Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

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rl
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Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

I'd heard of this, but it's not in the mainstream media news much.

See the post and video at:


http://blog.friendseat.com/rosa-delauro-hates-small-farms1/


...
Now when we need it the most, growing our own food may be against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $1,000,000. Think I’m joking? Meet Bill HR 875, The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto. The insanity doesn’t stop there—fishing boats, hotdog stands, neighborhood vegetable booths and farmers’ markets will be federally regulated under the same draconian law. As always, the spin is designed to make you (the public) believe these new provisions are for your own good. Under the deceitful guise of protection, the goal of this bill is crystal clear: to prevent us from locally growing our own food so multinational agribusiness can completely control the production and distribution of our food supply.
...

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h875/text

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Outrageous.

I think Ms. DELAURO (As herself) needs to mind her own business.

I'll be writing my Reps monday.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Here is my email to my Reps: 

Ma'am,

I'm writing in reference to H.R. 875, "Food Safety and Modernization act of 2009" as proposed by Ms. DELAURO to the 111th Congress.

It is my belief that the language in this bill could infringe upon a number of rights of citizen landholders, small farms, and even those who produce food for their own consumption. In defining an "establishment", Ms. DELAURO uses a broad brush, saying:

"CATEGORY 1 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 1 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a seafood processing establishment) that slaughters, for the purpose of producing food, animals that are not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or poultry that are not subject to inspection under the Poultry Products Inspection Act."

Many small farms in rural areas provide their own meat for consumption under no regulation, and there is little or no evidence that compels me to believe that further government spending and involvement would offset the cost; both in property rights and taxpayer money, to justify increased observation of personal property. This language sets no limit on size or scope of "establishment", implying that any and all establishments "which slaughter, for the purpose of producing food" are suspect, and need to be regulated.

In addition to the obtrustive language, the segment under "Enforcement" is particularly poorly thought out, as it fails to describe any rights of the landholders, or the conditions under which their property can be held.
This is especially important when dealing with livestock or their produce; both of these items require proper handling to prevent spoilage or death.

To define "proper" handling, I don't mean to give the impression that any special knowledge of animals is require; individuals have owned livestock for millenia without government interference. However, at present, I am not aware of any government agency that can supply the space or supervision to watch livestock or meat, nor keep it from spoiling. Nor am I willing to pay for such.

The terms placed under the "Food detention, seizure and condemnation" are equally dismal, as they do not take into account proper care, storage or handling for animals or produce from the animals (egg or meat) while the investigation is carried out. Furthermore, it sets no time frame on how long an investigation could potentially take.

This is all very insidious, as it costs everyone involved... but it costs the taxpayer who does more than their part, by growing their own food twice. To me, this concept is absolutely intolerable.

I urge you to strongly consider the wastefulness of this bill, and the implications it may hold for citizens; especially in times of great economic peril.

Thank you sincerely,

Feel free to borrow some or all of it.

Cheers!

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mcafeejs
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Congressman Posey,

I'm writing in reference to H.R. 875, "Food Safety and
Modernization act of 2009" as proposed by Ms. DELAURO to the 111th
Congress.

The language in this bill uses tax payer money to diminish the
freedom of citizen landholders, small farms, and those who produce food
for their own consumption to the detriment of nature's greatest
security which is genetic diversity.  Allowing mega corporations
through the arbitrary application of government regulation to
essentially control the food supply takes away from not only genetic
diversity but also economic diversity.  If private enterprises feel the
need to protect their intellectual property through controlling
pollination & cross contamination, then the burden should be on
those enterprises to build the greenhouses to protect the unique strain
and not the farmer embracing natures systems.  In fact, if protection
is to be granted it should be to protect natural strains from
genetically modified variants, but such unenforceable regulation adds
little value to those paying for it and diminishes biodiversity. 
Please preserve my freedom to work my 12' X 24' garden, purchase unique
locally produced organic flavor, and benefit from stable biodiversity. 

Please publicly ask Ms. Delauro what her husband's interest in this bill is?

Thank you sincerely,

John McAfee

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Honestly, this reminds me of the salt prohibition of Ghandi's time in which he and millions of followers marched to the sea and made salt in order to challenge the sheer stupidity of the law.  I am not even American, but this really pisses me off.  If this passes, we need to organize a mass protest, not only growing vegetables en masse, but proclaiming it.  They can't arrest/fine all of us.  I would be willing to do this as a visitor, seriously.  This is too much.  I posted a similar statement at treehugger.com....I'm hoping somebody takes the initiative, I'm not in much of a position to spearhead such a thing.

