Senate Letters

DECEMBER 15 CALLS –  FOOD SAFETY BILL EXAMPLES  – TO BE EFFECTVE WHEN CALLING OR FAXING CONGRESS

We have found that the best way to be effective in expressing your views on a Bill or position is to CALL or FAX your Senators or House Representative. Emails get lost and petitions get bundled –both have their places.  Call the Washington, D.C. offices.  Do not feel intimidated, as they want to hear from you.

Here are some suggestions for your call:

It is a good idea to identify yourself by name and where you live – you can also mention the POP Campaign:

“HI, this is [Name], a resident of [City, State].”

Briefly and precisely explain why you are calling:

“I am calling to urge [Senator/Congressman] to vote NO on cloture and NO on the inclusion of S-510 –  the Food Safety Bill”  language into the Continuing Resolution. You can add another short comment if you wish.

Succinctly explain what you want the office staff to do:

“Please convey this to the Senator. If appropriate, I would like a call back and when should I expect a call?”

Please call repeatedly until you get an answer and encourage your friends and family to call as well.

For a Written Fax:

Please keep in mind that brevity and clarity is most effective. You can take some of the information off of the educational pieces on this site.

Dear [Senator/ Congressperson]:

I am writing to ask that you to vote NO on cloture and NO on the inclusion of S-510 –  the Food Safety Bill”  language into the Continuing Resolution.

Healthy, organic food and freedom of choice is a basic human right.  While the bill has been improved from a year ago, it still provides an expansion of government into the lives and decisions of Americans regarding foods, farming, and dietary supplements.  This bill includes provisions that authorize the government to map the entire food production system and to track every food product we purchase and grow. This is not the time for such a bill and we as consumers do not want to pay more for our food to support it.

Please take another look at this bill and vote NO.

Sincerely,

[Your Name and Address]

Letter About S-510: December 1st, 2009

(Re: S-510)

December 1, 2009

The Honorable Robert Byrd,
President Pro Tempore
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

Dear Senator Byrd:

As we return from the break and head into the end of the year holiday period, we remain mindful of the Thanksgiving gratitude of what we really DO have as Americans – our gift of life and freedom of choice – especially, for so many of us, when it comes to the pure organic food we eat and share with family and friends. We want to keep it this way.

The POP Campaign, Preserve Organic Power, is a growing grassroots movement of individual citizens, health organizations and networks, NGOs and businesses across America who appreciate you addressing food safety, yet, hold deep concerns over keeping organic food and its standards pure and our freedom of choice of organic food in tact. We are still very concerned about two issues in S 510 as it comes to a floor vote.

We applaud Senators Harkin and Enzi for their leadership on the HELP Committee and all of its members in addressing food safety issues. We especially acknowledge and appreciate Senators Merkley, Franken, Bennet, Fergunson, Brown, and Sanders for their efforts to protect our organics produce, fruits, nuts and herbs.   We are asking for your support to go one more step to ensure protection of pure organic standards.   We ask you to support  “The POP Amendment” and “The CODEX Amendment” presented below.

There still appears to be an alarming loophole in S 510 in its intention and language pertaining to organics in relationship to the Organic Food Act of 1990.  Specifically, irradiation and pasteurization can still be used on organic produce, fruits, nuts, and herbs grown and consumed locally and within the borders of the US. (Section 2113 [7 U.S.C. 6512]). These post harvest processes may be construed as  “organic methods” because the processes use different forms of light energy (Co, Cs electron beams or high eV), heat and/or water. In the Organic Food Act, it is stated that if a practice is not prohibited, then it is permitted. These practices are not mentioned; therefore, permitted. (This is opposite with CODEX, by the way, where what is not specifically permitted is not allowed.) We know that such applications diminish the enzymes, minerals, phytonutrients and powerful life force of organic food. We do not want this. We are asking that clear language be inserted that protects us and will Preserve Organic Power and purity in our organic food and standards. We ask you to support the POP amendment to S 510.

The POP Amendment:

“In the case of farming, production, processing and sale of organic (produce, fruit, nuts, herbs) for consumption exclusively within the US local marketplace, no form of irradiation or pasteurization shall be required or used.”

Secondly, clear language exists in S 510 to “harmonize with CODEX” and to be consistent with the World Trade Organization policies. We understand the current support for CODEX implementation for trade regulation purposes i.e. to regulate imports and exports to be safe. We understand the support for full CODEX employment December 31, 2009. We strongly feel that NOTHING organically grown, produced, and consumed within the “good old US of A” boundaries should be subject to anything trade, CODEX or WTO related. We believe that a “one size fits all” broad approach to policy making on food and safety is not supportive of a healthy sustainable ecology for US consumers, where there is no clear discernment between food that is imported and exported; and food that is grown and consumed domestically. Current technology can easily identify problematic sources and allow swift follow though without sacrificing the potency of organics in an across the board application. We have a choice now to be correct in our decisions. It is essential that these external trade policies be contained and remain at a distance from domestic infringement. US laws stand-alone without risking being trumped by the international CODEX food rules, and any WTO agendas or agreements, especially pertaining to locally grown organic food.  We feel that clear wording is essential to protect us.

