A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

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KKPSTEIN's picture
KKPSTEIN
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Posts: 120
A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Hi Everyone,

This threatens small organic farms all over the USA.  Please post for all your contacts to see on other platforms also.

 All my best!

Kirsty

 A CALL TO ACTION!

"Food safety" bills now in Congress were written by Anne Venemann, former Monsanto counsel, and by the WTO (composed of Monsanto, Cargill, Tysons, the biotech companies, the big pharmaceuticals, etc.).  They were introduced by Rosa DeLauro, whose husband works for Monsanto, and Food Democracy Now says that Michael Taylor, former Monsanto lawyer who approved rBGH, may get a job inside the White House running "food safety."  The bills would industrialize all farms, eliminate most of our farmers (as similar legislation is doing in the EU now), and threatens biodiverstity and organic seeds - our means to avoid GMOs.  The bills are immense in reach (gardens and homes are not excluded), vague in detail, draconian in penalties (applied by "the Administrator," with no judicial review.)  

Let your legislators and local paper know what you think and want:  http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum942.php

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 
Capital switchboard toll free numbers: 800-965-4701 800-828-0498.

Speaker:  [email protected],   Introduced the bill:  [email protected],

Co-signers: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

MORE DETAILS...

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-759
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h759/show

H.R. 759 (FDA overhaul), 111th Congress
Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2009

* HR 759 overhauls the entire structure of the FDA.
* It's more likely to move through congress than HR 875.
* It contains provisions that could cause problems for small farms and food processors.

H.R. 814 ("NAIS on steroids"), 111th Congress Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act of 2009

* a mandatory animal identification system

H.R. 875 (creation of FSA), 111th Congress Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009

To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services.

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Food & Water Watch's Statement on H.R. 875 and other food safety bills (like H.R. 759)

The dilemma of how to regulate food safety in a way that prevents problems caused by industrialized agriculture but doesn't wipe out small diversified farms is not new and is not easily solved.  And as almost constant food safety problems reveal the dirty truth about the way much of our food is produced, processed and distributed, it's a dilemma we need to have serious discussion about.

Most consumers never thought they had to worry about peanut butter and this latest food safety scandal has captured public attention for good reason - a CEO who knowingly shipped contaminated food, a plant with holes in the roof and serious pest problems, and years of state and federal regulators failing to intervene.

It's no surprise that Congress is under pressure to act and multiple food safety bills have been introduced.

Two of the bills are about traceability for food (S.425 and H.R. 814).
These present real issues for small producers who could be forced to bear the cost of expensive tracking technology and recordkeeping.

The other bills address what FDA can do to regulate food.

A lot of attention has been focused on a bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (H.R. 875), the Food Safety Modernization Act.  And a lot of what is being said about the bill is misleading.

Here are a few things that H.R. 875 DOES do:

-It addresses the most critical flaw in the structure of FDA by splitting it into 2 new agencies -one devoted to food safety and the other devoted to drugs and medical devices.

-It increases inspection of food processing plants, basing the frequency of inspection on the risk of the product being produced - but it does NOT make plants pay any registration fees or user fees.

-It does extend food safety agency authority to food production on farms, requiring farms to write a food safety plan and consider the critical points on that farm where food safety problems are likely to occur.

-It requires imported food to meet the same standards as food produced in the U.S.

And just as importantly, here are a few things that H.R. 875 does NOT do:

-It does not cover foods regulated by the USDA (beef, pork, poultry, lamb,
catfish.)

-It does not establish a mandatory animal identification system.

-It does not regulate backyard gardens.

-It does not regulate seed.

-It does not call for new regulations for farmers markets or direct marketing arrangements.

-It does not apply to food that does not enter interstate commerce (food that is sold across state lines).

-It does not mandate any specific type of traceability for FDA-regulated foods (the bill does instruct a new food safety agency to improve traceability of foods, but specifically says that recordkeeping can be done electronically or on paper.)

