Tester statement on House’s passage of bipartisan Food Safety Bill

Senator amended bill to protect family farms and food producers

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Tester’s popular amendment to the legislation will exempt family farms and food producers from new regulations they can’t afford and don’t need, while holding industrial-scale food producers to higher food safety standards.

“Common sense won over tired old political excuses today.  The members of the House who voted for safer food also voted to protect the jobs and livelihoods of countless family farmers and food producers in Montana and across rural America.  After unanimous passage of this bill in the Senate, I’m proud to say this is a bipartisan victory.  I look forward to this bill becoming law.”

Under Tester’s amendment, food producers would not be subject to new federal requirements if they:

  • Sell the majority of their food directly to consumers, restaurants, and retailers within the state, or within a 275-mile radius of where it was produced, and
  • Have less than $500,000 per year in sales.

Those producers would, however, continue to be overseen by local and state food safety and health agencies.

The measure now goes to the president’s desk for signature.