Homeopathy World Community

Creating Waves of Awareness

Monsanto Resource Pages

Food Safety Enhancement Bill (HR 2749) was passed easily by the House of Representatives.

The bill is on a fast track for Senate and Presidential approval. If it becomes law as written, this combination of a corrupt Food Czar and misleadingly named Food Safety Bill threatens to take out the food that is medicine and leave us with the food that is poison.

The Food Safety Bill Threatens Safe Food

Before you consider most of this bill as benign or even helpful, as many main stream outlets are promoting, read on and do your own research on the ambiguity of the bill, of which interpretation and enforcement will be left to the discretion of The Food Czar.

The Food Safety Bill does next to nothing to protect consumers from the industrial foods of agribusiness giants such as Monsanto and their ilk. It has the potential to be an instrument of legal oppression for small farmers, organic farming, even farmers' markets and food co-ops. Some indicate the Bill's language is broad enough to even include home vegetable gardens!

Setting a uniform fee of $500 annual, regardless of company or farm size, for the privilege of being policed by the FDA is a relatively minor inequity. This bill, when passed into law, gives the FDA the power to have random inspections on any food producing or storage group without probable cause. There have already been raids on food co-ops, such as the Ohio Department of Agriculture La Grange co-op raid in December of 2008, where all the food was seized without testing.

According to Gunny G Online: "This astounding control will include the elimination of organic farming by eliminating manure, mandating GMO animal feed, imposing animal drugs, and ordering applications of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers, thus, will be locked not only into the industrialization of once normal and organic farms but into the forced purchase of industry's products."

HR 2749 creates severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 years and/or fines of up to $100,000 for each violation. Does it include judicial review, Congressional oversight, a defined and limited set of penalties and punishments for a defined set of "crimes"? Not even. The so called Food Safety Bill hands carte blanch enforcement to the whims of Obama's Food Czar.

Introducing Obama's Food Czar

"The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US Food Safety Czar.

This is no joke", says Jeffrey Smith about Michael Taylor's appointment in a recent Huffington Post article.

Jeffrey Smith is the author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette. Perhaps that is exaggerated, but Michael Taylor's history with Monsanto and the FDA through the corporate/government revolving door is scary enough to provoke such an assertion.

In the early 1990's, Michael Taylor was an attorney for Monsanto.

He was parsing legalese and loopholes for the wonderful group that has brought the world DDT, PCB's, Agent Orange, NutraSweet (aspartame), bovine growth hormone, GMO foods, toxic pesticides and weed killers (Round Up), and terminator seeds.

Michael passed through the revolving door connecting the corporate world and government more than once to ensure Monsanto's unabated success with pushing profitable poisons into the world's food supply.

After functioning as a lead attorney with Monsanto, he managed to be appointed as the FDA Policy Chief.

From that position he wrote a "white paper" (an authoritative official declaration) on the safety of bovine growth hormones. He ensured that dairy farmers using Monsanto's rbGH would not be required to label its milk products with the bovine growth hormone, which passes puss and toxins into the cow's milk.

This white paper also gave Monsanto the ability to sue dairy farmers who labeled their products rbGH or growth hormone free, which Monsanto zealously pursued to financially destroy small dairy farmers.

Monsanto Mike also oversaw the FDA ruling that dairy farmers who labeled their products as non rbGH needed to include that the FDA has determined there is no difference between milk from rbGH cows and non rbGH cows, which is a complete lie.

Author/journalist Jeffrey Smith was tipped from a former Monsanto scientist that three colleagues at Monsanto, upon discovering the hazards of milk from rbGH injected cows, switched to organic dairy products. Some FDA scientists also knew of the dangers and the improper testing by Monsanto. But they don't make the final decisions. That's a function of the FDA Policy Chief, and that was Michael Taylor.

The revolving door swooshed around and Michael Taylor landed back in Monsanto as vice president and chief lobbyist. Only months ago the door spun around once again and Michael Taylor became the senior advisor to the FDA commissioner. Good timing. From that position he could easily be promoted into Obama's cabinet as the Food Safety Czar.

In case you may still doubt USA government collusion with Monsanto, here's an interesting item from "Monsanto Buys Terminator Seeds Company" by F. William Engdahl. "In March 1998 the US Patent Office granted Patent No. 5,723,765 to Delta & Pine Land for a patent titled, Control of Plant Gene Expression. The patent is owned jointly, according to Delta & Pine's Security & Exchange Commission 10K filing, by D&PL and the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture."

The title "Control of Plant Gene Expression" refers to terminator seeds. These seeds make it impossible to save seeds from a harvest for replanting the next crop, an age old tradition for most farmers. This is a nail in the coffin of independent farming world wide, as once farmers begin using GMO seeds, they have to come back to buy again and again. Monsanto bought Delta & Pine Land (D & PL) in 2008, and now the USDA shares the terminator seed patent rights for royalties with Monsanto.

When Big Business owns Government, it is called fascism. When Government owns Big Business, it is called communism. Does this mean we will now have both for our food supply?

