25 avril 2009 6 25 /04 /avril /2009 14:02

The Food Safety Modernization Act. Glenn Beck

Are small farms and gardens going to be against the law? Well if the liberals in congress have their way it will be. This ridiculous law is just one of many that congress is going to push on us to protect us. Well I for one am getting damn tied of losing my freedoms to the government in the name of protecting me. I can protect myself. I dont need the help of the federal government. All that I need is that they stay out of my way.

"As is stated in this video, this law will only hurt small business. It will just create another layer of federal bureaucracy to further hinder small farms, and small organic farms. While, as is usual for most laws, it will not help us at all, or very little. If I have to die of salmonella to keep my freedoms, then I am willing to die, because like they say, freedom is not free.

So if I understand this law correctly, the government will now monitor what you are growing in your own garden, what food you buy at your local grocery store, and even the fruits and vegetables that you buy at your local farmers market, what a joke.

This is what is coming to America, total government control of your life, from what you eat, where you go, who you see, where your children go to school, what your children learn at school, etc. etc., I could go on and on. Just what part of total government control would someone not understand? Is this what Americans want? I dont think so, so we had better start acting up or this what we will get.

Ive been noticing an increasing uproar in the blogosphere and the agricultural news community about H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Introduced by Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Congresswoman with indirect family ties to agricultural giant Monsanto, the bill drastically revamps and overhauls the food safety mechanisms by which the Federal government attempts to guarantee the purity and safety of the food Americans consume.

Although my default position is to be somewhat skeptical of these mass semi-panics, in this case there seems to be some meat to the complaints. Many of the elements of the bill as it stands seem to put the Federal government in a position of tremendous power over even the smallest of agricultural producers literally, the gentleman next door growing a row of organic tomatoes and requiring them to do business pretty much the way that the giant agricultural companies do business. Now, the big ag companies take a lot of unfair hits sometimes, but we can all agree that not everybody wants to run their farm that way. Thats why there are thousands of organic farms, and plenty of old-fashioned smallholders who do things their own way. Everybody wants food safety but very few people want the weekend hunter, the hobby gardener, and the small organic operation treated like cogs in the food machine.
Whats more, and troubling to anyone with a memory of the history of government expansions of power, the bill puts all this authority in the hands, not of the FDA (which has handled food safety at the national level for more than a century) but in an ill-defined and shadowy food czar working out of the White House. You dont have to be a frothing partisan to be reluctant to put any President so directly in charge of the food supply of the country. Its my view that, while there may be ideas of value in this bill (although in my reading thus far I havent found any), the bill as it stands would be a terrible idea, one that does nothing to enhance food safety but instead makes it impossible for small producers to compete with the big companies, often imposing what amounts to de facto bans on organic produce or naturally-gathered food and game.
As of now, H.R. 875 is in committee, meaning that the members of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, and the House Committee on Agriculture, are reviewing the bill and listening (theoretically) to citizen and lobbyist input. The word on the Hill is that companies like Monsanto are all for the bill although the bill would inconvenience Big Ag, large companies are much better able to absorb the burden of regulation than smaller companies, and thus are often advocates of having lots of regulation simply because they know they can shoulder the load and their smaller (annoying) competitors cannot. The good news is that most bills never make it out of committee, and with H.R. 875 having to pass through two committees before getting out onto the House floor, the odds are probably fairly good that the bill will never become law. (especially if we as ag professionals take action)..."

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