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.
The undersigned organizations:
Alabama Poultry Growers AssociationAlaska Farmers UnionAlianza Nacional de Campesinas (The National Farmworker Women's Alliance)American Agriculture Movement Inc.American Grassfed AssociationAmerican Indian Mothers Inc.Association of American Indian FarmersCalifornia Dairy CampaignCalifornia Farmers UnionCampaign for Contract Agriculture ReformCarolina Farm Stewardship Association Citizens Sustainability League--North DakotaCommunity Alliance for Global JusticeCommunity Farm AllianceContract Poultry Growers Association of the VirginiasCrawford Stewardship ProjectCultivate Kansas CityDakota Rural ActionDawson Resource CouncilDomestic Fair Trade AssociationFair Farms MarylandFair World ProjectFamily Farm ActionFamily Farm DefendersFarm AidFarm and Ranch Freedom AllianceFood & Water WatchFood Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)Food Chain Workers AllianceFood For Maine’s FutureFood Policy ActionFood Policy Council of San AntonioFriends of Family FarmersFuture Harvest CASAHEAL Food AllianceHealth Care Without HarmIllinois Farmers UnionIllinois Stewardship AllianceIndian Nations Conservation AllianceIndiana Farmers UnionInstitute for Agriculture and Trade PolicyIowa Citizens for Community ImprovementIowa Farmers UnionIowa Organic AssociationJefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.Jewish Farm SchoolJohns Hopkins Center for a Livable FutureKansas Farmers UnionLand Stewardship ProjectLocal MattersMichael Fields Agricultural InstituteMidwest Organic Farmers CooperativeMinnesota Food Association, a Program of The Food GroupMississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN)Missouri Coalition for the EnvironmentMissouri Farmers UnionMissouri Rural Crisis CenterMissouri's Food for AmericaNational Black Farmers AssociationNational Dairy Producers OrganizationNational Family Farm CoalitionNational Farmers OrganizationNational Hmong-American Farmers, Inc.National Organic CoalitionNational Sustainable Agriculture CoalitionNational Women's Farming AssociationNebraska Farmers UnionNortheast Organic Dairy Producers AllianceNortheast Organic Farming Association of ConnecticutNortheast Organic Farming Association of New HampshireNortheast Organic Farming Association of New JerseyNortheast Organic Farming Association of New YorkNortheast Organic Farming Association of VermontNortheast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts ChapterNortheast Sustainable Agriculture Working GroupNorthern Plains Resource CouncilNorthwest Atlantic Marine AllianceOhio Ecological Food and Farm AssociationOhio Farmers UnionOhio Sustainable Business CouncilOklahoma Stewardship CouncilOregon Rural ActionOrganic Consumers AssociationOrganic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing, Inc. (OFARM)Organic Farmers AssociationOrganic Seed AllianceOrganizacion en California de Lideres Campesinas, Inc.Organization for Competitive MarketsPesticide Action NetworkPowder River Basin Resource CouncilReal Food ChallengeRio Grande Community FarmRocky Mountain Farmers UnionRural CoalitionRural VermontSoil GenerationSlow Food USASocially Responsible Agricultural ProjectSouthern Sustainable Agriculture Working GroupSustain L.A.Sustainable Food CenterTexas Organic Farmers and GardenersThe Carrot ProjectThe Cornucopia InstituteThe Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.The Weston A. Price FoundationUnion of Concerned ScientistsVirginia Association for Biological FarmingWisconsin Farmers UnionWest Virginia Food & Farm CoalitionWestern Colorado CongressWestern Organization of Resource CouncilsWomen Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE)