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Could the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 be the End to Farmers' Markets and Organic Farms?

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As spring is in the air (when the north wind does not blow), I have begun longing for the good times my children and I have at the local farmers’ market and contemplating our participation as vendors this year.  I can’t tell you how much we look forward to our weekly adventures at the farmers’ market, and how excited we are if we happen to visit a neighboring town on the day of their market; however, that could all change.

H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 could end farmers’ markets as we know it by requiring growers to register, be subject to inspections of their gardens by federal agents, and maintain safety records related to food production or face large fines.


The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 reminds of the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA) in the sense that is responding to recalls (salmonella in peanut butter/lead in toys) that needs addressing; however, the people responsible for providing consumers with safe products are inadvertently targeted.   I feel much safer knowing the people and gardens my food comes from rather than some multinational food corporation providing produce in the supermarket.

Under H.R. 875, all participants in farmers’ markets will be forced to register, otherwise the market will be shut down as an illegal operation.  Failure to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 would result in a fine of up to $1,000,000 per violation.  Specifically, the law would apply to any food establishment, including farmers’ markets, defined as:

(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.

Just like small family handmade toy companies can’t afford the requirements under CPSIA, the extra requirements and inspections required of small family farms under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 would be a burden.  I believe this bill is well intentioned; however, some critics have gone so far as to say the bill criminalizes organic farming.  Ironically, or not so ironically, the bill was introduced by 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. While Ron Paul is trying to give consumers choice by legalizing interstate raw milk sales, other members of Congress are trying to outlaw small organic farms.  We need to stand up for our local family farms!

Comments

  1. I’m a huge Ron Paul supporter and these things have made me love him more, and I didn’t think I could lol. Who knew a Republican would be the one fighting these things!

    I’m so pissed!!!!!! We have to ban together and fight this. Obama eats organic food, he can’t like this! But then again he did put someone from Monsanto as Sec. of Ag so I wonder sometimes.

  2. Lisa, I know. I love Obama too, or maybe I love the idea of who I think Obama is. Agribusiness does need some serious oversight, but we should leave the small local organic farmers alone. I trust them!

  3. In Los Angeles the Farmers Market vendors are required to register with the county already. The county verifies that the farmers are actually growing what they are selling. It would make more sense to for the federal government to just accept the counties registrations instead of wasting more of the farmers time.

  4. I’m all about state rights. I didn’t vote for Obama but I didn’t vote for McCain either lol. And I wanted Obama to win out of those too. I’m just upset with his Ag. pick.

  5. Clifton C. Moore says:

    Ladies, please take a moment to read thru the proposed bill….unfortunately the Ron Paul political camp is putting their own spin on this and is only feeding the public bits and pieces.
    If you don’t want to bother reading the whole thing, at least read Section 3, #13 A & B, and #14. This is where they clearly state who’s affected by this and who’s not. Too many are skimming thru the bill after getting wound up by the political blogs and are reading the word “Processor” as the word ” Producer/Grower” – not the same thing. And #13 & #14 clearly say so.

    I’m a fan of Ron Paul’s politics, but not his tactics.
    I’m a Fresh Organic Produce grower/wholesaler who markets to my local retailers and institutions. This bill won’t affect me at all as it is written at this time, but it will require my customers to keep a better paper trail as to what and where it came from that they sell/feed to the end consumer.
    A couple of links you might want to take a moment at ;http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c111HtXLCR:e5014:

    http://www.localharvest.org/forum/thread.jsp?thread=1734&forum=16

    Us “producer/growers” aren’t all that concerned about this as from what I’m reading in the forums and blogs, but the political Chicken Little’s of the world have all got their feathers ruffled because they thought they saw Big Brother’s shadow pass by.

    You’ll have a hard time finding a tomato grower-for-profit in Florida opposing this bill, had it been in place last year they wouldn’t have had to compost an entire crop because of a pepper imported from Mexico.

    So far everything I’ve investigated about the negative side of this bill has originated from the Ron Paul Political web site….and they are only telling enough to stir people up. When confronted with the details their only response is “..well, it could…”. Yeah, right – if I stand on my head and don’t wear my glasses when I read it.