Several of the things not found in the DeLauro can be found in other bills - like H.R. 814, the Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act, which calls for a mandatory animal identification system, or H.R. 759, the Food And Drug Administration Globalization Act, which overhauls the entire structure of FDA.  H.R. 759 is more likely to move
through Congress than H.R. 875.   And H.R. 759 contains several provisions
that could cause problems for small farms and food processors:

-It extends traceability recordkeeping requirements that currently apply only to food processors to farms and restaurants - and requires that recordkeeping be done electronically.

-It calls for standard lot numbers to be used in food production.

-It requires food processing plants to pay a registration fee to FDA to fund the agency's inspection efforts.

-It instructs FDA to establish production standards for fruits and vegetables and to establish Good Agricultural Practices for produce.

There is plenty of evidence that one-size-fits-all regulation only tends to work for one size of agriculture - the largest industrialized operations.
That's why it is important to let members of Congress know how food safety proposals will impact the conservation, organic, and sustainable practices that make diversified, organic, and direct market producers different from agribusiness.  And the work doesn't stop there - if Congress passes any of these bills, the FDA will have to develop rules and regulations to implement the law, a process that we can't afford to ignore.

But simply shooting down any attempt to fix our broken food safety system is not an approach that works for consumers, who are faced with a food supply that is putting them at risk and regulators who lack the authority to do much about it.

KKPSTEIN's picture
KKPSTEIN
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Posts: 120
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

MORE INFORMATION & ARTICLES -

To find your local House of Represenative Memeber Click Here:
http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

To Find your local Senator click here:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=IN

A solemn walk through HR 875

By Sue Diederich and Linn Cohen-Cole

Last updated March 16, 2009 at 1AM Eastern to correct formatting issues, and to add a related YouTube video by Free Speech TV.

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) sent out information about HR 875, which lists 'facts' to counter 'myths' and 'rumors' on the internet.  It gives no specifics to back up its 'facts,' so the following close up view of the bill and accompanying commentary offers readers a chance to decide for themselves what is myth and what is fact. 

Sue Diederich heads the Illinois Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, an organization formed to protect the rights of farmers and consumers to deal directly with each other without government interference. Neither of us are lawyers, but we both can read.  We invite progressive headliners to read the bills themselves and provide their own analysis.  The Left needs to understand what their conservative brothers and sisters in farming view as an alarming attempt to seize absolute control of all attempts at private (non-corporate), healthy, organic food growing and sharing. ~LCC

People seem to expect HR 875 to be titled "The Criminalization of Organic Farming and the Take over of the US Food Supply." When they don't see any words to that effect anywhere in the bill, they declare "this bill is fine" and those seeing dangers are "alarmists."  Do they think the industrial side is composed of fools?  These are the same people who make cheery cereals with cartoon characters on the box when, inside, high fructose corn syrup is all over the cereal which comes from Bt-corn associated with diabetes.  HFCS is, too, and there is an epidemic of diabetes here even among children.  They know how to package.  Why do people understand that industrial food inside a box can be a problem and yet are so innocent about looking at the bills, not realizing there is packaging there, too, or how much is at stake that the public and even legislators not see since this is about taking control. The industrial side isn't stupid. 

Understanding parts of the bill at times depends on smelling smoke as you read it. Here in the US, we still have only smoke ... an Ohio state ag department SWAT team raid on an organic coop, Pennsylvania ag department raids on horse and buggy Mennonites, California setting coliform levels so low fresh milk dairy farmers would need cows that produced pasteurized milk right out the udder, arrest and handcuffing of a single mother in front of her children for selling goat milk, the USDA paying its agents bonuses for foreclosing on farms, ...  But in the EU where 60% of the Polish farmers are now gone because of identical bills enacted into law there, and 60 UK farmers have committed suicide, there is fire.  And in Iraq, where they have been rendered helpless serfs by the theft of their country's seeds and criminalization of farmers' collection of their own seed, it is roaring.  And in India where 182,000 farmers have committed suicide since the WTO and IMF got hold of agriculture and our Big Ag firms went in there, and 8 million farmers have left the land, it is out of control.  

The World Trade Organization (WTO), run by the multinational meat packers and genetic engineering corporations, want HR 875, here.  The bills are "harmonized" rules for globalization of food and lower food safety standards to allow for it.  Those corporations are members of NIAA, a corporate consortium that brought NAIS, created by Anne Veneman, to the USDA to be made into law.  

