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 HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?

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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Sat May 23, 2009 7:04 pm

This is working its way through committee at the moment:Home gardens to be regulated? HR 875 Food Inspector Coming to Fruit Stand Near You
Tagged with: food safety act HR 875
Food Inspector Coming to Fruit Stand Near You
By Bob Livingston • Apr 27th, 2009
http://www.personalliberty.com/bob-livingston/food-inspector-coming-to-fruit-stand-near-you/

Under the guise of making sure our food is safe the heavy hand of government is about to clamp down on everyone who grows, transports or sells produce, livestock or poultry.

Two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, have been introduced that will stifle everyone involved with growing and distributing food products—from grandpa and his small garden plot and grandma’s homemade preserves, to roadside fruit stands to farmers’ markets to small cattle growers to chicken farmers.Named the Food Safety Modernization Act, HR 875 calls for the establishment of the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill assigns Federal regulators the task of ensuring that food producers, processors and distributors prevent and minimize food safety hazards like food-borne illnesses and contamination from bacteria, chemicals, toxins, viruses, parasites, prions, physical hazards or other human pathogens.

The legislation calls for regulation on slaughterhouses, seafood processing plants, establishments that process, store, hold or transport all categories of food products before delivery for retail sale, farms, ranches, orchards, vineyards, aquaculture facilities and confined animal-feeding operations.

Once enacted, every entity that falls under the jurisdiction of the legislation would be required to maintain records of all food products so the government can keep track of them in the event of contamination.

“Good,” you say, “I don’t want to eat any contaminated food.”

Not so fast, because when it comes to government legislation, what is not excluded from a bill is automatically included. And the legislation lays out no provision on the size and scope of what’s a farm, ranch, orchard or vineyard.

So grandpa can’t give away his vegetables without the proper paperwork. Show up at the local fruit stand and you’ll be handed a stack of forms to fill out before you can leave with your produce. Small cattle farmers can’t take their livestock to market.

And grandma, don’t give away any of that jam you made from pears off your pear trees because government inspectors may knock on the door and say, “Your papers, please!”

Don’t have your papers in order? It’ll cost you at least $1 million. That’s the fine for each violation of the act. And grandpa and grandma, you could also spend at least 10 years in prison.

This bill, and its companion Senate bill S 425, are designed to strip you of your right to grow your own food and put all food production in the hands of large agricultural companies like Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and Tyson.

Don’t believe it? HR 875 was introduced by Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. Her husband, Stanley Greenburg, just happens to be a Monsanto employee and he is expected to be chosen to lead the Food Safety Administration (FSA). Meanwhile, lobbyists for Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and Tyson are lobbying hard for S 425.
This legislation, in addition to endangering grandpa, grandma and the local fruit stand, will crush the small farmer under an avalanche of paperwork. While large food producing companies have the staff to handle the additional forms, small farmers—and small distribution centers—are working on already too-tight margins and would be unable to hire the staff needed to handle the paperwork.

Big food producers like Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and Tyson are controlling most of the food we get and contaminating it with steroids and drugs—things our bodies don’t need.



Reply to my letter to Sue Myrick:
Thank you for contacting me regarding HR 875, The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Your views are important, and I appreciate you taking the time to share them with me.

As you know, HR 875 was introduced by Rep. Rosa Delauro (CT-03) on February 4, 2009. This bill would establish a new Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This new agency would then take over the enforcement and administration of all food safety laws, a job currently done by the FDA. The bill would also direct the new agency to set up new minimum standards for a wide range of food production processes and safety inspection protocols.

Of course, such sweeping changes to our current food safety system bring up a range of concerns. For one, it has been suggested that this bill is so broad that it could be seen as giving the proposed Food Safety Administration authority to shut down local farmers markets and small scale organic food production. I believe that local and small scale farmers are important, integral, and welcome contributors to the American food supply, and I would be extremely concerned about any act of Congress that would limit such production.

HR 875 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. I serve on this Committee, and I can assure you that I will keep your concerns in mind as HR 875 moves through the committee process.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Your views are always welcome and helpful. If you have not done so already, please visit my website - www.myrick.house.gov - and sign up for my eNewsletter. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in Congress.

Sincerely,
Sue Myrick
Member of Congress
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lyniebell

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Join date : 2009-05-04
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PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Mon May 25, 2009 6:00 pm

This is absolutely horrible and depressing.

When will America wake up?
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Damocles
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Join date : 2009-04-22
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Location : Piedmont NC

PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Mon May 25, 2009 6:39 pm

Yeah! I'm going to sleep really well at night knowing ssssSue Myrick has got my back on this...

Quote :
Not so fast, because when it comes to government legislation, what is not excluded from a bill is automatically included. And the legislation lays out no provision on the size and scope of what’s a farm, ranch, orchard or vineyard.