  6. I think there should definitely be some sort of registration to protect the consumer and the genuine organic farmers. The cost of this should be minimilised totally though.

    I visited a farmers market the other week and I really was not sure if some of the produce was organic. I thought that’s what farmers markets were about. But sometimes it seems they are simply to support the local farmer,chemicals or not!

    It’s absolutely ridiculous the amount that business pay to prove their credentials.I appreciate costs are incurred in the checking and monitoring systems but sometimes it’s just a joke!

  7. Clifton, you must not be reading well or thinking this through. Here are a few relevant sections directly from the bill:

    (2) review food safety records as required to be kept by the Administrator under section 210 and for other food safety purposes;

    (3) set good practice standards to protect the public and animal health and promote food safety;

    (4) conduct monitoring and surveillance of animals, plants, products, or the environment, as appropriate; and

    (5) collect and maintain information relevant to public health and farm practices.

    (b) Inspection of Records- A food production facility shall permit the Administrator upon presentation of appropriate credentials and at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, to have access to and ability to copy all records maintained by or on behalf of such food production establishment in any format (including paper or electronic) and at any location, that are necessary to assist the Administrator

    and a bit lower down:

    …include, with respect to growing, harvesting, sorting, and storage operations, minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water;

    This clearly applies to farmers and everyone in-between. I am not a fanatic, and I eat both organic and “factory-farm” produced goods, but the idea of the heartless corporations like Monsanto gaining control through corrupted government proxies is chilling.

    Let me ask here – are organic farms responsible for a lot of illnesses out there? How about all the hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics in mass-produced meat. I eat the latter myself, but have been trying more and more, when I do eat meat (which is less and less), to get organically-grown (i.e. no hormones, no pesticides, no antibiotics, grass fed for cows) meat.

    Monsanto’s bullying of farmers who accidentally get some of their genetic material into neighboring farms is a sign of how that company treats its neighbors, and the public.

  8. Clifton C. Moore says:

    While it’s true I’m right in the middle of a nasty bout with the flu and as David say’s might not be reading right or thinking this thru, let’s take a look at his “cut and pastes”….

    For the benifit of those following along, he’s quoting from Section #206 FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITIES.

    Basicly in a nutshell there is nothing new there that isn’t already being done by one agency or another already at this time.

    We gotta keep in mind the line of thought behind this bill isn’t to make up new laws, it’s the consolidation of all the diff. agencies already in place to streamline the process and enforcement of those already in-place relative to the mainstream food supply and distribution in this country.

    As to the safety of organics; don’t fool yourself, NOT PROPERLY HANDLED, both pre-harvest and post-harvest, organics can be some of the most deadly stuff you can put in your mouth. E-coli and salamanila aren’t caused by chemical-based farming practices.Those are organic organisms. When you think about the dangers of either of these farming practices, generally the chemical is a long-term accumlitive affect, where the organic danger’s negative affects tend to appear quickly after consumption. Same outcome in the end – you’re sick.

    As for Monsanto and the like contaminating my farm, I worry about wind-drift from my neighbors just as I worry about a fungus or a drought…it’s part of the risk of farming. No diff. than a neighbor coming onto the property with fresh manure on his boots. Crap happens. I gotta deal with it and minimize it’s impact.

    As an organic producer, I applaude your efforts to search out those products. Thank you.

    In fairness, here’s another press release you might like to read.
    http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/03/12/will-proposed-national-legislation-kill-the-farmers-market/

  9. Clifton C. Moore says:

    Yes Karen, it’s true…..by the very definition, farmer’s markets are suppose to be about the farmers. It’s the consumer’s responsibility to decide which farming practices they source their food from.

  10. Clifton, I appreciate your trying to respond. I believe you did not notice the references to farming, direct and indirect.

    But at the root, I am genuinely interested in whether there really is a problem that needs solving, and what that problem is. The E. Coli problems originate from livestock excrement contaminating plants. I wonder if organic farmers are more careful in how they site the various fields involved.

    Does anyone have information on the incidence of food poisoning from organic foods vs non-organic?

