the source of the big problems in the food supply chain, they absolutely must be exempted from the requirements that absolutely must be imposed on large agribusiness companies. History demonstrates that these large corporations will not be concerned about the safety of their products unless they are required by law to be concerned and unless their failures hit their bottom line in a big way. Organic farmers, on the other hand, are in direct contact with their customers and have a vested interest in keeping them healthy and happy.

  62. joana valek says:

    If you have ever driven by a bovine feedlot – announceded by stench from 1/4 mile away you know that it is not clean food production area…how can a food inspector walk in there and allow them keep operating ?
    I drove my a feedlot with a small mound in the middle of it, and there were a couple of cows standing on the top of it – trying the get away from the pool of URINE below them.
    If a cow knows what is not sanitary why not the food inspectors ?
    Yet I have never seen that kind of a digusting conditions in the small farming world.
    Give the nasty giant food producers a 100 million kick in the butt ! Please keep after EVERYONE of your friends to keep emailing and calling – daily

  63. lily says:

    This issue needs to be confronted by small family farmers and local health food grocery/stores…i spoke with several in my community and they didn’t know anything about this!!! The orgs that are now active should find a way to get this info out to as many of our health food suppliers and community stores asap so they can spread the word to their customers to get active and stop big agra from taking over our food supply…can anyone tell us if this can be done of if itr is already is being done???

  64. lily says:

    Where is the ‘Action Aleart’ regarding this current aspect of this issue??? The ‘Action Aleart” emails we send to our congress are so powerful…I hope one will be created asap so we can email our senators and/or reps to speak out …thank you!

  65. Go Figure says:

    The problem with the big corporations is that they do not want the consumers to eat Local Organic Healthy food other wise we will be healthy. They want us to be sick so they can continue with their corruption of our society and not question what corruptions they will cause next. They themselves know their junk food is bad for us.

  66. dez says:

    Please formulate ‘Action Alerts ‘ with the strongest the possible language for our disgust, naming the associations and organizations lobbying our congress and government. I recommend a series of ‘Alerts’, to both houses of congress for the most impact and get the most people involved. This would send a message, that we will not tolerated attacks on our choice’s of our natural food growers and suppliers. … dez …

  67. Robaire says:

    In CA is T/J on our side. How about a boycott on big farm products. If Gays can do a boycott against O/J and have the Rep. fired from the ads we should be able to do the same. So lets get those names of ass ociations and org’s.

  68. E. Hawes says:

    These companies are so off base, wrong, thinking they represent me! Are you kidding me? This kind of legislation springs from greed, narcissism, and willful ignorance lacking great compassion for feeding a nation healthfully. I buy from my neighbors and nothing will change that! No GMO. ORGANIC ONLY! RAISED WITH LOVE NOT DRUGS and NOT POISONS and picked with love, bought with love, prepared with love.

  69. Aaron says:

    So what do we DO about it? I’m like most of you: outraged but haven’t taken any action. Is there time left to take action? Who do we write/call? What should we say?

  70. Dr. Manhattan says:

    Big business yet again shutting down family and small businesses.
    The very things that made this country grow and succeed.
    not only is it healthier but good for prices and competition to have many small farms.
    Not to mention different choices for consumers.
    Farmer Joe’s apples may be a bit more crisp than Farmer John’s.
    My family had a farm generations past. But they let the land go. If I had known about it us younger ones would have bought it from them and developed it into farmland.

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