Category Archives: Policy and Regulation

City of Columbus Hearing on the Local Food Action Plan

Time:           4:00 p.m.
Date:           Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Location:              Columbus Neighborhood Health Center
Medical Clinic
2300 W Broad St
(614) 645-2300

Notice/Advertisement Title:  Health and Human Services Committee Meeting
Contact Name: Carl G. Williams
Contact Telephone Number: (614)645-0854
Contact Email Address: cgwilliams@columbus.gov<mailto:cgwilliams@columbus.gov>

President Pro Tempore Priscilla R. Tyson, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee will host a public hearing to review the Local Food Action Plan.  The Local Food Action Plan is designed to:  Improve access to nutritious food, and education about healthy food; increase the role of food in economic development; prevent food related waste; and enhance communication and coordination among existing food resources and agencies.

Representatives from the Columbus Public Health and other community stakeholders will be available to present, discuss, and update the community regarding the current status of the plan.

Click here to download the DRAFT Local Food Action Plan

The meeting will be held at:

Time:           4:00 p.m.
Date:           Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Location:               Columbus Neighborhood Health Center
Medical Clinic
2300 W Broad St
(614) 645-2300

Public Testimony: Public testimony will be accepted. Comments will be limited to three (3) minutes. Individuals wishing to offer testimony must fill out a speaker slip at turn it in between 3:45p.m. to  4:00 p.m., on site, before the hearing convenes.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Columbus Neighborhood Health Center
Medical Clinic
2300 W Broad St
(614) 645-2300

David Hooie

Carl Williams
(614)645-0854 Mobile

Cheryl  Graffagnino
CLGraffagnino@columbus.gov

Food Myth: we need industrial farming to feed the world

Big agri-business spends obscene amounts of money to promote the myth that we need industrialized farming with its pesticides, pollution and factory farms to be able to feed the world. Well, it’s just false.

Industrial agriculture is good for big pharma and chemical corporations but is unsustainable and expensive to our health and the environment. It hurts family farmers by making them dependent on corporations for all their inputs. As fewer corporations control the markets for crops, farmers have no choice but to sell for less than it costs to produce.

Study after independent study has shown that organic, sustainable agriculture will grow more than enough for everyone globally. By allowing farmers more control over what they grow and how they sell it, it empowers them to grow for their local region and markets. Locally grown food will feed the world.

There is another myth that you can’t make a living in urban agriculture. We’ll deal with that one in a future post. For now take a look at this neat 7 minute video. Please share it with your social network.

Good News for the Local Food Movement

Good News for the Local and Regional Food Movement

President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act today, after a long bout of legislative wrangling by local food advocates, small farmers and their allies for food safety rules that protect consumers without curbing the growing movement toward fresh, local and regional food.  The food safety bill passed by the House in July of 2009 would have imposed a one size fits all regulatory system biased toward  industrial agriculture with a regressive registration fee, expensive food safety plans, and regular on-farm FDA inspections regardless of the degree of the potential risk for food borne illness.  The new regulatory burdens threatened to erect formidable barriers to the developing local and regional markets for many small and moderate sized farms.

In the past two years, small farm advocates worked to win small and mid-size farm amendments to the legislation.  One organization that was key to the efforts was the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

The  amendments incorporated into the Food Safety Modernization Act and signed today by the President include:

Continue reading Good News for the Local Food Movement

Food Safety Bill Passes, Now Goes to President Obama

Earlier today the House of Representatives passed  H.R. 2751 The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act with 215 voting for and 144 against.  Ten Republicans voted for the bill (see Final Vote). This is the bill that the Senate passed by voice vote on Sunday, December 19th, with the Tester-Hagan amendment protecting small farms intact.

The food safety bill hit a roadblock after passing the Senate in late November because a provision requiring the collection of user fees violated the Constitutional mandate that all revenue-generating measures must originate in the House.  House leaders then attached the bill as an amendment to two separate spending bills, neither of which were able to gain Republican support in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) circumvented the original technical mistake by attaching the bill to a House-originated measure (HR 2751) authorizing a cash-for-clunkers program – a “shell bill” with bipartisan support.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who had threatened to filibuster S.510 in November, dropped his objection at the last minute, allowing the food safety bill to pass unanimously.  The Washington Post reported this morning that Coburn staffer John Hart did not know why the Senator relented.

Text of the Bill: HR2751

President Obama is expected to sign the bill before Christmas.

Update on S. 510 Federal Food Safety Legislation

The Farmers Market Management Network of Ohio has been following the Senate’s food safety bill closely and just issued an alert to keep in the amendments that protect small farms and processors that sell locally.  The two articles below give  a good overview of where the legislation is now.    Your action is needed to keep local food growing.

Action Alert – Local and Regional Food at Risk

Action Alert December 8, 2010 Local and Regional Food at Risk Call Your Representative Food Safety Legislation passed by the Senate and to be… »

Update on Federal Food Safety Bill S.510

On Tuesday, November 30, a year after it was reported out of Committee, the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) passed the Senate, 73-25. The bill,… »

Senate Food Safety Bill Moves Ahead

The Senate made substantial progress on the pending Food Safety Bill Wednesday. To move the sweeping food bill forward, the upper chamber voted 74-25 to limit debate, circumventing Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) objection.  And key stakeholders resolved the two controversial issues that have plagued the bill: bisphenol A and small farm exemptions.

Read: Senate Food Safety Bill Moves Ahead.

Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

As of 2006, 89% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. were genetically modified.
As of 2006, 89% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. were genetically modified.

A study by Russian scientists concluded that GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to reproduce in three generations. The details are a cause for concern and emphasizes the need for more research into the long term effects of genetically modified foods and the chemicals that are used to grow them.  There are other reports of similar effects in domestic animals in Austria, Italy and in the United States.

Read the Detailed Article – Institute for Responsible Technology.

More information on U.S. grown soybeans at Wikipedia.

Ohio Grass Grazed Symbol Proposed

grass_grazed_ohioSupporters of transparency in labeling have proposed a new symbol to aid consumers in their food choices.  Producers who would carry the label would need to have more than half of the feed consumed be grass(for ruminants) and less than half  be grain-based concentrated feed. The proposal encourages or requires producers to commit to continuing education on sustainable methods,  funding new research on healthy food production and community involvement. Initially the symbol would be used for ruminants such as cows and sheep, but would be expanded to other animals in the future.

Read the preliminary_ohiograss.pdf (application/pdf Object).