    Another issue this bill may be addressed to would be truth in advertising i.e. making sure that food labeled organic really is organic. But, does the same agency that refused to allow organic milks to say that no antibiotics or growth hormone were used, is that agency really concerned with truth in advertising.

    I am not 100% sure, but this new bill does seem like a power grab by a government that continues to be dominated, in the farming arena, by giant agribusiness. I am not against a strong government where it is needed, but in this case the government bodies should be more focused on encouraging healthier and more humane (for animals) farming practices, where the REAL need is, and less effort on adding layers of dubious regulations.

  11. This really ticks me off. If anything like this passes in congress, there will be revolts in this country. I will be on the front line…

  12. Ever since organic food movement started, everyone has gotten it wrong.
    Organic farming is normal, natural. Chemical farming is abnormal, unnatural.
    All chemical farmers must be required to label and specify exactly what synthetic ingredients and amendments are going into their food. Something like this:
    “This watermelon is brought to you from Topsoil Erosion Farms, LLC,and was grown with the assistance of malathion, fungicide ABC, herbicide DEF,ammonia nitrogen fertilizer, irradiation sterilization and whatever else we think will convince you to buy it, no matter how deadly it really is.”
    Do you see? It is the unnatural deadly practices that should be required to precisely validate all the garbage they use. And to absorb the costs of doing so.
    The organic guys should have free reign and no extra costs to “prove” they are legit, cuz they don’t poison people.

  13. Robert Falanga says:

    I think this is an excellent way to drive the cost of food out of reach for the average American. When will people see that big brother isn’t looking out for our health, only a way to pad the politicians pockets.

  14. THOU SHOUT NOT KILL says:

    THE LORD ABOVE, IN THE TEN COMMENDMENTS IT SAYS THOU SHOUT NOT KILL IN THE WORDS WRITTEN BY G-D> IF THE GOVERNMENT PASSES THIS> THEY ARE GOING AGAINST THE ALMIGHTY ABOVE>

  15. DS Stinson says:

    Clifton, and others,
    Don’t know if you read the bill very well. Included below is the main part which bothers me. I am actually a small farmer doing vegetables for local markets and restaurants. I also have chickens and sheep. I use organic and biologic farming methods. Look below to see the vague wording which has me concerned – I have it in all caps to make it clear.

    Fertilizer and nutrient uses between conventional/industrial agriculture and organic/sustainable/biologic are worlds different. If they tell me I have to stop using compost, fish emulsion, and kelp and use chemically sanitized or soluble chemicals to supply my crops with the nutrients they need then they have put an end to non-chemical farming. My beliefs in farming are that bacteria and fungi in the soil provide more for crop health then harsh chemicals which quickly supply nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium but otherwise destroy all soil life.

    And for animals, I don’t believe anti-biotics and various treatments to animals are beneficial to animals who are raised sanely and naturally – in fact I think they’re detrimental. Anti-biotics are only treating the symptoms to the real problems; which are unmaintainable and unhealthy living conditions for the animals. If the government tells me I must include X, Y, and Z drugs with my animals’ feed to solve problems that my animals don’t have because they’re happily living on spacious pastures with more room then some housing developments, then I think that’s intrusive and wrong.

    I agree that many farming techniques need serious cleaning up because they ignore the health, happiness, and safety of everyone involved from growing, to processing and eating. But also, I am very worried about how vague the language is and how people writing and passing legislation don’t know what real farming is since they’re sitting in cities being counseled by big agribusiness representatives.

    Sec. 206 Food Production Facilities
    (3) include, with respect to growing, harvesting, sorting, and storage operations, MINIMUM STANDARDS RELATED TO FERTILIZER USE, NUTRIENTS, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water;
    (4) include, with respect to animals raised for food, minimum standards related to the ANIMAL’S HEALTH, FEED, AND ENVIRONMENT which bear on the safety of food for human consumption;

  16. Jennifer Lance said on March 10th, 2009 at 8:43 pm
    “Lisa, I know. I love Obama too, or maybe I love the idea of who I think Obama is. Agribusiness does need some serious oversight, but we should leave the small local organic farmers alone. I trust them!”