We begin with PASA offering Food & Water Watch's take on the bills to its members. PASA's assertions are in Times New Roman.

Myths and Facts H.R. 875 –The Food Safety Modernization Act 

PASA members: The following information about a bill now before Congress, HR 875, was developed by our friends at Food and Water Watch, and forwarded to us by the National Sustainable Ag Coalition (NSAC), of which PASA is a member.

This Myth/Fact sheet was developed to help answer some of the rumors that are fairly rampant on the Internet right now. We will keep a close eye on the situation, and share further updates from NSAC as they become available.  

MYTH:  H.R. 875 "makes it illegal to grow your own garden" and would result in the "criminalization of the backyard gardener." 

FACT:   There is no language in the bill that would regulate, penalize, or shut down backyard gardens. This bill is focused on ensuring the safety of foods sold in supermarkets. 

 

Though private residences are not specifically included, nor are they specifically excluded. While this does not immediately affect homeowners growing tomatoes in the backyard, entered testimony leaves the door open for just that in the future. Referring back to the Bio-Terrorism Act, in a discussion on this very topic and entered in the official record of debate on the interim rule, the same argument exists here and no new definitions or exclusions have been provided in HR 875 - and "reasonable" is a subjective term in theory as well as practice...

(13)  FOOD ESTABLISHMENT-

(A) IN GENERAL- The term 'food establishment' means a slaughterhouse (except those regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act), factory, warehouse, or facility owned or operated by a person located in any State that processes food or a facility that holds, stores, or transports food or food ingredients.

Now, every home in the country holds food after buying it from the grocery store. Will they be included too?  Heck, no. They're going to be magnanimous and say that, while they could, they won't right now.

Response excerpted from the same Interim Rule:

"FDA has concluded that private individual residences are not ''facilities'' for purposes of the registration provision of the Bioterrorism Act. Under the Bioterrorism Act, the term ''facility'' includes ''any factory, warehouse, or establishment.''

Congress did not specify any definition for these terms. Under their common meanings, the terms can include private residences. For example, accordingtoWebster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1994), the most relevant definition of ''establishment'' is ''a business firm, club, institution, or residence, including its possessions and employees.''

However, ''[I]n determining whether Congress has specifically addressed the question at issue, the court should not confine itself to examining a particular statutory provision in isolation....  It is a fundamental canon of statutory construction that the words of a statute must be read in their context and with a view to their place in the overall statutory scheme." FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120, 121 (2000). 

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE >

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The multiple ways Monsanto is putting normal seeds out of reach

by Linn Cohen-Cole

People say if farmers don't want problems from Monsanto, just don't buy their GMO seeds.
Not so simple.  Where are farmers supposed to get normal seed these days?  How are they supposed to avoid contamination of their fields from GM-crops?  How are they supposed to stop Monsanto detectives from trespassing or Monsanto from using helicopters to fly over spying on them?  
Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples and if they find any GMO plants growing there (or say they have), they then sue, saying they own the crop.  It's a way to make money since farmers can't fight back and court and they settle because they have no choice. 
.
And they have done and are doing a bucket load of things to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of NORMAL seeds.

1.  They've bought up the seed companies across the midwest.  

2.  They've written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make cleaning, collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork and testing and tracking every variety and being subject to fines, that having normal seed becomes almost impossible (an NAIS approach to wiping out normal seeds).  Does your state have such a seed law?  Before they existed, farmers just collected the seeds and put them in sacks in the shed and used them the next year, sharing whatever they wished with friends and neighbors, selling some if they wanted.  That's been killed.  

In Illinois which has such a seed law, Madigan, the Speaker of the House, his staff is Monsanto lobbyists. 

3.  Monsanto is pushing anti-democracy laws (Vilsack's brainchild, actually) that remove community' control over their own counties so farmers and citizens can't block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops.  So if you don't want a GM-crop that grows industrial chemicals or drugs or a rice growing with human DNA in it, in your area and mixing with your crops, tough luck.  

