URGENT! Please Take Action Immediately!
Emergency Action Alert on Leahy Food Safety Bill
This very minute, Senate insiders are working behind closed doors to make even innocent acts by small food and supplement producers punishable with ten-year jail terms.
As we have explained before, the specific problem lies in Sen. Leahy's so-called Food Safety Enhancement Act (S. 3767). Long jail terms were explicitly rejected by the Senate committee that put together the Senate Food Safety bill. These long jail terms are already in the House Food Safety bill, which has passed. If they get into the Senate bill, they will almost certainly become law.
Senate insiders are currently "editing" their Food Safety bill behind closed doors, creating what is called a Manager's Amendment Package that will probably be substituted for the current Food Safety bill. We know that one of the issues they are deciding is whether to move the Leahy language inside this new version of the bill. Even more shocking, they are not required to reveal this amendment package to the public (or even to the Senate itself) until right before the bill comes up for a vote.
Leahy's bill now says you don't go to jail for up to ten years unless you "consciously or recklessly disregard a risk of death or serious bodily injury." This is an improvement. But of course, what is conscious or unconscious, is in the eye of the beholder. No actual harm is necessary! The threat of ten years in jail is a powerful weapon of intimidation, which the FDA will use.
Please do your part to help stop this. Contact your senators right now. Tell them to keep Leahy's language out of the Food Safety bill, whether in the Manager's Package or as an amendment on the Senate floor.
We've also just learned that Rep. Henry Waxman, still chairman (for a few more weeks) of the House Commerce Committee overseeing food, has told key Democratic senators that he will support the final version of the Senate Food Safety bill rather than try to meld it with the truly horrible House bill he crafted. Why would he do this? Because he wants Food Safety passed during the lame duck session. This means that whatever comes out of the Senate will likely pass the House and become law in short order.
This appears be our last chance to stop the Leahy language. We need your support now more than ever. Please contact your senators immediately, even if you have done so before!