    This is EXACTLY the problem. 54% of American voters were DUPED on Nov 4th. The government CREATES problems, it does not solve them. You reap what you sow.

  17. Christopher M. Dunn says:

    Mr. Moore,

    I question your allegiance. Every producer in this country experiences government controls and regulations.
    I cannot fathom, sir, how you seem to welcome more.

    Furthermore, humans have been growing and producing their own food since the beginning of history. I don’t really imagine,then, it is a process that needs any more help.

  18. OK, after reading the bill (PLEASE read it before you draw conclusions) and observing how dramatically small farmers and ranchers could be negatively impacted, no comments I have seen so far have detected one explosive provision: Section 409, Citizen Civil Actions. This will open the door for extremist groups to file dozens of malicious federal law suits against big and small entities, including small organic meat and vegetable producers, which could destroy the food supply system. Do you think just because such suits are looney, they won’t have an impact? Do you know how enormous the cost can be for defending a federal lawsuit – – even a suit that has no merit? You can’t count that high.

  19. I just read the bill (boring!) it is available in full through the Library of Congress Thomas search engine: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c111YcoJun:e0:

    There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING in it about animal GPS tracking, seed banking or any of the other incendiary bits listed above. Nothing. So…let’s all calm down.

    This is a food safety bill. It does propose to have annual random inspections of food producing facilities (which include farms and orchards) to make sure they are producing sanitarily. (clue- using fresh pig manure for fertilizing is a no-no, etc.)

    There is no big bogeyman (or woman) trying to get you. People seem to prefer regulation over risk, so the legislators are delivering. Me? not so much. I’d rather take personal responsibility and have less legislation. But we live in a litigious society, so…..

  20. thanks, Clifton, for clarifying.

  21. I read the sections that Clifton C. Moore posted, albeit from the bill itself not the link he provided, and it only confirms what is being reported. Nice try buddy.
    Link to the details of the bill http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-875

  22. How can we take more chances of slowly boiling to death in the gradually warming pot?? We can not allow Monsanto-driven food legislation to pass into law… Monsanto/huge agri-business corporations/et al, along with the FDA are already filling us up on lead in our lipstick, mercury in our highfructose corn syrup, and irradiation 7 million times higher than is used in a chest x-ray, to kill salmonella on raw chicken… and this lovely strerlization process is now labeled ‘cold pasturization’, so you won’t be afraid to consume it. We must not sit back and say that HR875 is a reasonable bill; write and phone your state representatives and tell them you want HR 875 withdrawn from the floors of Congress. The vague language allows for the criminalization of ANY food grower, at the whim of a corrupt corporate-driven agency. The powermongers are doing every thing they can to ensure we can not support ourselves without their poisonious “foodlike” substances. GET MAD AND TAKE ACTION TO SAVE YOURSELVES!!!! GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT IS NOT AN OPTION!!!!

  23. There is obfuscating language in this bill designed to confuse and redirect your attention to thinking by implication rather than specification. This is cleverly illustrated using the words “include(s)”, “exclude(s)” and custom definitions. So let’s take a look at an example.

    (a) In General- Any food establishment or foreign food establishment engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding food for consumption in the United States shall register annually with the Administrator.

    Notice that annual registration is limited to a Food Establishment or foreign food establishment. One cannot imply that this extends beyond these two entities as defined in the definitions section and only those that engage in manufacturing, processing, packing or holding food for consumption.

    Before I get to what is a Food Establishment or foreign food establishment, let me give you an example of the use of include and typical efforts employed to muddy the waters.

    To start with we must recognize that if a word is meant to be understood as having its common meaning, there is no need to define it at all. It is axiomatic that if a word is explicitly defined, it has a restricted meaning. If language such as the term “Fruit” is used and defined as “includes, apples, oranges, and pears”, it can only be understood as restricting the definition to those things listed, or no definition would be required; the word “fruit” would be understood to include apples, oranges and pears, as well as all other fruits. If the word “common” is left out of the definition, then the things used in the definition are what establish the class to which belong, and as the word is being deliberately defined, the common meaning of the word must be excluded.

