HR2749 is set on the House Suspension Calendar for a vote Tuesday or Wednesday of this week— WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE BILL MAY BE MODIFIED BUT THE NEW LANGUAGE HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED! A bill considered on the suspension calendar means no amendments are allowed and only 40 minutes of debate is permitted equally divided between the opponents and proponents of the bill.
A bill of this scale needs to be carefully and extensively debated and open for amendments! The implications from such an expansive bill could be detrimental to consumers’ access to healthy foods and to the prosperity of small business owners.
Since we have not seen the revised bill, we only know what the bill originally looked like—which wasn’t good. Our primary concerns remain:
(1) establishing an annual $500 user fee that subsidizes giant food processors at the expense of small and family-owned businesses which is simply unfair;
(2) lumping small farms and processors into the same category as large agribusiness operations, and creating complicated regulations without special rules for small businesses;
(3) allowing the FDA to directly regulate farming practices—be it a large commercial farm or a small organic operation; and
(4) increasing the FDA’s authority dramatically with no corresponding increase in oversight of the agency such as unlimited access to any and all records—without cause—and the ability to impose substantial criminal and civil fines—without a showing of harm—for administrative violations.
How can a Representative thoroughly review over 100 pages and have an informed vote with only 40 minutes of debate?
Please telephone and/or email your Representatives to voice your concerns—let her/him know that this bill needs a thorough review and should be open for amendments!
Thank you for taking the time!
Tami L. Wahl
American Association for Health Freedom