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Aaron Moyer and mcafeejs - thanks for posting the sample language - I'll be sure to contact my representatives.

Larry

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

I don't think this is so much aimed at the home gardener, but just another example of government protecting it's big business patrons.  It definitely could be used against individuals and small communities though. Something similar happened in Argentina after its collapse.  Argentina has hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile land and not enough food.  Why?  Because the government made it impossible for small farmers to follow regulations, pay taxes and be profitable.  Now the bulk of farmland is owned by international agribusiness (big enough to pay off the government) and the produce is sold to foreign countries who can pay more for it.

Just another example of power grab by the corporate/government monster that we have in Washington DC.  They are more than happy to sell out their country as long as they stand to benefit. 

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

I first saw this in an email from a friend.  I went to Google, and soon found the bill in question.  I read it carefully having been a Sanitarian (food inspector), and found nothing in it pertaining to home gardens.  This is a food safety bill designed to ensure companies like APC know where their product goes, so it can be tracked when there is a disease outbreak.  Many lives were lost as the (short-handed) FDA and CDC tried to find where the problems were and issue recalls.

The bill also does not allow farmers to put fresh manure on lettuce (as an example), which would be against Ogranic Standards anyway, and does not do anything to inhibit organic growers any more than commercail ones.

Check 'Section 3, Definitions'  to see who is affected.  In fact, read the whole bill.  The language is quite straightforward and it's not that long a bill.  Check for yourself!  Home gardens are not affected, only those selling to the public - as is proper.

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Anytime something is being done to make me more "safe" I know it deserves extreme scrutiny and that, ultimately, ulterior motives are many times revealed.

It seems that slaughtering your own chickens, goats, fish,etc would move you from an exempt "food production facility"  to a Category 1 Food Establishment, thereby subjecting you to the rules in the bill.  Am I wrong?

(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.

 

(B) EXCLUSIONS- For the purposes of registration, the term ‘food establishment’ does not include a food production facility as defined in paragraph (14), restaurant, other retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer, or fishing vessel (other than a fishing vessel engaged in processing, as that term is defined in section 123.3 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations).

 

(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.

(5) CATEGORY 1 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 1 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a seafood processing establishment) that slaughters, for the purpose of producing food, animals that are not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or poultry that are not subject to inspection under the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

What budget cuts will be made to add this level beauracracy?  None.  Just pile more on.  How much "safety" can we afford?

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Mark I agree that something to help me from the government is not to help me, however I have read the bill and home gardens are safe as along as we do not sell product from them.  Like with beer or wine, you can make a certain amount for your own consumption and as long as you do not sell it, you are OK.  The point is being a producer of food for the public not making for own consumption.

I would be concerned with community gardens or coop's due to the nature of making produce for a group of people not just one family.  We will see how this plays out.

Politically, it would be very bad to get rid of "Victory Gardens" that helped get the people through WWI and WWII.  As well as getting some buzz on the "Mainstream Media".

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?
Quote:

Mark I agree that something to help me from the government is not to help me, however I have read the bill and home gardens are safe as along as we do not sell product from them.

Isn't that a huge alarm bell in your mind?

It is in mine. I don't want to have anyone claim regulatory rights to my homestead if I'm selling or bartering in my local community during a depression. It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

At this point, adding any sort of government interference into small, family homesteads that would discourage people from growing their own food, would be bad. Especially considering the government has laws that disallow hoarding and provide them legal authority to sieze goods if they deem it's for the greater good.

How long will it be before your farm is being raided and redistributed?

No thanks. This is junk legislation, absolutely unnecessary at best, a recipe for corruption and disaster at worst.

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

As far as I can tell this bill quite simple does not say what its biggest critics say it does. To say or imply that it bans home gardening is simply wrong.

As three posters have mentioned above, home gardens are not part of or regulated by this legislation. But it goes farther than that. It says that "any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation" is exempt from this legislation.

And I think that some of the people I more or less agree with who've added the caveat about selling are also wrong. The bill says that restaurants are also exempt. As well as any establishment that grows food and then sells it directly to the consumer are exempt. So you can grow food on your own property and then sell it at the end of your driveway and be exempt from this bill. The bill says exclusions include any "restaurant, other retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer." If restaurants and retail food establishments don't sell food then I don't know who does.