Check the map of just where the Monsanto/Vilsack laws are and see if your state is still a democracy or is Monsanto's.  A farmer in Illinois told me he heard that Bush had pushed through some regulation that made this true in every state.  People need to check on that.

4.  For sure there are Monsanto regulations buried in the FDA right now that make a farmer's seed cleaning equipment illegal (another way to leave nothing but GM-seeds) because it's now considered a "source of seed contamination."  Farmer can still seed clean but the equipment now has to be certified and a farmer said it would require a million to a million and half dollar building and equipment ... for EACH line of seed.  Seed storage facilities are also listed (another million?) and harvesting and transport equipment.  And manure.  Something that can contaminate seed.  Notice that chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not mentioned.  

You could eat manure and be okay (a little grossed out but okay).  Try that with pesticides and fertilizers.  Indian farmers have.  Their top choice for how to commit suicide to escape the debt they have been left in is to drink Monsanto pesticides.

5.  Monsanto is picking off seed cleaners across the Midwest.  In Pilot Grove, Missouri , in Indiana (Maurice Parr ), and now in southern Illinois (Steve Hixon).  And they are using US marshals and state troopers and county police to show up in three cars to serve the poor farmers who had used Hixon as their seed cleaner, telling them that he or their neighbors turned them in, so across that 6 county areas, no one talking to neighbors and people are living in fear and those farming communities are falling apart from the suspicion Monsanto sowed.  Hixon's office got broken into and he thinks someone put a GPS tracking device on his equipment and that's how Monsanto found between 200-400 customers in very scattered and remote areas, and threatened them all and destroyed his business within 2 days.

So, after demanding that seed cleaners somehow be able to tell one seed from another (or be sued to kingdom come) or corrupting legislatures to put in laws about labeling of seeds that are so onerous no one can cope with them, what is Monsanto's attitude about labeling their own stuff?  You guessed it - they're out there pushing laws against ANY labeling of their own GM-food and animals  and of any exports to other countries.  Why?  
We know and they know why.

As Norman Braksick, the president of Asgrow Seed Co. (now owned by Monsanto) predicted in the Kansas City Star (3/7/94) seven years ago, "If you put a label on a genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." 

And they've sued dairy farmers for telling the truth about their milk being rBGH-free, though rBGH is associated with an increased risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers.
I just heard that some seed dealers urge farmers to buy the seed under the seed dealer's name, telling the farmers it helps the dealer get a discount on seed to buy a lot under their own name.  Then Monsanto sues the poor farmer for buying their seed without a contract and extorts huge sums from them.
Here's a youtube video that is worth your time.  Vandana Shiva is one of the leading anti-Monsanto people in the world.  In this video, she says (and this video is old), Monsanto had sued 1500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM-crops.  Listen to all the ways Monsanto goes after farmers.
Do you know the story of Gandhi in India and how the British had salt laws that taxed salt?  The British claimed it as theirs.  Gandhi had what was called a Salt Satyagraha, in which people were asked to break the laws and march to the sea  and collect the salt without paying the British.  A kind of Boston tea party, I guess.
  
Thousands of people marched 240 miles to the ocean where the British were waiting.  As people moved forward to collect the salt, the British soldiers clubbed them but the people kept coming.  The non-violent protest exposed the British behavior which was so revolting to the world that it helped end British control in India.  
Vandana Shiva has started a Seed Satyagraha - nonviolent non-cooperation around seed laws - has gotten millions of farmers to sign a pledge to break those laws.  
American farmers and cattlemen might appreciate what Gandhi fought for and what Shiva is bringing back and how much it is about what we are all so angry about - loss of basic freedoms.  [The highlighting is mine.]

The Seed Satyagraha is the name for the nonviolent, noncooperative movement that Dr. Shiva has organized to stand against seed monopolies. According to Dr. Shiva, the name was inspired by Gandhi’s famous walk to the Dandi Beach, where he picked up salt and said, “You can’t monopolize this which we need for life.” But it’s not just the noncooperation aspect of the movement that is influenced by Gandhi. The creative side saving seeds, trading seeds, farming without corporate dependence-–without their chemicals, without their seed.

“All this is talked about in the language that Gandhi left us as a legacy. We work with three key concepts."