What This Means to Consumers

It means this bill will have the FDA, along with the USDA, to act as minions directly instead of indirectly for Monsanto and other literally unhealthy corporations. The FDA would be linking up with other World Trade Organization (WTO) efforts to control farming world wide, while catering to the greedy ambitions of International Agribusiness, its related industries, and Processed Food Manufacturers. FDA, USDA, and WTO bureaucrats are sponsored and headed by the enemies of organic and wholesome food farming.

The WTO is capable of legally levying ridiculous fines or mandating trade sanctions, including food sanctions, on regions that don't comply with WTO governed organizations, such as WHO (World Health Organization), the organization that is ushering in dangerous forced vaccinations for 195 member nations. The WTO is planning severe farming regulations that are expected to be world wide.

Setting up a Food Czar from Monsanto with FDA connections via his revolving door career means that rbGH dairy, GMO's, terminator seeds and pesticides for crops will dominate in our food supply and prosper as "safe" while organic and wholesome foods will be declared dangerous and become a threatened species. The main stream media is already publicizing propaganda against organic food.

You may want to start your own organic garden by yourself or with others soon. This is what the Cubans did in defense of all the trade sanctions imposed on them. And most of Cuba's crops are now organic!

Activists don't seem to feel confident about the bill losing steam on its fast track to becoming law. They have decided the best that can be done is petitioning for rewording of key passages with the Senate to soften HR 2749 before it gets to the president for ratification.


Sources:

Organic Consumers Association action page
http://www.organicconsumers.org/art...

Tags: Bill, FDA, HR2749, Monsanto, Organic, corrupt, inspections

Views: 54

Replies to This Discussion

HR 2749 - THE FOOD SAFETY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2009

Read the Executive Summary
Sign the Oppose HR 2749 petition!
Read Frequently Asked Questions
Listen to Pete Kennedy's HR 2749 Interview on RadioAmerica (June 18, 2009 at 8 am)
Update
June 18, 2009 by Pete Kennedy, Esq.: On June 17, the Waxman amendment to HR 2749 was voted out of the House Commerce and Energy Committee and is headed to the House floor for consideration. It may be amended again before the House votes on HR 2749. See Talking Points for changes to the "Alarming Provisions".
* * * * *
News Post
June 15, 2009 - by Pete Kennedy, Esq.: The review below of HR 2749 was based on the June 10 Pallone version that was voted out of the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce - see Endnotes for edits from updated versions.
On May 26, leading members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a discussion draft of the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (FSEA). Committee members supporting FSEA include Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chair Emeritus John Dingell (D-MI), Frank Pallone (D-NJ, Chair of the Health Subcommittee), and Bart Stupak (D-MI, Chair of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee).
Even before the FSEA was formally introduced, the Health Subcommittee held a hearing on the discussion draft on June 3. (Six other food safety bills have been introduced, but none have gotten a hearing yet.) The discussion draft with some changes, was introduced as HR 2749 on June 8 by Rep. Dingell. Rep. Pallone introduced an amendment “in the nature of a substitute to HR 2749″ on June 10. This version of HR 2749 has been voted out of the Health Subcommittee and is now headed to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for mark-up on June 17. The bill is on the fast track.
Passage of the FSEA into law would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The bill proposes a substantial increase in power and resources for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and would significantly diminish existing judicial restraints on actions taken by the agency. Although the bill includes some provisions that could improve the mainstream food system, many of these are vaguely worded and do not clearly define the scope of the agency’s power, creating the potential for inappropriate application and enforcement. Small farms and local artisanal producers are part of the solution to the food safety problem in this country; the bill would impose on them a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme and would disproportionately impact their operations for the worse. A detailed analysis of some of the key provisions is below [the citations are to the relevant section and page number of the June 10 version of the bill].
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is opposed to HR 2749 because it would adversely impact small farms and food producers, without providing significant reforms in the industrial food system. HR 2749 does not address the underlying causes of food safety problems, including industrial agriculture practices and the consolidation of our food supply.

I. REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Under current law, all “food facilities” are required to register with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [21 USC § 350d]. The registration requirement is for one time only and no fee is charged. The FSEA would amend the current law to add significant requirements.

A. ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE

The FSEA would require facilities to register annually [section 101(b)(1)–p. 3], rather than a one-time registration. Registrants would also be required to pay an annual fee of $500, to be adjusted for inflation [section 101, Part6, sec 743(b)(1)(A)–p. 10].