The problem with all US bills/legislation and every single contract I've ever seen or signed in my life is that they are written to be intentionally vague, so on those grounds alone I'm against virtually every piece of legislation that our corrupt Congress would ever see fit to pass.

I'm not for this bill in any way shape or form, but I just want to bring some perspective to it. I think people are being a bit paranoid. If the bill said something like, "All growers of food and raisers of livestock, even if private individuals raising said product for their own consumption, must register with and be subject to the regulations of the federal government," then you'd have a point.  

I guess this is my FEMA camp moment, when I think others are reading a bit too much into things and letting their imaginations get the best of them.  

I mean, do you really think Uncle Sam plans on outlawing home gardening right at the same time that there could possibly be disruptions in our food delivery systems? Meaning, Uncle Sam plans on starving people to death. Now that's a conspiracy. Though it dovetails nicely with the FEMA camps.

A. M.'s picture
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Maine,

As one of it's biggest critics, I want to clear the air right now: I never said it would ban farming in any capacity.
In fact, from skimming this thread, I don't see where anyone said anything of the sort. I'd encourage you to take a better look.

Quote:

"CATEGORY 1 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 1 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a seafood processing establishment) that slaughters, for the purpose of producing food, animals that are not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or poultry that are not subject to inspection under the Poultry Products Inspection Act."

A food establishment... for the purpose of producing food.
Those phrases are dangerously ambigious.

It doesn't place any emphesis on size or purpose, beyond having livestock for the purpose of eating - which in my opinion could apply to far too many people's farms.

Tell me, what exactly would this bill accomplish?
Are you willing to spend your tax money to accomplish it?

An "establishment" is an incredibly subjective term. Land can be established, but that doesn't make it and incorporated business.

MarkM outlined much of the suspect verbage - I encourage your to read it and think like a lawyer.
What could you make that text mean in court?
In what way could you twist it to fit your objective?

When viewed in that light, it is certainly not innocuous. It's a sleeping tumor, and yet another example of government over-extending it's reach.

Cheers,

Aaron

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mainecooncat
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Aaron,

Isn't the title of the thread: "Soon arrested for growing a tomato?"

If that's not hyperbolic paranoia, I don't know what is.

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

 I have said it in other circumstances and I will say it here. If a law CAN be abused or wrongly used it certainly will be. It may not be the intention of the writers of this bill to impact small farmers or local gardeners but once the bill becomes law if there is any wiggle room a local official may decide that he can further his/her own interests by mis-applying the law for some personal reason.

I have seen this happen with the environmental people, the anti-gun people and others.

So I say that the downside risk of yet another law or regulation is not worth the small possible upside.

 

Ken

 

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

I read the bill through and through....

 

It is quite vague and if it were published... wait, it would have NEVER been published in a scientific journal- PEROID.

 

What I mean is, it is just another bloated piece of dribble that congress is handing us. It is vague enough that if someone wanted to give a small producer a hard time (like agribusiness) they could.

 

What about the hundreds of laws we already have on the books that deal with food - food safety and food processing?

 

I don't think this legislation is an attack on individuals per-se. 

 

The last thing we need is MORE laws!

 

Now, pass the pistachios

 

C.

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mainecooncat
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?
RNcarl wrote:

Now, pass the pistachios

 

Mmmmm! Pistachios. They go great with spinach and peanut butter.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

Maine,

Please don't obscure valid points with wit and cynicism.
I have a lot of respect for your opinion, but please be considerate of others. If you want to rebute, that's cool! I'd love to hear your points. The thread headline has little to do with the points that have been raised here, though.

Cheers!
Aaron

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

That is Insane! I love tomatoes, and now I could possibly end up getting arrested for growing one... wow!

Our government is really screwed up...

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Re: Soon Arrested For Growing A Tomato?

We have had a spate of well-publicized, large outbreaks of food poisoning over the last 20 years. It is the politics of dead and very sick people that is driving this. 

See:

http://articles.courant.com/2009-02-05/news/delauro0205.art_1_food-safety-peanut-butter-salmonella-outbreak

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/06/bend_family_whose_child_almost.html

If you read the bill, they are going to focus on the highest risk foods such as leafy greens and tomatoes first. The bill will also give the FDA the authority to recall foods during an outbreak. Right now, they can ask nicely, but a food recall is strictly voluntary for the producer even if it has been implicated as a contaminated product.

 

 

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