"(One) Swadeshi...which means the capacity to do your own thing--produce your own food, produce your own goods...."

“(Two) Swaraj--to govern yourself. And we fight on three fronts-–water, food, and seed. JalSwaraj is water independence--water freedom and water sovereignty. Anna Swaraj is food freedom, food sovereignty. And Bija Swaraj is seed freedom and seed sovereignty. Swa means self--that which rises from the self and is very, very much a deep notion of freedom. 

"I believe that these concepts, which are deep, deep, deep in Indian civilization, Gandhi resurrected them to fight for freedom. They are very important for today’s world because so far what we’ve had is centralized state rule, giving way now to centralized corporate control, and we need a third alternate. That third alternate is, in part, citizens being able to tell their state, 'This is what your function is. This is what your obligations are,' and being able to have their states act on corporations to say, 'This is something you cannot do.'"

“(Three) Satyagraha, non-cooperation, basically saying, 'We will do our thing and any law that tries to say that (our freedom) is illegal… we will have to not cooperate with it. We will defend our freedoms to have access to water, access to seed, access to food, access to medicine.'"

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Demand anti-trust investigations into Monsanto activities at the state and federal level.

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Got lucky in meeting libertarian and conservative farmers and becoming friends, learning an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about government violations against them and against us all. They are nothing like what (more...)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE...

"Food safety" bills now in Congress were written by Anne Venemann, former Monsanto counsel, and by the WTO (composed of Monsanto, Cargill, Tysons, the biotech companies, the big pharmaceuticals, etc.).  They were introduced by Rosa DeLauro, whose husband works for Monsanto, and Food Democracy Now says that Michael Taylor, former Monsanto lawyer who approved rBGH, may get a job inside the White House running "food safety."  The bills would industrialize all farms, eliminate most of our farmers (as similar legislation is doing in the EU now), and threatens biodiverstity and organic seeds - our means to avoid GMOs.  The bills are immense in reach (gardens and homes are not excluded), vague in detail, draconian in penalties (applied by "the Administrator," with no judicial review.)  

Let your legislators and local paper know what you think and want:  http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum942.php

 

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 
Capital switchboard toll free numbers: 800-965-4701 800-828-0498.

Speaker:  [email protected],   Introduced the bill:  [email protected],

Co-signers: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

 

MORE DETAILS...

Some cannot believe that the HR 875 in Congress for a vote will criminalize seed banking.   This bill will allow for Monsanto to take control of all seeds in the US.

Here's the bill, broken down:  http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-solemn-walk-through-HR-8-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090314-67.html

Another article about the ways Monsanto is putting seeds out of reach.
http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-multiple-ways-Monsanto-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090203-854.html

 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-759
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h759/show

H.R. 759 (FDA overhaul), 111th Congress
Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2009

* HR 759 overhauls the entire structure of the FDA.
* It's more likely to move through congress than HR 875.
* It contains provisions that could cause problems for small farms and food processors.

 

H.R. 814 ("NAIS on steroids"), 111th Congress Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act of 2009

* a mandatory animal identification system

H.R. 875 (creation of FSA), 111th Congress Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009

To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services.

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Food & Water Watch's Statement on H.R. 875 and other food safety bills (like H.R. 759)

The dilemma of how to regulate food safety in a way that prevents problems caused by industrialized agriculture but doesn't wipe out small diversified farms is not new and is not easily solved.  And as almost constant food safety problems reveal the dirty truth about the way much of our food is produced, processed and distributed, it's a dilemma we need to have serious discussion about.

Most consumers never thought they had to worry about peanut butter and this latest food safety scandal has captured public attention for good reason - a CEO who knowingly shipped contaminated food, a plant with holes in the roof and serious pest problems, and years of state and federal regulators failing to intervene.

It's no surprise that Congress is under pressure to act and multiple food safety bills have been introduced.

Two of the bills are about traceability for food (S.425 and H.R. 814).
These present real issues for small producers who could be forced to bear the cost of expensive tracking technology and recordkeeping.

The other bills address what FDA can do to regulate food.

