This email is 2 days old but it has the details of the passing of the SB 510 and the amendments that are included with it. Tomorrow, Wed, . It should go to the house for voting. I am including info from Comfood list serve and the Sustainable AG Coalition network listserv.
On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 10:57 AM, Steve Gilman <[log in to unmask] > wrote:
S.510 PASSED the Senate73 to 25 with Tester intact.
It's not over, however....
Next: the House has indicated it will accept the senate version of the legislation -- IF SO -- then to the President for signature...
THEN: the Rulemaking phase where the legislation gets translated into FDA regs. This is a critical stage to make sure the provisions we have won make it into the on-the-ground regulations. There will be a public comment phase....
Sustainable Ag Coalition Listserv:
Senate Bill 510..
Food Safety Action Alert
As a result of grassroots mobilization and much negotiation this bill now provides scale-appropriate food safety rules for small farms and mid-sized farms and local processors that sell to restaurants, food coops, groceries, wholesalers and at farm stands and farmers markets. All of these negotiated amendments are now part of what is called the "Manager's amendment" that will be voted on tonight.
Please call your Senators and ask them to Vote for the Manager’s Amendment
It’s easy to call: Go to
Congress.org and type in your zip code. Click on your Senator’s name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number. You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.
Farmers who qualify must provide documentation that the farm is in compliance with state regulations. Documentation may include licenses, inspection reports, or other evidence that the farm is in compliance with State, local, county, or other applicable
non-Federal food safety law. The farm must also prominently and conspicuously display the name and address of farm/facility on its label. For foods without a label then by poster, sign, or placard, at the point of purchase or, in the case of Internet sales,
in an electronic notice, or in the case of sales to stores and restaurants, on the invoice.
The farm must prominently and conspicuously display the name and address of farm/facility on its label. For foods without a label then by poster, sign, or placard, at the point of purchase or, in the case of Internet sales, in an electronic notice, or in
the case of sales to stores and restaurants, on the invoice.
What happens next with S.510? (By Steve Gilman- NOFA-IC Policy Coordinator)
First a Recap:
After more than a year of negotiations, S.510, The Food Safety Modernization Act finally cleared the Senate on November 30th, in the final days of the lameduck session.
Since the time is so short before the end of this Congress – the House, who previously passed their own version of the bill (HR2749) in 2009 – either has to accept this Senate version or work to reconcile S.510 with their own version. At this point the process is still unclear on how this will proceed – but it looks like the Democratic leadership (who still hold the majority in this lame duck session) may opt to quickly bring it to the House floor for a vote to pass S.510 intact.
IF the S.510 version is indeed accepted, (it’s not over until it’s over) then it goes to the President who has said he’ll sign it and it will become law.
Then comes Rule-Making:
Then there’s a lengthy rule-making process where the legislative language in the bill is translated into on-the-ground FDA regulations. This process is also heavily scrutinized – with extensive lobbying from all sides. Although the intent of Congress is open to some interpretation – the rules can’t stray too far from the specific empowering language. And the draft rule has to undergo a period of public comment before it is finalized.
What about Funding?
S.510 is an Authorization bill – meaning the legislation is authorized but there’s no funding attached. By some estimates the cost of this legislation could amount to some $1.4 billion (that’s with a B) a year for FDA to ramp up the personnel, etc. to implement the inspections of foreign imports and processors, along with everything else they’re empowered to do.
The funding for what FDA actually receives in any given year will depend on the annual Appropriations process in the House. In this day of pay-as-you-go rules in Congress, any money appropriated for one initiative have to come out of another – although at this point tax cuts (with subsequent loss of income to the US Treasury) don’t seem to enter into this equation.
The bottom line for small farmers is that in addition to the beneficial protective provisions, including Tester, that the farm coalitions managed to insert into S.510 is that FDA will not have many resources for farm scrutiny – and may have to rely on the S.510 amendment by Senator Stabenow (who is slated to become the new chair of the Senate Ag Committee in 2011) to fund training and education for small farmers – a much better approach for achieving food safety in the small farm sector than their one-size-fits-all regulations, any day.
NOFA-IC Policy Coordinator