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July 21, 2010

Food Safety Bill: I am not afraid . . . to eat

Last year the House passed a fraudulent “food safety” bill. The Senate has dragged its feet on its version of the bill for over a year.

We’re thankful for that, because as the data in the following letter shows, the bill will hurt more people than it helps. But, the Senate is under mounting pressure to pass it. We must apply even greater pressure to defeat it! 

And so we’re asking you to please send a letter telling your Senators to oppose the food safety bill through our Preserve the Freedom to Farm campaign.

You may borrow from or copy from this sample letter:

Why do I oppose the House and Senate “food safety” bills? The reason is simple:

I am not afraid to eat!

Are YOU?

Apparently not. If the Senate was really concerned about food safety, you would have passed the bill a year ago – if for no other reason than to protect your own health!

No food distribution system can ever be perfectly safe, but I’m not too worried about ours. After all, Americans consume a total of almost a billion meals per year, plus hundreds of millions of snacks. Yet if you look through the Centers for Disease Control’s claims and statistics, you will find . . . http://www.cdc.gov/

* Just one in 110 hospitalizations is for food poisoning
* One in 480 deaths per year is from food poisoning

And of these rare food poisoning events, the CDC tells us . . .
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/files/foodborne_illness_FAQ.pdf

* Most were caused by improper food handling and preparation (such as under-cooking meat) in kitchens
* Most that died were already vulnerable because of a previous condition such as old age or disease
* And foodborne illness outbreaks most often happen at restaurants, cafeterias, pot-lucks, etc., not from the food processing system

Yes, there have been high-profile cases of foodborne illness outbreaks. But public policy shouldn’t be driven by exaggerated panic. Free market competition, backed by civil and criminal penalties for wrongdoing, would provide strong incentives for farmers, processors, distributors, and grocers to keep food safe.

Whereas, more government regulations and fees will wipe out many farms and other small businesses. Forcing everyone to be beholden to bureaucrats, instead of accountable to the free market and the courts, will NOT make our food any safer. The new regulations could actually make food LESS safe as the large distributors and industrial farms wipe out the smaller competition.

I believe the push for S.510 is ideologically-driven, not based on any real crisis in our food supply. Some people just impulsively demand more government control of everything.

You MUST resist their pressure! Let S.510 die — filibuster if you must — and if does come to a vote, oppose it!

END LETTER

You may copy or send your letter through DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

We also ask you to spread the word! Forward this to friends and share our blog on your social networks.

Thanks for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

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