B. LIMITED EXCLUSION FROM REGISTRATION FOR FARMS

The term “facility” does not include “farms” for purposes of registration in either the current law or under the bill [21 USC § 350d(b)(1)]. But what exactly is a “farm”? The FDA’s current regulations take a very narrow view of what qualifies as a farm:
“…a facility in one general physical location devoted to the growing and harvesting of crops, the raising of animals (including seafood), or both. Washing, trimming of outer leaves of and cooling produce are considered part of harvesting. The term “farm” includes:
“(i) Facilities that pack or hold food, provided that all food used in such activities is grown, raised or consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership; and
“(ii) Facilities that manufacture/process food, provided that all food used in such activities is consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership.” [21 CFR § 1.227(3)] (emphasis added)
“Manufacturing/processing” is defined as “making food from one or more ingredients, or synthesizing, preparing, treating, modifying or manipulating food, including food crops or ingredients. Examples of manufacturing/processing activities are cutting, peeling, trimming, washing, waxing, eviscerating, rendering, cooking, baking, freezing, cooling, pasteurizing, homogenizing, mixing, formulating, bottling, milling, grinding, extracting juice, distilling, labelling, or packaging.” [21 CFR § 1.227(6)] In other words, any farm that makes jam, cans vegetables or packages cut fruit would not be considered a “farm” under the regulation unless the food is consumed only on the farm!
In a subsequent guidance document, FDA expanded the definition of “farm”: “The term ‘farm’ also includes facilities that manufacture/process, pack or hold food, provided that all food used in those activities is grown, raised or consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership.” (emphasis added). Under the guidance document a “farm” can process food if the raw ingredients are grown or raised on that farm. In other words, a farmer could make lacto-fermented foods from his own produce; but a farmer who obtains produce from a neighbour to make such foods (unless consumed there) would no longer be considered a “farm” and would be subject to FDA registration.
Even under the guidance document, many small farms and artisanal producers could be required to register. FDA has not enforced this requirement strictly so far, but that is no guarantee about future actions by the agency. And if the agency were to revoke the guidance document and enforce the registration requirement in accordance with the definition of “farm” contained in the regulations, many farms would be required to register and, under the FSEA, pay an annual fee.

B. ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION

The FSEA would also mandate that registrations be submitted in electronic format only [section 101(b)(1)(C)–p. 4]. Amish and Mennonite food producers having to register would thus be faced with a choice of violating either their religious faith or the law, while other food producers could face added expense and problems if they do not have the necessary technology. Failure to properly register would constitute misbranding and would be a violation of the law [section 101a–p. 3].

C. UNIQUE FACILITY IDENTIFIER

All food facilities required to register would also be required to have a “unique facility identifier” [section 101(b)(2)(G)–p. 6]. “The Secretary may, by guidance, specify the unique numerical identifier system to be used . . . .” [section 206, sec. 911 (c)–p. 101]

II. QUALITY CONTROL FOR REGISTRANTS

A. HAZARD ANALYSIS & PREVENTIVE CONTROLS

Under FSEA, the owner, operator or agent of a facility that must register must also undertake extensive paperwork requirements including the following:
1. Conduct a hazard analysis (or more than one if appropriate);
2. Identify, implement, and validate effective preventive controls;
3. Monitor preventive controls;
4. Institute corrective actions when monitoring shows that preventive controls have not been properly implemented or were ineffective;
5. Conduct verification activities;
6. Maintain records of monitoring, corrective action, and verification; and
7. Reanalyze for hazards. [section 102(b), sec 418A(a)–p. 18]
Failure to comply with any of these requirements would constitute adulteration under section 102(a) [p. 17]. These requirements apply even if a facility engages solely in intrastate commerce, such as a local baker selling at a farmers market.

B. FOOD SAFETY PLANS

Before a facility can ship any food in interstate commerce, a written food safety plan must be developed and implemented. The plan must include the hazard analysis and any reanalysis as well as a description of each of the following elements:
preventive controls being implemented;
procedure for monitoring preventive controls;
procedures for taking corrective action;
verification activities for the preventive controls, including validation, review of monitoring and corrective action records, and procedures for determining whether the preventive controls are effectively preventing, eliminating, or reducing to an acceptable level the occurrence of identified hazards or conditions;
recordkeeping procedures;
procedures for the recall of articles of food, whether voluntarily or when required;
procedures for the trace back of articles of food, whether voluntarily or when required;
procedures to ensure a safe and secure supply chain for the ingredients or components used in making the food manufactured, processed, packed, transported or held by such facility; and
procedures to implement the science-based performance standards issued. [section 102, sec 418A (a)(2)–pp. 24-26]
The requirements for the hazard analysis, preventive controls and the food safety plan will strain the time and resources of small producers, putting many of them out of business. As a result, consumers will lose local food sources and be forced to obtain more of the foods from the industrial system – the system responsible for the food safety problems in the first place.

C. RISK-BASED INSPECTIONS

Finally, all registered facilities will be subject to federal inspection even if they en-gage only in intrastate commerce. In contrast, under current law inspection can be made only of a “factory, warehouse or establishment” of a firm engaged in interstate commerce [21 USC 374(a)(1)] Note that the massive recalls during the last several years have all involved facilities that shipped interstate.
The FSEA charges the Secretary with implementing an inspection schedule with the frequency of inspections dependent on the “risk presented by the facility”. Under the FSEA, “any facility that manufactures or processes raw products of animal origin” would be a high-risk facility and could be subject to inspections as frequently as every six months [section 105(a)–p. 36]. Refusing an inspection would constitute adulteration under the FSEA [section 207(a)–p. 101].

III. RECORDKEEPING AND TRACEABILITY REQUIREMENTS

Beyond registration, farms would not be exempt from several onerous requirements under the FSEA.

