Nov. 23, 2010 - Battle lines are being drawn and re-drawn in the fight over one of the most controversial bills under consideration during Congress’ 2010 lame duck session. S. 510, The Food Safety Modernization Act is a response to recent incidents of widespread food contamination, such as the 2006 outbreak of E. coli in spinach described in an article by PBS online and the more recent outbreak of salmonella in eggs last summer, after the law was introduced.
The bill is designed to strengthen the power of the Food and Drug Administration to inspect food and to institute recalls in the event of outbreaks of food-borne illness.
Conservatives objected to the bill's increased industry regulation while liberals and small farm groups argued that farmers markets and the local food movement wouldn't be able to cope with the new standards. An amendment proposed by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) was designed to lift the burden on the smaller producers, but was rejected by many of the larger producers. The Tester amendment has since been modified in order to overcome a Senate filibuster, and the compromise agreement will be included in the manager's amendment agreed to by Democrats and Republicans.
On Nov. 15, 2010, the organizations below signed a letter sent to Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), the ranking members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, stating their opposition to the Tester Amendment. The list below includes the organizations mentioned in the letter that contributed to lawmakers serving in the 111th Congress.
Click here to download a contributions by lawmaker spreadsheet compiled by MAPLight.org.
|Total Contributions to Current Senators|
|International Dairy Foods Association||$282,932|
|American Meat Institute||$177,449|
|National Chicken Council||$166,858|
|National Pork Producers Council||$151,504|
|National Council of Farmer Cooperatives||$125,621|
|National Turkey Federation||$90,500|
|National Milk Producers Federation||$85,400|
|United Fresh Produce Association||$56,900|
|National Potato Council||$56,000|
|Western Growers Association||$46,800|
|American Frozen Food Institute||$44,900|
|National Grain and Feed Association||$39,000|
|National Meat Association||$27,366|
|California Grape and Tree Fruit League||$18,050|
|U.S. Apple Association||$17,550|
|American Feed Industry Association||$8,250|
|National Watermelon Association||$5,700|
|Texas Produce Association||$5,500|
|Corn Refiners Association||$3,750|
|Produce Marketing Association||$3,000|
|Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association||$1,000|
|Florida Tomato Exchange||$500|
|National Oilseed Processors Association||$250|
|United Egg Producers||$250|
Figures are based on monetary and non-monetary contributions to candidate campaign committees of legislators serving in the 111th Congresses for election cycles 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. Date range includes contributions from Jan 1, 2001 - Oct. 13, 2010. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.