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The FDA Wants To Trample Your Garden

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Unread 11.23.10, 11:25 PM
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The FDA Wants To Trample Your Garden

11.23.10 10:01 PM

If you haven’t heard of the draconian food control bill, aka S 510: the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which is currently under consideration in the United States Senate, you need to learn about it now. If passed, it will give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate all food, from personal gardens to produce stands to farmer’s markets.

The bill will be considered again Nov. 29. Right now it’s held up by amendments Senators are attempting to attach to the bill. One would strip the IRS Form 1099 requirement from the Obamacare bill. Another, the Tester-Hagan Amendment, would exempt small farmers from some of the requirements of the bill, but it still doesn’t fix the bill’s problems.

What does the bill do? Among other things, it “Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to inspect records related to food, including to: (1) allow the inspection of records of food that the Secretary reasonably believes is likely to be affected in a similar manner as an adulterated food; and (2) require that each person (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufactures, processes, packs, distributes, receives, holds, or imports an article of food permit inspection of his or her records if the Secretary believes that there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

It also “Requires each owner, operator, or agent in charge of a food facility to: (1) evaluate the hazards that could affect food; (2) identify and implement preventive controls; (3) monitor the performance of those controls; and (4) maintain records of such monitoring. Deems facilities required to comply with certain food-specific standards to be in compliance with this section. Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations to establish science-based minimum standards for conducting a hazard analysis, documenting hazards, implementing preventive controls, and documenting such implementation. Prohibits the operation of a facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for sale in the United States if the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such facility is not in compliance with this section.

If one reads the language, on its face it would seem a good idea for the FDA to “get control” of food production in the country. The problem is the FDA’s history with this. While the bill would seem to apply to large farms and food production facilities, there is no language exempting even personal gardens or roadside produce stands. Because they aren’t exempt, they can be bound by the same requirements.

Small farmers, too, will be forced to comply with the new reporting regulations. This will swamp them in paperwork and force them out of business.

Then there is the FDA’s history to consider. The FDA has always worked for the best interests of large corporations — Big Pharma and Big Farms — rather than the best interests of the consumer — or the small food producer. And the large corporations like ADM (formerly Archer Daniels Midland Co.) and Monsanto want nothing more than to crush the small farmer.

As Mike Adams the Health Ranger to points out on his website, the FDA’s record of “protecting” consumers is shoddy at best. It has gone out of its way to ignore critical evidence about dangerous drugs to the benefit of Big Pharma. It censors the scientific truth about natural remedies and nutritional supplements and has killed more people than the CIA, FBI, ATF and DEA combined.

Through this bill the FDA, which has already criminalized raw milk, could outlaw all vegetables unless they are irradiated, could outlaw raw food unless it’s pasteurized and could criminalize the very act of canning your own fruits and vegetables. It’s not a stretch to think that an organization that has already criminalized drinking natural raw milk could criminalize anything it chose. And this bill gives it that authority.

Never mind that food-borne illnesses always stem from FDA-inspected large food producers rather than small farms and produce stands; the FDA wants to come gunning for your garden, your local supplier and the small business/farmer.

Seventy-four Senators voted to move the bill from committee to the floor for a vote, so its passage on Nov. 29 is almost assured. The only way to stop it is for you to call your Senator and tell him or her to vote no on S 510. You can reach your Senator by going here.

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