A. RECORDKEEPING

Under the FSEA, all food producers would have to make their records available to FDA inspectors. Under current law, FDA can examine the records of those in the food business (excluding farms and restaurants) if there is “a reasonable belief that an article of food is adulterated and presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals” [21 USC 350c(a)]. Under the FSEA, all those in the food business, including farms, must turn over to FDA inspectors all records “bearing on whether the food is adulterated, misbranded or otherwise in violation of this Act . . .” [section 106(a)–p. 39]. This requirement “applies to all records relating to the produc-tion, manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, receipt, holding of [food]” that is maintained “in any format and at any location.” [section 106(a)–pp. 39-40]
In other words, FDA would now be empowered to go on a ‘fishing expedition’ and search records without any evidence whatsoever that there has been a violation. Even farmers selling direct to consumers would have to provide the federal government with records on where they buy supplies, how they raise their crops and a list of customers. Refusing a records inspection would constitute adulteration [section 207(a)–p. 102].

B. TRACEABILITY

The FSEA charges the HHS Secretary with establishing a tracing system for food:
Such regulations shall require each person who produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, or holds such food –
to maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food;
to link that history with the subsequent distribution history of the food;
to establish and maintain a system for tracing the food that is interoperable with the systems established and maintained by other such persons; and
to use a unique identifier for each facility for such person for such purpose. [section 107(c)(2)(A)(i)–pp. 43-44]
The tracing system must enable the Secretary to “identify each person who grows, produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, holds, or sells such food in as short a timeframe as practicable but no longer than 2 business days.” In issuing related regulations, the Secretary may include:
“(A) the establishment and maintenance of lot numbers;
“(B) a standardized format for pedigree information; and
“(C) the use of a common nomenclature for food.” [section 107(c)(3)–p. 45]
“Pedigree” is not used in reference to food anywhere in the United States Code (USC) or the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) nor is it referenced as such in any dictionary. FDA is being given power to invent a new meaning for this word. How far will the trace-back extend to determine the full pedigree? Will it go back to the harvested crop (or even seed) from which the food is produced? How will traceback be done on multi-ingredient foods? Will part of determining the full pedigree require tracing the inputs used in food? How large a database will be needed to store this information? What will the cost of it be? How many people will FDA have to hire in order to enforce traceability?
There is an exemption from the traceability requirements for direct-marketed food, “if such food is–
“(i) produced on a farm; and
“(ii) sold by the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such farm directly to a consumer or to a restaurant or grocery store.” [section 107(c)(4)(A)–p. 46].
For example, vegetables grown on a farm and sold at a farmers market would be exempt. But if that same farmer brought peaches from a neighbour’s farm to sell at the market, the peaches would not be exempt.

IV. GROWING STANDARDS

The FSEA will also directly impact produce farmers by authorizing FDA to tell them how they can grow their crops. The bill would require the HHS Secretary to establish by regulation “science-based standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, sorting, transporting and holding of raw agricultural commodities that –
(1) are from a plant or a fungus; and
(2) for which the Secretary has determined that such standards minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences or death to human or animals.” [section 104(b), sec 419A(a)–p. 31]
Any issued regulation “may include standards addressing manure use, water quality, employee hygiene, sanitation and animal control and temperature controls, as the Secretary determines to be reasonably necessary.” [section 104(b), sec 419A(b)(3)–p. 32]
In issuing the regulation, the Secretary “shall take into consideration, consistent with ensuring enforceable public health protection, the impact on small-scale and diversified farms and on wildlife habitat, conservation practices, watershed-protection efforts and organic production methods” [section 104(b), sec 419A(b)(7)–pp. 32-33]
Based on the FDA’s track record with “good agricultural practices”, the agency is unlikely to adequately address the differences between industrial operations and sustainable farms. The danger is that FDA will adopt regulations that treat small farms growing a diversity of crops organically (whether certified or not) the same as a facility growing thousands of acres of a single crop conventionally. The regulations could be expensive and burdensome or simply not feasible for small farms. Any produce that does not meet the established safety standards would be considered adulterated under the FSEA [section 104(a)–p. 30].
Aside from produce, the Secretary is charged with issuing “science-based perform-ance standards applicable to foods or food classes.” The Secretary is to “identify the most significant food-borne contaminants and the most significant resulting hazards . . .” and “to minimize to an acceptable level, prevent or eliminate the occurrence of such hazards” [section 103(b), sec 419–pp. 29-30]. Food that “has been manufactured, processed, packed, transported or held under conditions that do not meet [these] standards” is considered as adulterated under the FSEA. FDA would have the power to make pasteurisation of raw milk a performance standard.

V. ENFORCEMENT POWERS

The FSEA would give FDA considerable enforcement powers. Under current law, FDA can administratively detain food if there is “credible evidence or information indicating that such article [of food] presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to human or animals” [21 USC 334(h)(1)(A)]. The FSEA would lower the stan-dard for detention, permitting the government to detain food simply if there is “reason to believe that the article [of food] is adulterated, misbranded or otherwise in violation of this act” [section 132(a)–p. 82]. In other words, the agency could detain food based on a suspicion of a paperwork error.

