Fight GMOs & Support Local Meat Production in the Farm Bill
Call House Ag Committee Members
Now that the Senate is done, the House of Representatives is beginning to work on its version of the Farm Bill. The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to do the "mark up" of the House Farm Bill this week, beginning on Wednesday.
The good news is that Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) plans to introduce an amendment to help small-scale slaughterhouses through technical assistance, grants, and more (details are at the end of this alert). The lack of small-scale slaughterhouses in many areas of the country is a huge barrier to the ability of local farmers to raise livestock for market. If we want to increase access to locally raised meats, we need to help existing and new small-scale slaughterhouses to succeed.
The bad news is that the Biotech Industry has already managed to insert pro-GMO provisions into the draft Farm Bill. These provisions would limit the scope of USDA's review of new GMO crops, provide for automatic approval if the agency doesn't meet very short deadlines, and create a national policy approving of GMO contamination of our food supply.
Below is a list of the members of the House Agriculture Committee, organized by State, with their phone numbers. If your Representative is on the Committee, please call him or her. Otherwise, call the Chairman and Ranking Member.
If you don't know who represents you, you can find out at www.house.gov or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
My name is ____, and I am a constituent. I urge Representative _________ to vote in favor of the Pingree Livestock Amendment to provide assistance for small-scale slaughterhouses. Having access to locally raised meats is very important to me and my family, and small-scale slaughterhouses are a vital part of the local food system.
Having access to non-genetically engineered foods is also very important to us, and I am very concerned about the provisions in the draft Farm Bill that prevent meaningful review of GMO crops, placing both farmers and consumers at risk.
Please speak up for both farmers and consumers, by voting YES on the Pingree Livestock Amendment and by working to STOP the GMO riders.
HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
If your Representative is on the Committee, please call him or her. If not, call the Chairman and Ranking Member.
You can also contact them online through the links on the
Committee's website. But phone calls are more effective than emails, so please take a moment to call if you can!
OKLAHOMA: Rep Frank Lucas (202) 225-5565
MINNESOTA: Rep Collin Peterson (202) 225-2165
ALABAMA: Rep Martha Roby (202) 225-2901
ALABAMA: Rep Terri A. Sewell (202) 225-2665
ARKANSAS: Rep Rick Crawford (202) 225-4076
CALIFORNIA: Rep Joe Baca (202) 225-6161
CALIFORNIA: Rep Dennis Cardoza (202) 225-6131
CALIFORNIA: Rep Jim Costa (202) 225-3341
COLORADO: Rep Scott R. Tipton (202) 225-4761
CONNECTICUT: Rep Joe Courtney (202) 225-2076
FLORIDA: Rep Thomas J. Rooney (202) 225-5792
FLORIDA: Rep Steve Southerland, II (202) 225-5235
GEORGIA: Rep Austin Scott (202) 225-6531
GEORGIA: Rep David Scott (202) 225-2939
ILLINOIS: Rep Randy Hultgren (202) 225-2976
ILLINOIS: Rep Timothy V. Johnson (202) 225-2371
ILLINOIS: Rep Robert T. Schilling (202) 225-5905
INDIANA: Rep Marlin Stutzman (202) 225-4436
IOWA: Rep Leonard Boswell (202) 225-3806
IOWA: Rep Steve King (202) 225-4426
KANSAS: Rep Tim Huelskamp (202) 225-2715
MAINE: Rep Chellie Pingree (202) 225-6116
MASSACHUSETTS: Rep James McGovern (202) 225-6101
MINNESOTA: Rep Timothy J. Walz (202) 225-2472
MISSOURI: Rep Vicky Hartzler (202) 225-2876
NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS:
Rep Gregorio Sablan (202) 225-2646
NEBRASKA: Rep Jeff Fortenberry (202) 225-4806
NEW YORK: Rep Bill Owens (202) 225-4611
NEW YORK: Rep Christopher P. Gibson (202) 225-5614
NORTH CAROLINA: Rep Renee L. Ellmers (202) 225-4531
NORTH CAROLINA: Rep Larry Kissell (202) 225-3715
NORTH CAROLINA: Rep Mike McIntyre (202) 225-2731
OHIO: Rep Marcia L. Fudge (202) 225-7032
OHIO: Rep Bob Gibbs (202) 225-6265
OHIO: Rep Jean Schmidt (202) 225-3164
OREGON: Rep Kurt Schrader (202) 225-5711
PENNSYLVANIA: Rep Tim Holden (202) 225-5546
PENNSYLVANIA: Rep Glenn Thompson (202) 225-5121
SOUTH DAKOTA: Rep Kristi Noem (202) 225-2801
TENNESSEE: Rep Scott DesJarlais (202) 225-6831
TEXAS: Rep Michael Conaway (202) 225-3605
TEXAS: Rep Henry Cuellar ( 202) 225-1640
TEXAS: Rep Randy Neugebauer (202) 225-4005
VERMONT: Rep Peter Welch (202) 225-4115
VIRGINIA: Rep Bob Goodlatte (202) 225-5431 (Vice Chairman)
WISCONSIN: Rep Reid J. Ribble (202) 225-5665
PINGREE LIVESTOCK AMENDMENT
The Pingree Amendment will do five things to help very small and "certain small" slaughterhouses, which include facilities with no more than 25 employees:
1) Outreach and Technical Assistance - Establishes a new division within USDA to coordinate technical assistance activities within USDA agencies and provide grants to state agencies (including Extension, nonprofits, and partnerships) in order to provide outreach, education and training to small processing plants.
2) Guidance on Process Control - Requires USDA to develop guidance for small processing plants, including on-farm and mobile processing facilities, on how to comply with the regulatory requirements.
3) Grant Program - Creates a small-processor grant program to provide competitive grants to small processors, including on-farm and mobile processors.
4) Electronic Submission of Labels and Public Information on Label Content - Requires USDA to provide an electronic submission option for the meat label approval process and to provide improved public access to information on the label approval process.
5) Meat and Poultry Processing Report - Directs USDA, in cooperation with the States, processors, and growers, to submit a report to Congress within 2 years of enactment of the bill to analyze additional steps that can be taken to better meet the needs of small meat and poultry growers and processors.
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