congress trying to skrew with the food supply some more

Seriously, read about HR 875 Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009

Read about it here:

HR 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009

And check out this lady:

Rosa DeLauro

The camel's back is breaking. As soon as I am able, I do believe I'm moving to Oz.

Comments

  • That can't be right. A bill like that would never pass.

  • mmmmmm....do u have more sources on this bill

    a bill like this doesn't seem too far-fetched( similar one was attempted and failed in canada- bill C-51)

  • HR875 was referred to committee on February 9, 2009. Here's the link to the bill as it is currently written:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-875

  • i'll look at this link later

    the first link seems more like a rant from a blogger

  • I don't understand, the blogger somehow translated that this will affect people growing food in their own backyards. That's a complete misinterpretation; this bill is talking about food establishments that serve food to other people in exchange for money, not people's homes and personal property. I still don't agree with the bill for my own reasons, but the blogger completely went off in a strange direction with this. It in no way says your property could be seized if you grow your own food. Now, if you have a restaurant in your garage or sell your homegrown tomatoes, you'll be held to different standards.

    My next question is, why do people think the response to this kind of stuff is the need for MORE government instead of less government?

    Just wondering.

  • Meditating --

    Thank you so much. I was really hoping you would respond to this thread. Your responses are always so well researched, demonstrating an in depth understanding of the legal verbage that I, for one, "trip" over. I appreciate your taking the time to share in plain English your interpretation of this bill and its impact on the backyard gardener as well as the organic farmer.

  • Yeah, thanks Meditating. Not my domain, either. Glad to have your post.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    HR 875 is indeed a bad bill because it burdens small farms, conventional or organic, and makes it more expensive and difficult for them to compete. In times when we should all understand the importance of supporting small farms, especially organic farmers, that is reason alone to express opposition to the bill. On the up side, it's primary purpose to ensure the ability to trace tainted foods back to their source, which is not a bad thing. However, almost everything presented as "fact" by those opposing the bill is propaganda.

    Opponents of this bill are using the same lies and manipulative scare tactics Monsanto would ordinarily use. Perhaps they realize the practical truth does not motivate the average person. Sadly, they are probably right. It seems that unless proposed legislation is perceived as the fore-horse of the apocalypse, most of us just can't be bothered.

    The statement that Monsanto is behind the bill is based on the assertion that Stanley Greenburg, husband of the the bill's sponsor, Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, is a Monsanto employee. That is not true and even if it were, that certainly doesn't mean Monsanto sponsored the bill. It is a well-publicized fact that Greenburg is not a Monsanto employee. Greenburg runs/owns a successful research/polling firm that specializes in election-related issues. The falsity is spun from the fact that 10+ years ago Greenburg's firm conducted a public opinion poll for Monsanto. That is like saying that because I purchased a bottle of kombucha from Earth Fare this morning I must be in business with them.

    Opposition to the bill claims that it gives Monsanto incredible power, criminalizes seed-banking and home gardens, mandates what to feed/treat organic produce/animals, mandates 24-hour GPS farm animal tracking, requires the seizure of violator's property (understood as real estate by the average person), and gives government the right to conduct warrantless searches of property. These statements are either blatant falsities or gross misinterpretations.

    Monsanto is not mentioned in the bill and no "powers" are conferred on them.

    A text search of the bill finds that the words "seed," "seeds," and "banking" are not mentioned in the bill. The definitions section does not include a term that would substitute for seeds. The bill does criminalize intentional food-safety violations that lead to a serious illness or death. There doesn't seem to be any half-truths or basis to the seed-bank falsity, other than the knowledge that if people think they can't grow their own food anymore they would become frightened and defiant. Obviously such disinformation serves a purpose.

    The proposed record-keeping regulations apply to all food production facilities, which is defined as "any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation." The seizure of property seems to be limited to any food product deemed to be "unsafe, is adulterated or misbranded, or otherwise fails to meet the requirements of this the food safety law." Both instances include language that could be improved upon. I am not afraid that my backyard tomatoes will be confiscated.

    The Department of Agriculture already has the right to define what constitutes "organic" food so they can already tell farmers what to feed organic produce/animals. Nothing new there, but I don't even see where that is mentioned in this bill.

    The words "GPS," "global," or "satellite" do not appear in the text either. I assume this was twisted out of the authority in the bill to "establish the national traceability system under this section to be consistent with existing statutes and regulations that require recordkeeping or labeling for identifying the origin or history of food or food animals." Seems like a good idea that if tainted food products are discovered in the marketplace we should be able to identify where they came from and how they got that way. This in no way mandates the 24-hour GPS tracking of farm animals.

    Although I didn't see anything in the proposed bill having to do with warrantless searches, perhaps opponents think that is the same thing as the right to inspect a food facility pursuant to the bill. Despite that, government already has numerous opportunities to search private property without a warrant thanks to the US Supreme Court. For all intents and purposes, whatever was left of the Fourth Amendment was done away with under the Patriot Act. Now when government wants to violate your rights, they just fabricate an issue connecting you to terrorism and everybody falls in line.

    According to Congresswoman DeLauro, she introduced the bill to deal with recent food-safety issues experienced during the last administration with spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and now peanut butter. Evidently, she was unaware Republicans slashed the food inspection budgets to such levels that yearly inspections were no longer possible. According to the FDA, they did not have the budget to inspect these facilities once every 10 years. Obama has promised to raise the FDA food-inspection budgets by app. 1.1 billion dollars annually.

    Another concern I have with the bill is that while those injured by violations are given a right to sue, they can only get actual damages, perhaps attorney fees, and no punitive damages. This often creates a disincentive for an attorney to take a case on a contingency basis. When that happens, it basically means it takes away a consumer-victim's right to sue while protecting corporations from damages for intentional conduct. By example, it is like when a surgeon is jacked up on meth while performing a surgery and amputates some one's leg "by mistake," he only has to pay for the cost of the lost leg and no more. Many doctors have been protected this way under state "tort reform" laws. If this bill applied to medical malpractice, the injured patient would not be able to get punitive, or punishment" fines from the surgeon as a means of dissuading that surgeon and others from performing surgery while high. Furthermore, unless I misinterpreted the language, whistleblowers who turn in those violating the law, can get actual damages, but appear to be exempted from the Federal Whistleblower's Act, which means they are afforded little protection and therefore little incentive to blow the whistle. Screw the honest, concerned, or injured citizen while covering corporate ass. That's the American way anymore.

    For those of you who want to be informed based on your own interpretation of the bill, here is the link: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-875.

  • emtpdmom thanks for referring me to this thread and to Meditating knowledgeable reply!!

    Thanks for all of you for always being so generous with information. I love this site...I know I can count on you all for the real deal.

    Enjoy your weekend!!

    Lo~

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