Support Raw Milk Freedom & non-GMO Seeds in Farm Bill http://www.farmtoconsumer.org
Contact Senators on Important Amendments Now!
You can find out at www.senate.gov or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
The Senate is debating the Farm Bill right now, and there are several amendments that are of importance to farmers, artisan food producers and consumers.
Over 190 amendments have already been filed, and more are expected. There is a lot that is wrong with the Farm Bill, but we are focusing our efforts on specific items that we believe are winnable and can make a positive impact on consumer freedom of choice as well as small family farms and artisanal producers. ActNow
Please call your U.S. Senators as soon as possible about the amendments listed below. If you don’t know who represents you, you can find out at www.senate.gov or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. http://www.farmtoconsumer.org
MESSAGE: “I am a constituent from ____ (state), and I urge Senator _______ to:
* Vote YES on the Paul Amendment #2180 to legalize interstate shipment of raw milk for human consumption;
* Vote YES on the Tester “Seeds & Breeds” Amendment #2234 to dedicate a portion of USDA’s research to classical breeding; and
* Vote NO on the Feinstein Amendment #2252 to impose uniform standards for egg production.”
More information on each amendment is provided below.
The amendments could be voted on at any time, so don’t wait – call now! Amdmt2180
YES to SUPPORT RAW MILK – #2180 http://www.farmtoconsumer.org
Support raw milk – Vote YES on Senator Rand Paul’s amendment #2180 to legalize interstate shipment of raw milk.
Senator Rand Paul has filed an amendment based on HR 1830/ S 1955, the bill that would overturn the FDA’s current ban on the interstate sale or distribution of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption. States would still be free to impose whatever regulations they think appropriate, but the FDA would no longer be able to harass raw milk farmers and co-ops based solely on the fact that the milk is unpasteurized. Americans have the right to consume these products but access has been severely limited by the FDA’s regulations.
Consumers are increasingly seeking out raw milk as a natural, unprocessed food. Consumers and artisan food producers in states where raw milk cannot legally be sold (although it can legally be consumed) are seeking sources of raw milk from neighboring states. For example, consumers in Georgia buy raw milk from farmers in South Carolina, while consumers in New Jersey and Virginia seek out Pennsylvania raw milk farmers. Amdmt2234
YES to SUPPORT non-GMW SEEDS – #2234
Support non-GMO seeds – vote YES on Senator Tester’s “seeds and breeds” amendment #2234. http://www.farmtoconsumer.org
More and more, agriculture research is controlled by corporations who are focused on expanding their genetically engineered crops, and every year farmers are left with fewer choices of seeds that are not genetically engineered. Farmers who want to avoid growing genetically modified (GMOs) simply don’t have good alternatives. And when farmers have no options, consumers have no options.
In the last Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to make classical plant and animal breeding a priority for funding, but the agency imposed hurdles in the grant-making process that have undermined this Congressional mandate. Tester’s amendment would require the USDA to dedicate at least 5% of the grants for research to support classical breeding, as opposed to research on genetically engineered crops. The amendment does not call for any new expenditures by the government, merely an allocation of some existing research money for non-GMO research. Amdmt2252
NO to EGG BILL AMENDMENT – #2252
Protect pastured poultry producers from new regulations – vote NO on Senator Feinstein’s egg bill amendment #2252. http://www.farmtoconsumer.org
Senator Feinstein’s bill was developed by the US Humane Society and the United Egg Producers and requires various changes in the living conditions for caged laying hens. Although pastured producers do not use cages, they will still be affected by the bill’s requirements for labeling eggs and euthanasia. The bill’s exemption for small producers covers only those who handle eggs solely from a single flock of three thousand birds or fewer. Thus, if small farmers work together to create a joint brand for marketing purposes, they will not be exempt from the bill no matter how small their individual flocks are. And those farmers who are trying to expand consumer access to high-quality food by maintaining large enough flocks for wholesale or restaurant distribution will be subject to the bill.
The egg bill requires that eggs be labeled as either “eggs from free-range hens,” “eggs from cage-free hens,” “eggs from enriched cages,” or “eggs from caged hens.” There is no option for labeling the eggs as “pastured.” This means that pastured producers will be forced to label their eggs with the same label as a factory farm that allows the minimal access to the outdoors required for the free-range label, placing pastured producers at a significant competitive disadvantage. http://www.farmtoconsumer.org
The bill also places the American Veterinary Medical Association, an organization that has repeatedly supported factory farm production practices, in charge of what constitutes humane euthanasia for laying hens. It is unclear whether on-farm slaughter will be allowed, creating a significant problem for pastured producers who sell stewing hens once their layers are no longer productive.
While the conditions in factory chicken farms undoubtedly need to be changed, this bill is not the right way to do it.
About the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:
FTCLDF is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization made up of farmers and consumers joining together and pooling resources to protect the constitutional rights of the nation’s family farms and the consumers who patronize them. Annual membership is $125 for Farmers and Artisan Food Producers and $50 for Consumers.
Donate Now , join now
Visit http://www.farmtoconsumer.orgor call 703-208-3276
Quarterly and monthly membership payment plans are available. Buyers clubs, CSAs, farmers markets, etc. can join as Affiliate Communities for as low as $250/year plus $5 for each associated member above the first 50; ask for details.
Donations to the Fund are not tax-deductible. Ask about options to make tax-deductible donations.