Musta been an oversight....everyone knows the people writing these bills would NEVER try to deceive us!
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teapartygirl



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PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Tue May 26, 2009 4:39 pm

One of the things that's so scary about this bill (as so many others) is that on the surface, it looks good. It looks like it will improve safety when in fact what it will do is make food more expensive and maybe even less safe. I'm not sure the USDA does as good a job as we would like protecting our food supply -- handing them more power is certainly not going to help. Thanks for putting the link in to Sue Myrick's site. If enough of us bombard her with letters, maybe we can make a difference. I am hopeful that the organic lobby (you know there is one and it's probably got its fair share of Democrats) will step up and make a lot of noise.
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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
Posts : 209
Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Tue May 26, 2009 8:27 pm

Agree, teapartygirl, that we need to bombard Myrick and all other members of the committee with comments about this.
Truth in labelling only goes so far. Just look at the ingredients of baked goods and there is a load of them, and usually with organic foods I can pronounce them. But even ingredients that I understand leave a question about where they came from.
Then there are the trade wars--the World Trade Organization ruled against Vietnam for dumping catfish on the US market. So the Vietnamese merely renamed it Basa and we have it in our grocery stores today. Catfish are the bottom feeders and I would rather have them thriving on our river bottoms, than being brought in from countries whose rivers are mostly fresh-flowing sewers.
With citrus, I had plenty of orange trees in Fla. for myself and neighbors and they had mangoes and avocadoes, plus, plus, plus. We traded (and these were small suburban lots). Now here in NC, I get a lot of Producto de Mexico as far as tropical fruit.
I recently read that a farmer in Fla. plowed in about 100 acres of nearly ripe tomatoes because the market price was less than it cost him to raise and pick them. (Well, if this guy wouldn't spend so much money on chemicals, it might cost less.) Meanwhile all over the state there are food banks being wiped out daily by 10 a.m. and these food bank volunteers would probably been out there in a second picking the fields for free--and he probably could have gotten a major tax deduction.
Sorry for the length, but nothing makes me more nuts that what has happened to our foodstuff (that we know of). Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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lyniebell

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PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Wed May 27, 2009 9:47 am

Isn't that just what happened in the depression era days? Farmers are tough and they will survive whatever comes.

http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/life_01.html

We survived it before and we will survive it again.

How the heck can the government keep track of how many tomatoes a person is growing?
It is kind of ridiculous to imagine they will have low flying airplanes with tomato and cucumber seeking identifying equipment so we can be fined or locked up. tongue

What is interesting though is how similar some of the things that are happening now to what happened back in the early 1900's. We had an economic crisis then and now it is a financial crisis. What is the difference? Media is not reporting all that they should be, and most people only hear tiny soundbites of the news. It's my belief we are about to be in a depression, I would not be surprised. Media is reporting the economy is getting better, but I just don't believe that! Our country will be bankrupt and taken over by the illegal immigrants. I know it sounds like gloom and doom, but reality does suck. Believe me, I have so much fun, enjoying the moment! We'll get through it all because Americans are resilient. I suggest we get ready for what’s coming, and support your local farmers.
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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
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Location : Char-Meck

PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Wed May 27, 2009 1:17 pm

I also worry about what will become of this country, and the website you linked to is fascinating, lyniebell.
And we are really going to be sunk if we run out of water during a prolonged drought. And with added population pressure, there will be increased demand and it could all become another Mad Max movie scenario.
Even a prolonged interruption to power throws us into turmoil. No one will be able to use credit or debit cards to buy anything; forget getting cash from an ATM; you won't be able to pump gas; the refrigerator will stop working and even natural gas heat relies on electric to power its fans; toilets can't be flushed if lift stations quit working and I could go on and on, but I won't. Scariest is there have already been attacks on the computers running our power grid, suspected to have originated in China, per a report on Lou Dobbs a few weeks ago.
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Damocles
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Join date : 2009-04-22
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PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Wed May 27, 2009 1:27 pm

All good advice Lyniebell!

What should be of paramount concern to the small time farmer and the home gardener is availability and sustainability of non-hybrid, open-pollenation seeds. Giant agribusiness WILL control the food supply if they control the seeds that produce our staples, plain and simple.

For those unfamiliar with farming, seed saved from a hybrid parent plant is not viable for production the following year. That little detail forces the grower to continually return to the source of his hybrid seed stock to purchase seed for each growing season, prohibiting the collection and use of one's own seed. Should the seed producers decide to limit or completely cut off the supply of hybridized seed, small farms across America are effectively out-of-business unless they have created and maintained a supply of non-hybrid seed for future use.

Anyone who is considering a home garden for the Fall, or for next year should seriously consider seeking out some of the heirloom seed producers on the web and ordering whatever seed stock you can still find available. Even if it's too late to plant for this growing season, you can toss the seeds into the freezer and they will keep just fine until next Spring! Mark my words, the heirloom seed supply is going to be tight next Spring, and whatever is available will be costly because of increased demand. Regional climate extremes and natural disasters could further restrict availability so plan accordingly.

There is a wealth of interesting and informative information on the subject available and I suggest everyone read up on the hybridization of farm crops and the genetically modified foods that are already on America's dinner tables. The GM genie is out of the bottle folks, and there is no science available to put him back. Man is slowly but surely altering the very environmental symbiosis that has sustained life on this planet for all of recorded history.

I'd bet God's plan was better than what our scientists are manufacturing...
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March Mellow



Join date : 2009-04-26
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PostSubject: Re: HR 875-Food Safety Modernization Act a threat to small farmers?   Wed May 27, 2009 7:36 pm

I have successfully grown seedlings from commercially-grown tomato plants, but that was a few years ago, and I haven't tried lately.
What really makes me insane is that it isn't only hybridization that has caused seed not to be viable, but genetic tinkering by my favorite company, Monsanto. They have managed to introduce the terminator gene into all their crops. This story appeared about 1996, when African farmers realized none of the seed they had saved was worth anything for the next year. Nice, huh? Sell seed to the poorest farmers who are barely holding off starvation and make them come back next year to buy again.
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