Friday, November 19, 2010

Kay Hagan Comes Through

Small farmers in western North Carolina can rest a little easier after an amendment offered by Sen. Kay Hagan and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to the Food Safety Modernization Act easily passed its first hurdle yesterday:
"Producers who sell most of their food within the state or a 275-mile radius and producers who generate less than $500,000 in annual revenue would not have to meet standards under the proposed ... Act."

Participants in farmers markets had fretted that they would be subjected to the same stringent rules that mega-producers must meet.

The House has already passed its version of this law, which is, according to Mary Lou Surgi, executive director of Blue Ridge Food Ventures, "much tougher and much friendlier to large agri-business than the Senate version." Surgi, who has helped more than 150 small farm producers get established in the Asheville area, said, "It would be nice if the House would accept the way the Senate passes it."

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