    Under the definitions section:

    (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.

    So a Food Establishment is not a farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, confined animal-feeding operation. This is a custom definition, is specific and no other implications can be drawn as meaning something else. Note that farm, ranch …. since not custom defined, have a common definition without exclusion or inclusion. I do not have cites to their common definition.

    In addition to the above, a Food Establishment is not a resturant, retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment or fishing vessel (as limited in definition to section 123.3 of title 21 of CFR). Again, resturant, retail food establishment …. have a common definition without exclusion or inclusion.

    There is a specific class of actions as custom defined by ‘Process’, all of them being Commercial.

    (19) PROCESS- The term ‘process’ or ‘processing’ means the commercial slaughter, packing, preparation, or manufacture of food.

    Note this means Commercial slaughter, commercial packing, commercial preparation, commercial manufacture of food.

    There is another specific class of actions not defined but listed as holds, stores, or transports. Common definitions apply here.

    Also, there is a geographical constraint that limits this to any State. What is a State?

    (20) STATE- The term ‘State’ means–

    (A) a State;

    (B) the District of Columbia;

    (C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and

    (D) any other territory or possession of the United States.

    This is important since we move to the only other entity required to register annually, a foreign food establishment.

    (16) FOREIGN FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘foreign food establishment’ means any category 1 through 5 food establishment or food production facility located outside the United States that processes or produces food or food ingredients for consumption in the United States.

    Look at what has happened here. The Food Establishment custom definition does not apply since the location is specific and “located outside the United States” and does not fall within the confines of a ‘State’. Therefore the exclusions of “(14) Food Production Facility” do not apply.

    This makes this particular entity far more reaching than the restrictive entity of a “Food Establishment” located in a ‘State’.

    What does all this mean?

    If you do not fall under the custom definition of a “Food Establishment” you are not required to register. If you are not required to register then there is no categorization of you as a Category 1 thru 5, you can’t be assigned a registration number, there is no inspection, monitoring, or reporting requirements. This is however not a statement that you are not obligated to practice good health standards.

  24. where is the wording in the bill that requires this?!
    has anyone actually seen it? seems like some radical conjectures this hidden agenda and every good intentioned industry supported has taken it as fact.
    if it’s really in the bill, you’d think some online posts about it would reference where it is in the bill.
    i’m not in favor of industrialized farming in the least, but i’d like some proof before signing a petition or adding my voice to the rabble.
    if you’re going to participate, be responsible people!
    check out huffingtonpost.com’s address of the concern

  25. You’re an idiot. There is nothing well-intentioned in this bill and you should be ashamed for even implying such a farce. And protecting us from food grown abroad? What the hell? You scared little chicken$hit. Grow up. Protect the farmer? This is about everyone, not the farmer.

  26. I’ve oviously got quite a bit of legalese to wade through before I have my own answers about all of this… But I am wary. Monsanto have NO ONE’s interests at heart but their own. Their involvement, even mercurial, raises the hairs on my neck- And ADM are friggin’ evil. Rule Number One- If big companies say it will help- it will hurt people nine times out of ten.

    At the same time I am sanguine. If they ban organic seeds ( I think not) we’ll all buy what’s left before the enforcement begins. Plus, the day someone tries to jail me for growing a pesticide-free onion is going to be a day with much violence and mess. I welcome the Vegetable Police with the same attitude of defiance I would greet the Church Police with.

    Outrage sounds exciting and makes you look important, but- I think a lot more READING of WORDS (yes, I know it’s hard but it’s how we learn) and less posturing is a good idea for everyone. Let’s make sure we’re all not just waving frantic hands at a new outrage because we’re bored with Iraq or whatever. Research, Learning, Thinking, Action- It’s a plan that works well for monkeys when they try it.

    Finally- What is all this political crap about? Obama this and I told you so and you get what you deserve. IF YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT ONE PARTY IS ‘GOOD’ AND THE OTHER PARTY IS ‘BAD’, YOU’RE ONLY PROVING THAT WE HAVE TOO MANY IDIOTS IN THIS COUNTRY (that’s the REAL conspiracy). Everyone in a position of power dances to the tune of the biggest corporation- Which is why we’re all poor now. Come up with a new model or fight the system as it stands.