A. RECALL POWER

The FSEA would not only expand the ability of FDA to detain food but would also sig-nificantly increase the agency’s recall powers. The agency already has the power to request a voluntary recall [21 CFR 7.45(a)], administratively detain food [21 USC 334(h)(1)(A)] or file for a court order to seize food [21 USC 334(a)(1)] or prohibit the food from being distributed[21 USC 332(a)].
Under the FSEA, the powers of the HHS Secretary would be expanded.
The HHS Secretary may request a voluntary recall if there is “reason to believe [the food] is adulterated, misbranded or otherwise in violation of [the FFDCA]” [section 111(b), sec 420(b)–p. 61].
Under the FSEA, the Secretary also would have the power to order the distribution of food to cease if there is “reason to believe that the use or consumption of or exposure to an article of food may cause adverse health consequences to humans or animals . . . ” [section 111(b), sec 420(c)–p. 62].
The firm affected would have 24 hours to appeal the order and request an informal hearing [section 111(b), sec 420(d)–pp. 62-63]; after providing an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary could either vacate the order or amend the order to require a recall of the food [section 111(b), sec 420(e)–p. 63].
If there is a reasonable belief that a food subject to an order to cease distribution “presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences to humans or animals”, the Secretary may issue an emergency recall order without having to conduct a hearing beforehand [section 111(b), sec 420(f)–pp. 64-65].
Although consumer groups have urged that FDA be granted mandatory recall authority, the “reasonable belief” standard provides too much latitude to the agency and is open to abuse, particularly absent prior judicial review.

B. POWER TO QUARANTINE

Finally, the bill would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic location. The FSEA provides:
“If the Secretary determines that there is credible evidence or information that an article of food presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals, the Secretary may quarantine any geographic area within the United States where the Secretary reasonably believes such food is located or from which such food originated. The authority to quarantine includes prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area” [section 133(b)(1)–pp. 83-84].
In other words, the agency can halt the movement of all food in a geographic area. Farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the dangerous contamination. The agency could take this drastic action without any court order. The only requirements are that the HHS Secretary “notify an appropriate official of the State affected” and issue a public announcement [section 133(b)(2)–p. 84].

C. CRIMINAL & CIVIL PENALTIES

The FSEA creates severe criminal and civil penalties. Under current law, anyone committing a violation of the FFDCA can be imprisoned for up to three years if the violation was committed “with the intent to defraud or mislead” [21USC 333(a)(2)]. Under the FSEA, anyone who “knowingly violates” certain prohibitions contained in the FFDCA, such as the prohibition against introducing adulterated or misbranded food into interstate commerce [21 USC 331(a)], can be imprisoned for up to ten years [section 134(a)(3)–p. 85]. Note that such actions as failing to register a facility or not conducting a hazard analysis constitutes “misbranding”. So, an Amish farmer who knowingly refuses to register his facility or a local baker who knowingly failed to fill out the extensive required paperwork, could be thrown in jail.
The bill also provides fines of up to a total of $100,000 for individuals; and a corporation or other entity can be fined up to a total of $7.5 million. Each day during which a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense [section 135a–pp. 85-86]. These fines can be imposed for any prohibited act, which would include violations of the growing standards or paperwork requirements. In contrast, under current law, civil fines are half as high and only levied if someone has introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce adulterated food. [21 USC 333(f)(2)(A)]
While higher penalties may be necessary to deter industrial food companies from repeated dangerous violations, the agency has a track record of pursuing small farmers and producers; these penalties could be imposed to ruin people for actions that pose no threat to human health.

VI. CONCLUSION

The FSEA gives the Food and Drug Administration tremendous power while making the agency less accountable for its actions. It fails to describe how the resources it provides are to be allocated. The industrial food system and food imports are badly in need of effective regulation, but the bill does nothing to prevent FDA from concentrating a disproportionate amount of its resources on local food producers.
The stated purpose of the FSEA is to “improve the safety of food in the global market.” It was disclosed at the June 3rd hearing that, out of the 378,000 food facilities that have registered with FDA, 220,000 of them are foreign facilities that export to the United States. Rep. Dingell commented that the percentage of our food coming from out of the country will increase in the future. This creates massive food insecurity in our country, yet the bill continues to push the federal government’s policy of food interdependence.
While information FDA obtains may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act [5 USC 52(a)], it may still be provided “to any foreign government agency; or any international organization established by law, treaty or other governmental action and having responsibility to facilitate global or regional of harmonization of standards and requirements in an area of responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration; or to promote and coordinate public health efforts . . .” [section 112(b)(4)–p. 71].
Food security is achieved by becoming as self-sufficient as possible in food production. Lessening the regulatory burden on small farms and local artisanal producers will improve both food security and food safety. If the FSEA is implemented, many small producers will not have the economies of scale to be able to comply with its onerous requirements.
The Food Safety Enhancement Act needs to be defeated. Any food safety bill should target industrial food processors and imports while leaving the local food system alone. Readers need to contact their Representatives to urge them to oppose the bill. To contact legislators by zip code, use the finder tool at www.Congress.org or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Editor's Endnotes:
1. 6/25/09 edit: The HR 2749 revision (6/17 - Waxman) leaves animals under USDA jurisdiction. Edit 1 - Traceability: Will it go back to the animal or harvested crop (or even seed) from which the food is produced? Edit 2 - Growing Standards: FDA would have the power to make pasteurization of raw milk and irradiation of meat a performance standard. Edit 3 - Criminal and Civil Penalties: The bill also provides fines of up to a total of $100,000 for each violation for individuals; and a corporation or other entity can be fined up to $500,000 for each violation a total of $7.5 million.