Further, consistent with the pureness of organic standards and rights, we are requesting that First Nations be exempt from CODEX so as to support the cultural integrity of indigenous food. We ask you to support this CODEX amendment below:

The CODEX Amendment:

“Organic produce, fruits, herbs, and nuts, grown and consumed within the United States, including all First Nations, shall be exempt from CODEX harmonization. “

Over 30% of Americans eat organic regularly or sometimes, according to a Harris poll – this reflects nearly 100 million US citizens.  As part of this growing segment, we ask that you preserve our right to continue growing, eating and buying pure organic food within the US.

Thank you for your consideration in supporting these amendments.

Sincerely,

The Pop Campaign

Rudi Leonardi                          Mikaële Holzer                   Dr. Brian Clement

______________________________________________________________

Letter About S-510: November 14th, 2009

(Re: S-510)

November 14, 2009

The Honorable Tom Harkin, Chairman
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

Attention: Bill McConagha

Dear Chairman Harkin:

The POP Campaign, Preserve Organic Power, is a growing movement of individual citizens, health organizations, NGOs and businesses across America who applaud the attention you are giving to the issues of food safety.  However, we hold very deep concerns that our inherent American right to grow, sell, buy, and eat the pure quality of organic food is being jeopardized by the unintended intent, language, or lack of clear instruction in S 510 and HR2749. We therefore ask that you consider the following recommendations as you refine S 510 in markup this week.

The POP Campaign’s primary purpose is to keep organic standards pure in their protection of pure organic processes from farm-to-mouth without the use of toxins, pesticides, fertilizers, pasteurization, preservatives, GMO’s or any other post harvest process.  Pure organic foods, as you are aware, hold the nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals of life.  We wish to Preserve this Power of our Organics and our Choice to live and eat healthy.

We suggest the following recommendations and clear language where the Senate Committee instructs the FDA and limits its scope regarding organics, and makes a strong statement to the American people for an organic exception pertaining to CODEX harmonization within the US.

. • 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.)

•     (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.

. •  Pertaining to Section 306: (b) and (c) (5) Building Capacity of Foreign Governments with Respect to Food: “ Recommendations to harmonize requirements under the CODEX Alementarius” .

That clear language be inserted that instructs ALL “consultation” agencies involved in “developing the plan”, (Secretary of State, Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture, etc.) including the FDA to exempt from harmonization in any manner with CODEX all organic produce, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and herbs grown or processed in the United States for purposes of consumption within the United States.

We feel that appropriately applied modern technology and training for growers and processors, as well as clearly directed targeted inspections to specific processing plants or water sources where it is known that contamination originates, all will adequately help protect the American people from food bourn illnesses.

As there appears to be confusing language in HR 2749 and an implied attempt to marry or merge imported food restrictions with domestic, even in the facilities discussions, we also feel that the issue of any restrictions on inter-state shipping of organics be clearly addressed, as recommended above. It does not make sense that the constituents of Senators from Vermont, Colorado, Wyoming or Utah, during the winter, not be able to buy a pure organic orange from Florida without it being subject to pasteurization, irradiation, or any other compromised post harvest measure, or an apple from the State of Washington.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that any economic and environmentally friendly legislation not inadvertently undermine the pureness of organic standards.

Thank you for considering these points and recommendations and for giving serious attention to our concerns.

Respectfully and sincerely,

The POP Campaign

_____________________________________________________________

Senate Fax Numbers

You can find a comprehensive list of fax numbers for Congress here. The link will take you to the site “Contacting The Congress”, which is a website that deals exclusively with keeping up to date contact information for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The numbers are listed below as well:

