With a fridge still full of Thanksgiving leftovers, our Senators are planning to get back to work and continue their efforts in their war on food and small farmers. The Senate will be making a critical vote on S. 510, the so-called “Food Safety Modernization Act,” on November 29th. This is an awful, liberty grabbing bill that gives the FDA significantly greater authority over family farms and what you put into your body.

There’s been a lot of talk about how new provisions in the bill protect those small, family farmers but the reality is the FDA will impose costly regulations which, if not adhered to, give it power to shut down these farms. Also troubling is how Big Agra farms benefit form this bill; small farms will be saddled with additional costs that could threaten their survival while Big Agra will be able to absorb the increased financial burden.

I’m certainly no enemy of big, corporate farms. I love capitalism and all the big business it brings. Even more than this, I love competition of the free market and the choices it affords us. One of those choices is whether to consume genetically modified organisms (GMO). I choose to eat natural fish, meats, poultry and vegetables because I’m worried about the potential health risks posed by GMO food. I don’t want to eat salmon that was created in a lab. I also prefer raw milk over pasteurized because it is easier for me to digest and has more nutritional value. Additionally, dairy farms offering raw milk have much higher quality and care standards for their cows because they can’t pump them full of steroids and antibiotics like large scale, corporate dairy farms. The fact is S. 510 threatens my ability to make these choices.

The bill would raise costs for small farms that offer organic and all natural produce as well as raw dairy products. This will lead to an increase in food costs for those who eat those foods, something that could have a devastating effect on these small farms during this rough economy if we can’t afford that increase. Big Agra farms have no reason to truly “compete” if their competition is forced out of business due to the government’s intervention. It’s no wonder Big Agra farms and unions have backed this bill!

S. 510 is bad policy. It is not the sort of policy our government should be creating in a free market, capitalist system. In an attempt to offer “food safety,” the FDA threatens to strip away our ability to make our own decisions. Government exists to protect our freedom, not prohibit it; we should never support policy that aims at restricting our rights regardless of any good intentions the policy is created with.

Please go here to get information on contacting your Senators via phone, fax, or email. Leave a message for them when they get back to work on Monday. I know your weekend is hectic with family in town and holiday shopping but think of those leftovers in your own fridge. How will next year’s holiday be affected by choices made this week?
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