A lot of attention has been focused on a bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (H.R. 875), the Food Safety Modernization Act.  And a lot of what is being said about the bill is misleading.

Here are a few things that H.R. 875 DOES do:

-It addresses the most critical flaw in the structure of FDA by splitting it into 2 new agencies -one devoted to food safety and the other devoted to drugs and medical devices.

-It increases inspection of food processing plants, basing the frequency of inspection on the risk of the product being produced - but it does NOT make plants pay any registration fees or user fees.

-It does extend food safety agency authority to food production on farms, requiring farms to write a food safety plan and consider the critical points on that farm where food safety problems are likely to occur.

-It requires imported food to meet the same standards as food produced in the U.S.

And just as importantly, here are a few things that H.R. 875 does NOT do:

-It does not cover foods regulated by the USDA (beef, pork, poultry, lamb,
catfish.)

-It does not establish a mandatory animal identification system.

-It does not regulate backyard gardens.

-It does not regulate seed.

-It does not call for new regulations for farmers markets or direct marketing arrangements.

-It does not apply to food that does not enter interstate commerce (food that is sold across state lines).

-It does not mandate any specific type of traceability for FDA-regulated foods (the bill does instruct a new food safety agency to improve traceability of foods, but specifically says that recordkeeping can be done electronically or on paper.)

Several of the things not found in the DeLauro can be found in other bills - like H.R. 814, the Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act, which calls for a mandatory animal identification system, or H.R. 759, the Food And Drug Administration Globalization Act, which overhauls the entire structure of FDA.  H.R. 759 is more likely to move
through Congress than H.R. 875.   And H.R. 759 contains several provisions
that could cause problems for small farms and food processors:

-It extends traceability recordkeeping requirements that currently apply only to food processors to farms and restaurants - and requires that recordkeeping be done electronically.

-It calls for standard lot numbers to be used in food production.

-It requires food processing plants to pay a registration fee to FDA to fund the agency's inspection efforts.

-It instructs FDA to establish production standards for fruits and vegetables and to establish Good Agricultural Practices for produce.

There is plenty of evidence that one-size-fits-all regulation only tends to work for one size of agriculture - the largest industrialized operations.
That's why it is important to let members of Congress know how food safety proposals will impact the conservation, organic, and sustainable practices that make diversified, organic, and direct market producers different from agribusiness.  And the work doesn't stop there - if Congress passes any of these bills, the FDA will have to develop rules and regulations to implement the law, a process that we can't afford to ignore.

But simply shooting down any attempt to fix our broken food safety system is not an approach that works for consumers, who are faced with a food supply that is putting them at risk and regulators who lack the authority to do much about it.

KKPSTEIN's picture
KKPSTEIN
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Posts: 120
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Hi Again,

 I just wanted to add that I wish I could participate in this call to action, but I cannot since I am not a US Citizen;  I'm Canadian.  So if you are a US Citizen, please tell your friends, newspapers and legistlators what you think of H.R. 875 –The Food Safety Modernization Act.

All my best! Kirsty

 

GregSchleich's picture
GregSchleich
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 16 2009
Posts: 187
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill


Hi Kirsty

Thanks for posting this. It's a lot to absorb, even for people on this site. That's probably why there are no comments!

Monsanto happens to be one of my pet demons, and I was well aware of Obama's unfortunate choice of Vilsack for USDA - yet another fox guarding the henhouse!, but it looks like I need to look a little deeper. This just keeps getting worse. 

While most people on this site seem fixated on an imminent collapse (understandably), I'm just as worried about the longer term future. I'm worried we could easily see an Orwellian dystopia before we see Mad Max. We're already well on our way, but Monsanto, seed monopoly, and the heavy handed regulation of all food production on behalf of big agribusiness is yet another big push in that direction.

The threat to liberty, and the invasion of privacy this legislation could legitimize is horrifying, but what's worse, it's easy to envision a world, say 10 years from now, of useless dollars, useless Monsanto terminator seeds and genetically engineered and poisoned livestock, if we're not careful. And this will all be done in the name of helping and protecting us. What an absolute disgrace these people are.

