On November 14, 2009, the POP Campaign sent the following recommendations to all Senators of the Senate HELP Committee that heard Chairman Harkin’s mark-up of S 510. We also spoke with committee and Senate lead staff. The following recommendations were made. New language was inserted in the bill that mimicked some of the language we sought. These new sections are referenced below.
(For more in-depth discussion, please see the talking points, which continue to evolve as more material and ideas are presented, especially regarding CODEX and WTO references cited in S 510.)
For a complete copy of the Chairman’s mark-up or final copy of S 510 that will go to the floor: http://help.senate.gov/
• That the FDA develop in its guidelines clear language that protects and preserves consumer rights to grow, sell, buy and eat organic produce, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and herbs within the boundaries of the United States without compromising pure organic quality.
• That the FDA, in its guidelines, insert clear language that exempts organic foods grown and consumed in the United States (produce, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and herbs) from the use of toxins, pesticides, preservatives, fertilization, irradiation, artificial ingredients, GMO’s or any other post harvest method that compromises organic quality. Minimally, consistency with the Organic Food Act is a must. (Note: that this exemption implies that special attention be directed to organics that cross state lines also not being subject to these methods.)
What Our Voices Accomplished:
The Senate Health Committee added language that requires that FDA guidelines not include any requirements that conflict with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 – a big save. The Organic Act ensures that most pesticides and like post harvest measures not be allowed and that practices be consistent with Certified Organic. (MIK**** – See the tab on Summary of History of Organics in the US) We acknowledge that what we all buy in stored and is labeled organic may not be 100%, but there is some protection here. The loophole is the use of irradiation and/or pasteurization, which is what our new amendment addresses.
24 ‘‘SEC. 419. STANDARDS FOR PRODUCE SAFETY.
25 ‘‘(a) PROPOSED RULEMAKING.—
1 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after
2 the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Mod
3 ernization Act, the Secretary, in coordination with
4 the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of
5 State departments of agriculture (including with re
6gard to the national organic program established
7 under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7
8 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.)), shall publish a notice of pro
9posed rulemaking to establish science-based min
10imum standards for the safe production and har
11vesting of those types of fruits and vegetables that
12 are raw agricultural commodities for which the Sec
13retary has determined that such standards minimize
14 the risk of serious adverse health consequences or
AND – more very good news:
21 ‘‘(E) in the case of production that is cer
22tified organic, not include any requirements
23 that conflict with or duplicate the requirements
24 of the national organic program established
25 under the Organic Foods Production Act of
1 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.), while providing
2 for public health protection consistent with the
3 requirements of this Act.
POP made this recommendation:
• (To go the extra mile.) That the FDA is instructed to exempt from their guidelines personal gardens, small farms, farmers markets, health institutes, fruit stands, and Indigenous Nations, for growing, selling, buying, and consuming organics within the United States.
There is this inserted language that does not give an exemption but instructs the FDA to be flexible with small farmers, small businesses, and (implied) farmers markets, Hippocrates Institute (impliedJ) sell directly to consumer. This clearly applies to regulations, paperwork, traceability, FDA bureaucratic requirements; it also leaves room for a huge consideration to allow organic standards to remain pure and untouched at this level. A good example is the test case in California where all almonds are pasteurized – raw, organic pure almonds cannot be bought in most stores. HOWEVER, a grower is allowed 100 lbs per day for sale directly to consumers. Hurray for farmer’s markets.
(A) provide sufficient flexibility to be ap
25plicable to various types of entities engaged in
1 the production and harvesting of raw agricul
2tural commodities, including small businesses
3 and entities that sell directly to consumers, and
4 be appropriate to the scale and diversity of the
5 production and harvesting of such commodities;
AND, there is some accountability and instruction to address the impact of regulations on farms and small businesses. Those directly involved must voice their opinions along the way to ensure that their positions are heard.
(d) TRACEBACK PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS.—
18 (1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 3 years after
19 the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary
20 shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to es
21tablish standards for the type of information, for
22mat, and timeframe for persons to submit records to
23 aid the Secretary in effectively and rapidly tracking
24 and tracing, in the event of a foodborne illness out
25break, fruits and vegetables that are raw agricul81
1 tural commodities. In promulgating the regulations
2 under this paragraph, the Secretary shall consider—
3 (A) the impact of such regulations on
4 farms and small businesses;
5 (B) the findings in the report submitted
6 under subsection (c); and
ALSO, this new wording opens the door for another platform for positioning our POP Campaign efforts, especially during the FDA hearings.
(D) take into consideration, consistent
16 with ensuring enforceable public health protec
17tion, conservation and environmental practice
18 standards and policies established by Federal
19 natural resource conservation, wildlife conserva
20tion, and environmental agencies;
AND, a section was added pertaining to supplements, as the POP Campaign expressed concern about herbs grown that may be used in the formulation of supplements, vitamins, etc.
(Page 10) 12 ‘‘SEC. 418. HAZARD ANALYSIS AND RISK-BASED PREVEN13
11(f) DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS.—Nothing in the amend
12 ments made by this section shall apply to any dietary sup
13plement that is in compliance with the requirements of
14 sections 402(g)(2) and 761 of the Federal Food, Drug,
15 and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 342(g)(2), 379aa-1).
It is important to note that no exemption was made pertaining to CODEX Alimentarius.