Sunday, November 21, 2010

"National Health Federation" Est'd 1955, Mission Statement to Note & Article by Lee Bechtel, NHF Lobbyist


By Lee Bechtel, NHF Lobbyist

November 20, 2010

The NHF first wants to thank all of those who signed our petition in opposition to S.510, and those who called their U.S. Senator's offices in a sustained effort to defeat the legislation. Unfortunately, the vote to end debate“ the Cloture vote “ was successful on a vote of 74 For and 25 Opposed, on November 17th. 2010. Thirty hours of debate followed and included behind-the-scenes negotiations on a final Manager's Amendment to S.510.

On November 18th, the only Senator holding up the bill was Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who wanted a vote on an amendment dealing with Congressional earmarks.

The Senate proceeded to vote on a Motion to Proceed on votes on
amendments after more hours of post-cloture debate.

The Motion to Proceed vote passed on a vote of 57 For and 27 Opposed, after holding the vote time open longer than what the rules allow. Senators Testor and Hagan both voted in favor
of the Motion.

During the debate, Senator Harkin described some of the key points in the yet-to-be-voted-on Manager's Amendment. Among other changes, the final Manager's Amendment included the exemption for dietary supplements from Codex food guidelines, exemption language for dietary supplement manufacturers and retailers from the conventional food company and distributor registration fees, reporting and product traceability requirements.

The final Manager's Amendment also included the Testor-Hagan amendment exempting small farmers and retailers; organic farmers were already exempted from FDA registration fee, reporting, and product traceability requirements, for farms with less than $500,000 in gross
receipts. The compromise language was very close to the original Testor amendment, which is why Senators Testor and Hagan both voted in favor of moving the bill forward.

Then, on Friday, November 19th, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that agreement had been reached on the order of final amendments and votes on S.510, which are now scheduled for Monday, November 29th, 2010. after the Thanksgiving recess.

There will be a second cloture vote on the motion to proceed, followed by debate and votes on two amendments to be offered by Senator Coburn.

These are to be followed by debate and a vote on the Manager's Amendment to the original S.510 bill, and if successful, the vote on final bill passage.

As explained by Senator Harkin, he and Senators Reid and Durbin had worked out an agreement in advance of Senate passage with House Democratic leadership to accept the Senate-passed bill, hold it at the House desk, and then vote on passage of the Senate bill. This procedural maneuvering eliminates the usual joint Senate-House conference committee to work out differences with the Waxman and House passed Food Safety bill, H.R. 2749. If the House approves, the final version of the Senate Food Safety bill would then be sent to President Obama for signing into new law.

The NHF has been lobbying against S.510 and many thousands of health-freedom advocates have participated in sending grassroots lobbying appeals, since last year.

The beast will most likely be restrained, but the fight against it will still go on. S.510 authorizes, but does not appropriate, monies for the FDA-expanded regulation of domestic and imported conventional food producers, distributors, and retailers, and the hiring of more FDA
bureaucrats. Registration fees and other fees will not be enough to cover its costs.

The FDA's current budget is $4 billion dollars.

The new spending called for in the bill will have to be approved by Congress next year in the FDA-appropriation process, first by the House and then by the Senate. All spending bills must originate in the to be controlled Republican House.

This gives the NHF and other health-freedom groups and advocates opportunities to de-fund this otherwise bad law, even if it is approved by the Senate next week, and enacted into new law.

To carry out all of the new rules and FDA authorities, new spending will have to be approved, or
current spending levels for other FDA programs or regulatory activities will have to be reduced. The beast can be starved in the future even if not defeated
outright the first time around.

NHF will keep you informed.


National Health Federation: Established in 1955,

the National Health Federation is a consumer-education, health-freedom
organization working to protect individuals' rights to choose to consume healthy
food, take supplements and use alternative therapies without unnecessary
government restrictions. The NHF is the only such organization with recognized
observer-delegate status at Codex meetings.


P.O. Box 688, Monrovia, CA

91017 USA ~ 1 (626) 357-2181 ~ Fax 1 (626) 303-0642

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