The Food and Water Watch piece you posted seems to be considerably at odds with the Linn Cohen-Cole piece you also put up. Perhaps it's my just my natural libertarian paranoia manifesting, but  Food and Water Watch still seems vested in the tired old, "we need the wise and benevolent government to help and protect us" mentality. I don't think they get it. It's uncanny how much the government's regulation of the food industry reminds me of their regulation of Wall Street. Both are written by industry insiders, designed to protect the biggest players from both the competition and the consumer (or investor). As one who believes the government is not our friend, - it never has been, and it never will be - Linn Cohen-Cole's much more sober take rings a lot truer to me. 

Here are a couple of other Cohen-Cole articles (I found thanks to you) that really hit home.  

 

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Goodbye-farmers-markets-C-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090303-287.html

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-literal-enslavement-of-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090226-819.html

 

Peace

Greg 

PS: Thanks for looking out for your southern neighbors. I've actually got a pretty good personal connection to one of the cosigners of HR 875. He's gonna hear from me! 

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1499
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Here's an nice encapsulated take on the problem:

http://shepardpolitics.blogspot.com/2009/03/hr-875-would-essentially-out...

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Ken C
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Posts: 753
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

I want to see less government not  more. Why do the congress people think they can "improve" things by getting involved?

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bruin36
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Posts: 48
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Thanks for this post Kirsty,

I posted a few links on the same subject but you have done a much more thorough job. Part of the problem in the US is that we have been brainwashed into the image of the farm, most of us here think of "farming" as the bright red barn a few cows and chickens scattered around and a smiling farmer.

 Most of us could not be further removed from our food sources and believe that beef actually grows shrink wrapped in the refrigerated section of a supermarket and that its normal to have tropical fruits and exotic veggies all year round and with this also lies a part of the problem - transporting food all over the globe and processing it to death opens the door for a wide range of contaminates to be introduced at any step along the way.

The reality could not be further from the truth with Monsanto and the other giant agro businesses crushing the small organic farmers and destroying biodiversity and micro nutrients that basically make life on this planet livable. Its strange how they are so threatened by the family farms and organic food movement. Enough is enough.

I truly hope that people here pay attention and take action, first and foremost if they control our food supply they control our lives, there is a lot of talk here about being self sufficient and living in communities that support each other, in my opinion, that all starts with the farmer.

I am sure you have read Animal Vegetable Miracle by Kingsolver - great story of food and family.

This is just another step in taking away the right to control our food and our health ( we will leave the subject on the war against vitamins and supplements for another day )

Thanks again

 

Bruin36

 

 

KKPSTEIN's picture
KKPSTEIN
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 20 2008
Posts: 120
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Thanks for your comments everyone!

Thanks Greg for the links.  If you want to listen to Linn Cohen Cole talking more about the atrocities that Monsanto has caused in other parts of the world which include the largest mass suicide by Indian farmers in recorded history that barely made mainstream media.  Please go to:  

http://garynull.org/ 

and listen to 3/23/09 Show.   I think you'll really enjoy it. 

 Hi Bruin36 -  I do not deserve the credit.  I got all this information from Gary Null at www.garynull.com.  

Best!

Kirsty

 

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
Youtube - 1,500 Monsanto related suicides

From:

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/1500-farmers-commit-mass-su...

 

 

investorzzo's picture
investorzzo
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1182
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/Home/index.cfm

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Hey Kirsty,

There was another thread on this topic posted here not too long ago.
Several of us wrote our reps - I strongly urge anyone who missed the first chance to bombard them now.

This is a serious slight against the soverignty of the citizens.

Say that 5 times fast.

Cheers!

Aaron

MDR's picture
MDR
Status: Member (Offline)
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Posts: 21
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

The "congress people" dont care about making it better as long as they are in control

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Which is why my signature is what it is.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

Sorry, another double post.

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jumblies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 13 2010
Posts: 244
Re: A CALL TO ACTION - Food Safety Bill

[guardian.co.uk] WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops

The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show.

In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops.

"Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits.

"The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices," said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the St Louis-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s.

[...snip...]

If the bio-feed companies have have the govt strong-arming foreign govts over this, do you think they give a stuff what you think?

deeply worrying.

 

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