United States Senate Fax List

May 2010

Last Revised May 7, 2010, Email Updates or Corrections to bclay@dc-strategy.com

Alaska

Senator Mark Begich D 202-224-2354

Senator Lisa Murkowski R 202-224-5301

Alabama

Senator Jeff Sessions R 202-224-3149

Senator Richard Shelby R 202-224-2316

Arkansas

Senator Blanche Lincoln D 202-228-1371

Senator Mark Pryor D 202-228-0908

Arizona

Senator Jon Kyl R  202-224-2207

Senator John McCain R 202-228-2862

California

Senator Barbara Boxer D 202-224-0454

Senator Dianne Feinstein D 202-228-3954

Colorado

Senator Michael F. Bennett D 202-228-5036

Senator Mark Udall D 202-224-6471

Connecticut

Senator Christopher Dodd D 202-224-1083

Senator Joseph Lieberman I  202-224-9750

Delaware

Senator Thomas Carper D  202-228-2190

Senator Chris Coons D

Florida

Senator George LeMieux R  202-228-5171

Senator Bill Nelson D  202-228-2183

Georgia

Senator Saxby Chambliss R  202-224-0103

Senator Johnny Isakson R  202-228-0724

Hawaii

Senator Daniel Akaka D  202-224-2126

Senator Daniel Inouye D  202-224-6747

Iowa

Senator Charles Grassley R  202-224-6020

Senator Tom Harkin D  202-224-9639

Idaho

Senator Michael Crapo R  202-228-1375

Senator Jim Risch R  202-224-2573

Illinois

Senator Roland Burris D 202-228-3333

Senator Richard Durbin D  202-228-0400

Indiana

Senator Evan Bayh D  202-228-1377

Senator Richard Lugar R 202-228-0360

Kansas

Senator Sam Brownback R  202-228-1265

Senator Pat Roberts R 202-224-3514

Kentucky

Senator Jim Bunning R  202-228-1373

Senator Mitch McConnell R 202-224-2499

Louisiana

Senator Vitter David R  202-228-5061

Senator Mary Landrieu D 202-224-9735

Massachusetts

Senator Scott Brown R 202-228-2646

Senator John Kerry D 202-224-8525

Maryland

Senator Benjamin Cardin D 202-224-1651

Senator Barbara Mikulski D 202-224-8858

Maine

Senator Susan Collins R 202-224-2693

Senator Olympia Snowe R 202-224-1946

Michigan

Senator Carl Levin D 202-224-1388

Senator Debbie Stabenow D 202-228-0325

Minnesota

Senator Al Franken D 202-224-0044

Senator Amy Klobuchar D 202-228-2186

Missouri

Senator Christopher Bond R 202-224-8149

Senator Claire McCaskill D 202-228-6326

Mississippi

Senator Thad Cochran R 202-224-9450

Senator Roger Wicker R 202-228-0378

Montana

Senator Max Baucus D  202-224-9412

Senator Jon Tester D  202-224-8594

North Carolina

Senator Richard Burr R  202-228-2981

Senator Kay Hagan D 202-228-2563

North Dakota

Senator Kent Conrad D 202-224-7776

Senator Byron Dorgan D 202-224-1193

Nebraska

Senator Mike Johanns R 202-228-0436

Senator Ben Nelson D 202-228-0012

New Hampshire

Senator Judd Gregg R 202-224-4952

Senator Jeanne Shaheen D 202-228-3194

New Jersey

Senator Frank Lautenberg D 202-225-6583

Senator Robert Menendez D 202-225-2267

New Mexico

Senator Jeff Bingaman D 202-224-2852

Senator Tom Udall D 202-228-3261

Nevada

Senator John Ensign R 202-228-2193

Senator Harry Reid D 202-224-7327

New York

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand D 202-228-0282

Senator Charles Schumer D 202-228-3027

Ohio

Senator Sherrod Brown D 202-228-6321

Senator George Voinovich R 202-228-1382

Oklahoma

Senator Thomas Coburn R 202-224-6008

Senator James Inhofe R 202-228-0380

Oregon

Senator Jeff Merkley D 202-228-3997

Senator Ron Wyden D

Pennsylvania

Senator Robert Casey D 202-228-2717

Senator Arlen Specter D 202-228-1229

Rhode Island

Senator Jack Reed D 202-224-4680

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse D 202-228-6362

South Carolina

Senator Jim DeMint R 202-228-5143

Senator Lindsey Graham R 202-224-3808

South Dakota

Senator Thune John R 202-228-5429

Senator Tim Johnson D 202-228-5765

Tennessee

Senator Lamar Alexander R 202-228-3398

Senator Bob Corker R 202-228-0566

Texas

Senator John Cornyn R 202-228-2856

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison R 202-224-0776

Utah

Senator Robert Bennett R 202-228-1168

Senator Orrin Hatch R 202-224-6331

Virginia

Senator Mark Warner D 202-224-6295

Senator Jim Webb D 202-228-6363

Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy D 202-224-3479

Senator Bernard Sanders I 202-228-0776

Washington

Senator Maria Cantwell D 202-228-0514

Senator Patty Murray D 202-224-0238

Wisconsin

Senator Russ Feingold D 202-224-2725

Senator Herbert Kohl D 202-224-9787

West Virginia

Senator Joe Manchin D 202-228-0002

Senator John Rockefeller D 202-224-7665

Wyoming

Senator John Barrasso R 202-224-1724

Senator Michael Enzi R 202-228-0359