Support Access to Raw Milk in Texas

 

Raw milk is already legal in Texas. But government regulations require consumers to drive to the farm every time they want milk, burdening both consumers and farmers.

Representative Flynn has introduced a bill, HB 91, to allow licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets and to make delivery arrangements with their customers. This bill reduces costs and hassle for consumers, while allowing farmers a fair opportunity to market their products.

The Texas House Public Health Committee will hold a hearing on HB91 on Tuesday, April 21. This is a critical step in getting the bill passed.

Please speak up now to help raw milk farmers and consumers!

TAKE ACTION #1

Call or email your State Representative to urge him or her to support HB 91 and help move the bill forward. texas capitol

You can find out who your State Representative is by going to www.fyi.

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Texas legislative update

April 11, 2015:  The Texas legislative session is heating up, and the next eight weeks are going to be extremely busy.  You won’t be able to act on every alert, but please do take action as often and in whatever way you can.  Your voice DOES matter!

This week, we have good news, bad news, and multiple ways you can help fight for local farmers.

Good News

Three good bills have Committee hearings scheduled for next week!

HB 184judicial-system6, by Representative Susan King, requires Texas state agencies to be open and transparent in implementing new federal food safety regulations.  The FDA is working on massive new regulations and has already announced that it plans to rely heavily on state agencies to implement them.  HB 1846 requires the  Department of State Health Services and the Department of Agriculture to publish notice of any proposed agreement with FDA, allow for public comment, and consult with key legislators.…

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Say NO to Damaging Trade Agreements

 

Newly leaked documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door international courts to challenge our domestic laws.

The documents confirm reports that the TPP, as currently drafted, includes the infamous “investor-state dispute settlement” system (ISDS)newTPP map cropped. This system gives multinational companies the right to sue governments, and therefore taxpayers, in international courts. The companies can claim loss of “expected future profit,” and the courts will have the power to overrule national laws and judicial systems.

Even if the laws are designed for legitimate public objectives, such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment, the corporations will still be able to sue. “Buy Local” preferences, energy and environmental policy, financial regulations, consumer labeling and more could be overturned by international courts in the name of corporate profits.

 We need to speak up NOW!

Congress is expected to introduce a bill next week to allow the TPP to be “fast-tracked” – in other words, approved by Congress with no amendments and essentially no debate.…

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Fair property tax bill gets a hearing on Wednesday, April 8th!

We have been working hard on a wide range of bills to help local farmers and local food producers.  Next week, the first of our bills will be heard by Committee — the first step in getting it passed!

The issue of property taxes, while not fun, is vital for many farmers.  Small farmers who have been denied agricultural valuation of their land face thousands of extra dollars in extra taxes — a cost that they cannot readily absorb with their narrow profit margins.  The issue is also critical for nonprofit community gardens that are trying to provide healthy food for low-income communities.

There are multiple ways you can help, whether you have just a few minutes to call, can stop by the Capitol for 15 minutes, or can stay through the whole hearing.  Your efforts — combined with those of farmers and consumers across the state — really do make a difference!

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Monsanto’s Dream Bill

Representative Pompeo just introduced a bill, HR 1599, that would prohibit state efforts to require labeling of genetically engineered foods (GMOs).

This is Monsanto’s dream bill — it would allow big corporations that make and use GMOs to continue to hide them from consumers, keeping Americans in the dark about what is in their food. In fact, some of our allies are calling this the DARK, or the Denying Americans the Right to Know, Act.

Who’s behind this bill?

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an industry group that represents corporations like Monsanto, Nestlé and Dow, has been working with allies in Congress to get this bill re-introduced in the current Congress, after failing to pass it last year.

Federal GMO Labeling Bill

 Voluntary Labeling is a Proven Failure

While we usually support voluntary programs over mandatory programs, when it comes to GMOs, this is the wrong approach. There has already been voluntary labeling for the last 13 years — and not one company has voluntarily labeled its products as containing GMOs.…

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Tell Congress to reject the DARK Act

Big Food Doesn't Label Image

GMOs: Why the secrecy?

The new Congress is now in session, and it’s only a matter of time before what’s known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (or DARK) Act is re-introduced. If passed and signed into law, this act would overturn state laws that require the labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods.

Big Food and the biotech companies like Monsanto are pushing to reintroduce the DARK Act, which would:
Prevent states from adopting their own GMO labeling laws.
Block any attempt by states to make it illegal for food companies to put a “natural” label on products that contain GMO ingredients.
Prevent the FDA from requiring companies to label GMO ingredients and instead continue a failed “voluntary” labeling policy.

Voluntary Labeling is a Proven Failure

While we usually support voluntary programs over mandatory programs, when it comes to GMOs, this is the wrong approach. There has already been voluntary labeling for the last 13 years — and not one company has voluntarily labeled its products as containing GMOs.…

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2015 TOFGA Conference

 

Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association Conference
January 29 – 31, 2015
Hilton San Antonio Airport
San Antonio, Texas

Click Here to Register

A wide range of Texans and neighbors of many ages, backgrounds, and experiences will gather at the city once called the Crossroads of the nation to exchange ideas and knowledge in order to reclaim our Texas food system and garden and farm communities.

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FARFA endorses Linda Curtis for Texas HD 17

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Since Texas State Representative Kleinschmidt has resigned his seat, there will be a special election for House District 17. This district includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, and Lee Counties.

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance is proud to endorse Linda Curtis in this election.

Linda has an impressive track record of fighting for the interests of regular Texans, bringing people from rural and urban communities together for important causes. She played a significant role in the successful effort to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor from taking farmers’ land to build an expensive toll road for the benefit of a foreign corporation. She has consistently spoken up for local taxpayers and small businesses, standing up to big business interests. Most recently, she is the leading voice for protecting precious water resources in District 17. Without water, local agriculture, and ultimately the local economy, is dead.

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Tester-Hagan Sign On Letter 2014

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION OF THIS LETTER]

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
December 15, 2014

Re: Preventive Controls Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920
Produce Standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921

Dear FDA:

The undersigned organizations, farms, food businesses, and concerned individuals jointly submit these comments on the Tester-Hagan provisions, also referred to as the qualified exemptions, in the proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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What Does the Right to Farm Mean to You?

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The Texas Legislature will soon consider a bill addressing local regulation of farming operations. The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance wants to hear from you in order to help shape our position on this issue.

“Right to farm” laws affect not only what farmers can do on their own property, but what rights their neighbors (both farmers and nonfarmers) and community have.  Read more to learn about the history and potential future expansion of the Right to Farm statute, as well as how you can provide your feedback via a short survey.

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