Update: Tester-Hagan Amendment – Vote YES to Support Terra and Tahoma

Senator Jon Tester of Montana

Background

You may remember our post in September about the Tester Amendment. The Tester Amendment refers to a bill called the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510). In a nutshell, S.510 places stricter regulations on farms that process their crops. The issue arises with smaller farms and facilities as the bill makes it more difficult for your favorite small farm products to get into stores and your kitchen. Those small farms will also be forced to pay additional fees for required regulations and tests.

The Tester Amendment exempts those small farm/facilities with incomes under $500,000 and allows them to continue their operations while putting the necessary checks on big agriculture producers/farms.

The Problem in Washington

Since we last updated you, the Senate has voted 74 to 25 in favor of the cloture vote for The Food Modernization Act. This means it could move forward to a final vote by the end of the week.

At the moment, support for the Tester-Hagan Amendment is unclear and possibly even absent. According to a Democracy Now alert:

“We’re hearing that some Senators still have not made up their minds or even worse, some are waffling in their support for the Tester-Hagan and Manager’s Amendments, which will help protect farmers who sell their produce or goods locally to farmers markets, customers, stores and restaurants from excessive regulations that could harm their ability to compete and even survive.”

Even food experts Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser are calling for action in supporting the Tester Amendment:

“S.510 is the most important food safety bill in a generation. The Tester amendment will make it even more effective, helping to ensure food safety while protecting small farmers and producers.  We both think this is the right thing to do,” said Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

How You Can Help

It’s critical you show your support for the Tester-Hagan Amendment today. Washington is on the move, and very close to a decision on this. With your support we can ensure small farms like Tahoma Farms and distributors like Terra Organics are able to sustain their businesses without the fees and roadblocks included in this unbalanced act.

STEP 1: Call Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and let them know you support the Tester-Hagen Amendment.

You may be surprised, but giving your Senators a call makes a serious difference in how they act. Calling in is the easiest and best way to help make the Tester-Hagen Amendment happen.


Senator Patty Murray
(202) 224-2621
Senator Maria Cantwell
(202) 224-3441

STEP 2: Share this with your friends and family

Terra Organics and Tahoma Farms needs all the support it can get in helping to pass this critical amendment. Explain the importance of the Tester-Hagen amendment to friends and family and urge them to make the same call to their own State Senators.

Thank you, as always, for your support! We, at Terra Organics, love being able to provide you and your family with the best quality, small farm grown, organic produce and hope to be able to continue to do so in the same way that we already are.

Resources:

Food and Ag Groups Rally Against Tester Amendment

Stand Up for Small Farmers

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