.
Action Alert -- New Senate Bill Threatens Small Farmers

Posted by: Dr. Mercola
October 13 2009 |

On July 29, 2009, the House of Representatives passed HR 2749, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and the next step in the process will be the Senate.

Although it is not certain, the Senate will probably focus its food safety discussions on S. 510, sponsored by Senator Durbin of Illinois. S. 510 is different from HR 2749, but it contains many of the same problems.

H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enforcement Act (FSEA), added over 130 pages to the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act with a myriad of new requirements and penalties for violations.

The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund agrees that the industrial food safety system has serious flaws and needs to be fixed. The US has seen numerous outbreaks of foodborne illnesses caused by imported foods or domestic foods that were processed in huge facilities and shipped throughout the country. Unfortunately, HR 2749 does not focus FDA’s efforts on these very real problems. Instead, it creates a regulatory framework that will heavily burden the small farms and local food processors, the very people who provide a safe, healthy alternative to the industrial food supply.

S.510, they say, is more of the same, and needs to be defeated.

Sources:

Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund

FarmToConsumer.org

U.S. Congress, Senate Bill S.510

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It’s already too late to act on HR2749 as it was already passed by the House of Representatives on July 29th.

However, it’s not too late to stop this latest FDA power grab as it moves into the Senate to be voted on as bill S.510.

Introduced by Illinois’ state Senator Dick Durbin, S.510 will grant more power to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the US food supply, and no matter how well-intentioned it may appear on the surface, I have doubts about the FDA’s capability to improve our food quality.

And I’m not the only one.

Small farmers across the nation are voicing their opinions in online groups such as Facebook, stating the bill will cause serious damage to their businesses.

The law would require them to focus on FDA paperwork like animal registrations and multiple other filings, rather than raising healthy crops and animals, like they’ve always done. And if they fail to follow the red tape, they will be seriously penalized.

According to an article on GovernmentExecutive.com, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the National Organic Council have said the $500 annual fees are too high for small processors.

In addition, it’s unclear who will pay for the FDA's increased level of regulation and inspection.

Summary of Senate Bill S.510

According to the summary on GovTrack.us, S.510:

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act - Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to regulate food, including by authorizing the Secretary to suspend the registration of a food facility.

Requires each food facility to evaluate hazards and implement preventive controls.

Directs the Secretary to assess and collect fees related to:

(1) food facility reinspection;
(2) food recalls; and
(3) the voluntary qualified importer program.

Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture to prepare the National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy.

Requires the Secretary to:

(1) identify preventive programs and practices to promote the safety and security of food;
(2) promulgate regulations on sanitary food transportation practices;
(3) develop a policy to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs;
(4) allocate inspection resources based on the risk profile of food facilities or food;
(5) recognize bodies that accredit food testing laboratories; and
(6) improve the capacity of the Secretary to track and trace raw agricultural commodities.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to enhance foodborne illness surveillance systems.

Authorizes the Secretary to order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall, of food.

Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist state, local, and tribal governments in preparing for, assessing, decontaminating, and recovering from an agriculture or food emergency.

Provides for:

(1) foreign supplier verification activities;
(2) a voluntary qualified importer program; and
(3) the inspection of foreign facilities registered to import food.

The Problems with Senate Bill S.510

Here’s a brief explanation of the various problems inherent in S.510 (the same problems which were also found in HR 2749), as written by Pete Kennedy, Esq., President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund :

Food safety problems lie with the industrial food processors and food imports, not with local producers. FDA should not be given any additional regulatory power over the local food system than what the agency has at present.

S.510 calls for federal regulation of how farmers grow and harvest product. Farmers selling food directly to local markets are inherently transparent and accountable to their customers, and there is no reason to impose these regulations on them.

Based on FDA's track record, it is likely that such rules will also discriminate against diversified sustainable farms that produce animals and crops in complementary systems.

S.510 expands FDA's powers over food processors, regardless of their size, scale, or distribution. FDA oversight of small, local food processors is overreaching and unnecessary.

Small processors selling into local markets do not need federal oversight, unlike the large, industrial, multi-sourced supply chains that are the cause of most foodborne illnesses and food recalls.

S.510 applies a complex Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to even the smallest local processors, imposing onerous paperwork and record-keeping on these small businesses.

Applying a HACCP system to local foods facilities processing for local markets, as well as farmers making value-added products, could undermine and extinguish these emerging small businesses attempting to bring healthy local foods to American consumers.

In fact, when HAACP was applied to the meat packing industry, it was instrumental in reducing the number of smaller regional and local meat packers, yet failed to increase the number of independent, objective inspectors in giant meat slaughtering and packing facilities.

Bottom line: One size does not fit all when considering food safety bills!

Local foods businesses are not the same as animal factories or mega-farms that sell products into industrial scale national and international markets, and should not be regulated the same way!

Act NOW!

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with bill S.510. For the full text click this link.

Then contact your state Senators TODAY, and let them know what you think.

Time is of the essence if we want to stop this bill, so please do not delay!

Time and again the FDA has shown that it is not acting in the best interest of your health and safety. They’ve been caught, and in some cases openly admitted, to rampant conflicts of interest within their organization. Needless to say, industry has won, again and again, at the expense of your safety – the exact opposite of what the FDA has been charged to do.

