Did you know that one in four Americans become ill each year from food borne illnesses? (A CDC estimate.) Did you know there are currently Food Safety billsÂ at the U.S. House and Senate that will not make this statistic any better? In fact, they will almost certainly make it worse by giving the FDA extensive and broad discretionary power. Instead of enforcing the already existing laws to ensure the safety of our food and supplements, and addressing the real causes of food contamination, our lawmakers are wasting valuable time at the expense of our health. Hereâ€™s the summary â€“
â€¢ The House of Representatives passed theÂ Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, H.R. 2749, FSEA, in July 2009 that imposes new, severe penalties on both food and supplement producers who fail to follow rigid record keeping and expensive processing FDA rules, including imprisonment up to 10 years!
â€¢ In March 2009, the Senate introduced a version of the House bill called the Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510, which gives the FDA huge regulatory power over the entire food chain producers without proper checks and balances to avoid abuse of power. The bill awaits the floor for Senate vote.
â€¢ Then the massive egg recall in August 2010 resulting in food safety hysteria and the Senate suddenly having renewed interest in food safety by wanting toâ€¦pass more legislation and to do so quickly.
â€¢ Thus, yet another Food Safety bill is introduced this month of September 2010 by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called the Food Safely Accountability Act of 2010, S. 3767,Â also similar to the House bill. It increases criminal penalties to ten yearsâ€™ imprisonment for any person who â€œknowingly introduces or delivers for introduction into interstate commerce any food that is adulterated or misbrandedâ€â€”and this includes the farmer that didnâ€™t know there were minorÂ record keeping mistakes, or the producer selling a supplement that mentions the productâ€™s potential to prevent or treat disease because the FDA would rule thisÂ guilty of misbranding.
The bills are SUPPOSE to strengthen criminal penalties for food safety violators and further ensure the safety of our food and supplements. BUT, it gives the FDA dangerously expanded power to burden, threaten, silence, penalize, and even imprison small natural food and supplement makers and distributors. It would impose â€œone-size-fits-allâ€ regulations on the thousands of small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers, small scale natural and organic food producers, and local co-ops across the country. It would threaten their economic livelihood dependent on their produce, as well as threatenÂ all consumersÂ using natural, wholesome foods and natural supplements. The FDA has a long history of targeting natural health product companies under false pretenses.Â It happened to a group of cherry producers that cited Harvard research about the benefits of cherries on their website. The FDA forced them to sign a consent decree so burdensome that it almost put them out of business.
Enough is enoughâ€¦take action NOW. Congress adjournsÂ October 7th, 2010 and returns the third week in November. Please contact your senators immediately and ask them to oppose Sen. Leahyâ€™s Food Safely Accountability Act of 2010 and the Food Safely Modernization Act. Let the Alliance for Natural Health (sample letter to your Senator at bottom of attachment) help you speak out against the bill. The Alliance for Natural Health has been an excellent ally and source of information.Â Other strong advocates that stand ready to help you take action areÂ Citizens for HealthÂ (scroll down to the 8/31/10 entry of Save Safe Food) and the National Health Freedom Action.