Small-farm advocacy groups have formed an odd alliance with conservatives in defense of the Tester Amendment and even against the bill as a whole, claiming that farm shares, organic produce, and local food sources will be decimated by the bill’s regulations – some of which include farmers to re-arrange their facilities so that no animals are near produce, or a $500 fees to the FDA for inspections. That’s implausible for small operations and could reduce availability of natural or specialty foods for American consumers.
As the result of their efforts, the Tester Amendment will most likely be tacked on to the larger bill, if the bill is passed at all. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is still set on defeating it; he has taken the lead in calling the bill a massive, unnecessary expansion of government power, though he believes they will have the votes to get it through.
“They’re going to have the votes to make it move,” he said, during a conference call on Monday.