Do you really want the FDA in charge of regulating your food?

Do we really need another bureaucracy regulating small farmers into oblivion so that you have even less access to healthy, locally-grown foods?

If you don’t know who your Senator is, please see this convenient list on Senate.gov showing the Senators for each state, and their contact information.
hmm .. Gina Tyler and Kaviraj in the same thread .. must be up to some revolutionary mischief ;-)

I really love your activism .. feels like I have found some strong and steady compatriots.

Have you noticed that the U.S. Federal courts have handed down 3 separate defeats to Monsanto's GE/GMO FrankenFoods ? Findings include the fact that USDA has violated federal laws in allowing GMO beets into market, and also that USDA illegally approved GE alfalfa without first conducting a full Environmental Impact Statement. As anticipated, Monsanto appealed the case, not once but twice. CFS defended its victory and, fortunately, in June 2009 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision, denying both of Monsanto’s appeals, thus upholding a 2-year old nationwide ban on the planting of genetically-engineered Roundup Ready alfalfa.
In another successful CFS case in 2009, a Delaware District Court Judge found that the national Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) violated major environmental laws by failing to conduct any environmental review, and violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to comply with the FWS policy prohibiting the use of GE crops that are not “essential to accomplishing refuge purpose(s).” Judge Sleet issued a permanent injunction to halt the planting of GE crops, finding “it is undisputed that farming with genetically modified crops at Prime Hook [Wildlife Refuge] poses significant environmental risks.”

It seems that Monsanto's fast & loose revolving door political cronyism at USDA has caught the ire of the judicial branch of U.S. government .. we can certainly hope that will expand to include Monsanto's similarly corrupt manipulations at FDA will cease to be useful/profitable.
Ah, yes David,

Gina and I do a lot of cooperative work in this respect. We both seem to be attracted to this kind of activism and have supported each other on several occasions, also on other websites such as Hpathy.com and homoeopathyhome.com

I for one feel the need to make people aware of all the stuff going on. I am happy that the Judiciary is catching on to this revolving door behaviour, because Obama seems to not 'get it', with the appointment of Vilsack and was it not Wilson?, in important positions in the department of agriculture.

"We the people" are duped on purpose and taken for a ride.
The criminalization of seed banking hidden inside Monsanto "food safety" bills

We are facing a catastrophe to the environment, to farming, to food, to health, if the bogus "food safety bills" currently in Congress go through.

International corporations are intentionally destroying small farmers around the world (now here) and aggressively pursuing the take over of food worldwide (now here) with what will be devastating impact on the environment and climate change.

These "food safety" bills in Congress driven by Monsanto, Cargill, ADM, the big meat packers and giant surveillance companies, will industrialize ALL farms in the US, the ones they do not eliminate outright. The environmental impact will be extreme and the loss to biodiversity incalculable.

Similar laws in the EU (with which these bills are meant to "harmonize") have already gotten rid of 60% of Polish farmers.

The bills will end organic farming and criminalize seed banking through and "food safety" measures.

The parts that are dangerous are all buried elsewhere, hidden deep in various agency lists or regulations, but they are triggered by coded words in the bills themselves ("best farming practices," sources of contamination," "tracing"), but stripped of the details, they are made to look innocuous to the public.

Do Away with the Natural

Who would believe that seed banking will be criminalized or manure made illegal or that seed cleaning equipment is already illegal this year? They are all on a short list of "sources of seed contamination" in an innocent looking document within the FDA (though the absence of pesticides or chemical fertilizers from that list is a tip-off of who has had a hand in this).

Wendell Berry is opposed to NAIS, which is core to these bills, but the bills also press for "best farming practices" which will mandate what kind of feed (GMO) and when, what medical regimen (drugs), what kind of sprays (pesticides) and when and where to spray it. Farmers will not only be forced to comply with such anti-farming industrial rules but be captive to purchasing industry's terrible products. And these in the world of "best bureaucratic nonsense practices" for farming, animals and crops (and the intricate positive relationship between the two) will be illegal on the same farm.

Meanwhile, back in the sane and miraculous world of real farming, mob herding of grassfed cattle can sequester carbon incredibly fast. It will be gone, and we will be left with the giant feedlots - which do the opposite.

Joel Salatin couldn't have said it better;

"Every bit of the alleged science linking methane and cows to global warming is predicated on annual cropping, feedlots and herbivore abuse. It all crumbles if the production model becomes like our mob-stocking-herbivorous-solar-conversion-lignified-carbon-sequestration fertilization. America has traded 73 million bison requiring no petroleum, machinery or fertilizer for 45 million beef cattle, and we think we're efficient. Here at Polyface, we practice biomimicry and have returned to those lush, high organic matter production models of the native herbivores.
"If every cow producer in the country would use this model, in less than 10 years we would sequester all the carbon that's been emitted since the beginning of the industrial age. It's really that simple. Without question, grass-finished, mob-stocked beef is the most efficacious way to heal the planet. We should drastically drop our chicken and pork consumption and return to our indigenous, climate-appropriate protein source: perennial forages turned into red meat and milk."

Food Democracy Now!

