Reject H.R. 4879/3599’s Attempt to Override the Right of Citizens to Maintain Local Control of Food and Farming
Dear Members of Congress:

We the undersigned farm and food organizations urge you to preserve the right of local and state governments to create policies that provide market opportunity and protect rural communities by stopping Congressman King’s efforts to pass H.R. 4879/3599.

H.R. 4879/3599 would negate most state and local laws regarding the production or manufacture of agricultural products. In short, this legislation would limit consumer choice, negate the ability of local governments to protect citizens, and sacrifice market opportunities for family farmers, only to benefit a few corporate agribusiness interests.

Food and farm markets continue to be highly consolidated, providing farmers with few opportunities to find fair returns on their products. However, the opportunity to create product differentiation through local or regional standards provides the prospect of keeping family farmers and ranchers on the land. Consumers also rely heavily on mandated production standards and conditions to ensure products are safe, healthy, and responsibly produced. Many of the laws governing these market opportunities and consumer protections would be void if H.R. 4879/3599 becomes law.

Farming practices and environmental conditions vary widely throughout the United States and largely are governed by those at the local level who best understand their community. H.R. 4879/3599 seeks to mandate a one-size-fits-all approach by establishing a race to the bottom on any standard of production or manufacture of agricultural products. If enacted, this legislation would eliminate laws governing animal health and welfare, transport and sale of forest products, community health standards related to water and air pollution, and many more. H.R. 4879/3599 seeks to dismiss the long-held U.S. Constitutional principle that states maintain broad power to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens by regulating the sale of goods and services within their borders. This bill would clearly be detrimental to family farms and ranches and only advantage a very small group of mega-farms and agribusinesses.

We urge you to side with farmers, small businesses, consumers, and local governments over corporate agribusiness interests by rejecting H.R. 4879/3599’s attempt to override the right of citizens to maintain control of food and farming locally.

Sincerely,

The undersigned organizations:

Alabama Poultry Growers Association
Alaska Farmers Union
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (The National Farmworker Women's Alliance)
American Agriculture Movement Inc.
American Grassfed Association
American Indian Mothers Inc.
Association of American Indian Farmers
California Dairy Campaign
California Farmers Union
Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Citizens Sustainability League--North Dakota
Community Alliance for Global Justice
Community Farm Alliance
Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias
Crawford Stewardship Project
Cultivate Kansas City
Dakota Rural Action
Dawson Resource Council
Domestic Fair Trade Association
Fair Farms Maryland
Fair World Project
Family Farm Action
Family Farm Defenders
Farm Aid
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Food & Water Watch
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)
Food Chain Workers Alliance
Food For Maine’s Future
Food Policy Action
Food Policy Council of San Antonio
Friends of Family Farmers
Future Harvest CASA
HEAL Food Alliance
Health Care Without Harm
Illinois Farmers Union
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Indian Nations Conservation Alliance
Indiana Farmers Union
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Iowa Farmers Union
Iowa Organic Association
Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.
Jewish Farm School
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
Kansas Farmers Union
Land Stewardship Project
Local Matters
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Midwest Organic Farmers Cooperative
Minnesota Food Association, a Program of The Food Group
Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN)
Missouri Coalition for the Environment
Missouri Farmers Union
Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Missouri's Food for America
National Black Farmers Association
National Dairy Producers Organization
National Family Farm Coalition
National Farmers Organization
National Hmong-American Farmers, Inc.
National Organic Coalition
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
National Women's Farming Association
Nebraska Farmers Union
Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont
Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Northern Plains Resource Council
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Ohio Farmers Union
Ohio Sustainable Business Council
Oklahoma Stewardship Council
Oregon Rural Action
Organic Consumers Association
Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing, Inc. (OFARM)
Organic Farmers Association
Organic Seed Alliance
Organizacion en California de Lideres Campesinas, Inc.
Organization for Competitive Markets
Pesticide Action Network
Powder River Basin Resource Council
Real Food Challenge
Rio Grande Community Farm
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Rural Coalition
Rural Vermont
Soil Generation
Slow Food USA
Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Sustain L.A.
Sustainable Food Center
Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners
The Carrot Project
The Cornucopia Institute
The Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.
The Weston A. Price Foundation
Union of Concerned Scientists
Virginia Association for Biological Farming
Wisconsin Farmers Union
West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition
Western Colorado Congress
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE)

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