    Keep focused on the issue.

    Write your representatives- A lot.

    Remain vigilant and ACT instead of talk when the time is right.

    And BEWARE of what you read. There are plenty of ignorant windbags willing to stir up a panic over anything- Example: Rush Limbaugh says backyard gardens are a sign of Socialism! Is he a pill-popping imbecile? Yes. But it does explain my Leon Trotsky scarecrow and my love of RED peppers.

  27. Many of you are simply missing the point. You seem to think, like most Americans, this is about the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of farms and farm produce. It is not.

    This ‘Act’ is all about dramatically increasing federal power, rubbing out small businesses, forcing dependence upon unconstitutional federal agencies, unionizing farms, etc etc. Like most of the federal expansions in the last century, it depends upon the statists interpretation of the ‘Interstate Commerce Clause’, itself subject to constant misreading. However, if you read the bill carefully, you will find that an ICC connection is ‘presumed’ for all farms, whether or not they publicly engage in interstate commerce.

    This bill creates one more enormous federal bureaucracy with vaguely defined ‘powers'; powers granted NOT by the constitution but by the government itself – an idea flying in the face of basic constitutional theory.

    So let’s skip all the fence-sitting about what needs or does not need ‘regulation’. Let’s get to the point – this is yet another sneaky attempt by the new Congress and administration to vastly increase federal power in unconstitutional ways, by unconstitutional methods.

    If you care nothing for the Constitution, perhaps you should consider what happened to the Russian small farms and farmers just after the Bolshevik revolution. They were all ordered on to the ‘Collective Farms’ (unionized, here?). Most simply refused. Millions were simply machine-gunned by the Bolshevik Communists. In fact, the killing simply dwarfed anything the Nazi murderers did.

    If you think this kind of statist increase of federal power is ‘necessary’, you are perhaps living in the wrong country. Honor the constitution, or leave.

  28. The best analysis of HR 875 (done by attorneys): http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-02mar2009.htm

    This bill needs explicit language to protect small farmers from the FDA’s interpretation of the bill. For example:
    “Rule of Interpretation

    “No provision of this act shall be deemed to apply (a) to any home, home-business, homestead, small farm (including organic or natural) agricultural activity, social club, association, church, school or other local organization, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.”

    (This text copied from http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=2394)

  29. Louis Turner says:

    Everyone should be up in arms over this. One dominant company in any field should not be allowed(monopoly). There should be rigorous testing by independant testors to prove their claims, possibly by the FDA and they still should not be regulated by law. This is an attempt to use the law to benefit one company.
    The law is supposed to protect the people not business.

  30. http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/would_a_new_bill_in_congress_make.html

    The short answer to the question is “No”

    This has been floating around on the web for awhile…

  31. Bob S. said on April 2nd, 2009 at 9:35 am…
    Bob, you are missing a big picture by studying the details.

    This is definition 14 (it includes “any farm”)

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

    Now read everything in…
    Sec. 206. Food production facilities.

    There is plenty in Sec. 206. that can become very problematic to small business organic farmers!

    I think there is a matter of concept vs reality making a mess here. The bill isn’t good or bad. It is probably well intentioned, but extremely weak against the powers of companies such as Monsanto. In many ways I don’t mind giving the government powers of regulation if it was actually more powerful than the corporations it wants to regulate. Unfortunately the government is at the mercy of money and big agriculture businesses and bills like this can represent a serious hazard to all humans if they are not written extremely carefully.

    This bill leaves US food production very susceptible to corruption and negative influence!

  32. The Cornucopia Institute also did an analysis of the new food safety (and those on their way) bills that is very thorough and much less fearful. Please read it: http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/03/action-alert-critical-pending-food-safety-legislation/

    Lynn

  33. Boy Howdy says:

    I as a permaculture designer and my father a cattle rancher would lose out way of living. Permaculture is the key to solving the food problem and we need to do everything we can to stop this bill. Many people across the country depend of growing their own food. Down with Monsanto

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