Very few people are aware of what is in those bills (which surely was the point). And, worse, Food Democracy Now in being so frighteningly out of touch, is giving people the dangerous misimpression that things are getting better. By being excited about a meeting with Vilsack, they distracted attention from dangers happening at the moment - the entire rug of all green agriculture being pulled out from under us all. I am sure Vilsack mouthed the PC (but irrelevant) words about organic farming which gave "hope" but the reality is sinister. FDN's actions should not help lull people just when alerts should be going out everywhere. One wonders if that lulling effect may actually be why Merrigan was appointed now and Food Democracy got its "audience."

Basic description of how the bills will destroy everything.


It is hard to stress enough how threatening these bills are to our country, our democracy, and our survival. Any help you can render, including reaching Food Democracy Now and waking them up to the real situation, would be immensely appreciated. One alert from them could wake progressives that "food safety" is very much the opposite of what is in store for us.

Academic communities concerned with biodiversity and the environment do not typically consider farming so they don't understand how much biodiversity is protected through farmers raising heritage seeds and heritage animal breeds and with pride in their contribution, or that the presence of independent "real" farms is a critical wall between us and total industrial and commercial development.

Sierra Club

Sierra Club in Michigan has video that shows the two worlds, real farming and industrial farming, side by side, and the crushing environmental impact of the latter. http://www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/nightmare_documentary.asp

NAIS - beyond its bureaucratic and financial burdens which will crush farmers and its being unconstitutional - appears to me to be a set up on the animal side to do what Monsanto has done on the seed side - put them out of reach or destroy them. It's already happening in Asia. (link and link)

And they are ready with biotech animals and justifications (or emergencies they manufacture) for them. And it is unclear (they keep it all unclear) whether DNA will be taken from all the animals (with farmers having no say and no means of profiting from any use of that DNA).

If you have contacts at MoveOn, please reach them. Their involvement could be invaluable in stopping this. Reach academic communities and have them post alerts across the country about the threat to normal seed banking. Reach gardening groups, reach health and environmental groups, reach media and artists groups, reach cooking and family groups, reach religious and even business and sports groups, etc. This concerns us all.

Take Action Now!

Take action -- contact your local newspaper or congress people: Stop HR 875, HR 814, SR 425, the omnibus bill, and soon, HB 759

I'm a mother and grandmother. There is no way I can leave my family or anyone else's children, things as they are now.
Hi David ,Kaviraj Thanks for the comments!

More on this bill with some links;
Food Safety Modernization Act (HR 875): Criminalization of Organic Farms

Bills are:
House H.R. 875
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-875

Senate S 425
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-425

IF YOU LIKE A GARDEN OR BUY ORGANIC FOOD YOU BETTER GET ON THAT PHONE TO YOUR CONGRESS



Main backer and lobbyist is (guess who) Monsanto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill will require organic farms to use specific fertilizers and poisonous insect sprays dictated by the newly formed agency to “make sure there is no danger to the public food supply".

This will include backyard gardens that grow food only for a family and not for sales.All home gardens! Yes even yours!

THIS IS DICTATORSHIP in any way you look at it.

If this passes then NO more heirloom clean seeds but only Monsanto genetically altered seeds that are now showing up with unexpected diseases in humans.

There is a video on the subject.
http://www.voteronpaul.com/newsDetail.php?Food-Safety-Modernization...

The disarming name on this particular piece of evil corrupt crap is a lot like the “Gun Safety Act” that secretly meant “if we pick up all the guns then we will have gun safety".

The name on this evil food plan is
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
(Really makes it sound like the feds are trying protect us. LIES )

Let me be crystal clear here……
This has NOTHING to do with food safety.
This is only about TOTAL CONTROL by the feds in our lives.




Instead of having a Castro like takeover of our government, they are doing it piece by piece so that we will go along.

DO YOU VALUE YOUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE?????

Found this additional info at
http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/03/10/could-the-food-safety-moderniza...


You may have seen this. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Monsanto-s-dream-bill-HR-by-Linn-C... - Rosa DeLauro’s husband works for Monsanto.
















Check out the Message on Congressman Ron Paul’s hot line or website today!!!!


PLEASE CALL CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL’S HOT LINE AND LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE. He changes his message every Sunday. Check them out. Also go to his website address: www.house.gov./paul, he will explain the situation better on his website.
Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto. OpEdNews explains why this is Monsanto’s dream bill:

The bill is monstrous on level after level - the power it would give to Monsanto, the criminalization of seed banking, the prison terms and confiscatory fines for farmers, the 24 hours GPS tracking of their animals, the easements on their property to allow for warrantless government entry, the stripping away of their property rights, the imposition by the filthy, greedy industrial side of anti-farming international “industrial” standards to independent farms - the only part of our food system that still works, the planned elimination of farmers through all these means.

The full text of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 reveals its well intentions, like protecting us from food grown abroad, and its favoritism towards agribusiness.
just in today nov 21-2009
France Finds Monsanto Guilty of Lying
Monsanto, poster child for manipulation and corporate greed, is caught red-handed once again …
www.mercola.com
Yes!! If only the rest of the world's farmers had that kind of intestinal fortitude!

RSS

© 2014   Created by Debby Bruck.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...