Food and farm control bill snagged

from Augie’s “Journal of Natural Food and Healing”:

Picture via Journal of Natural Food and Healing

“The so-called Food Safety Control S510 bill with the so-called savior Tester-Hagan amendments may now be passed back to the overwhelming approving Senate. This is a perfect example of hard-ball politics of division, where half the food freedom folks are for it and half against it.

Typically, federal control bills are written to appease large  stakeholders, then revised to include most stakeholders, changed several times in the process, including having several bills of different names. In this battle, the war on food controls by the corporate/government  partnership, the magic trick is to appear to save the small farms producing local foods, yet provide the legal and regulatory framework, with funding, to take it all way.

So once again it appears to be an angel of light, a white knight on a horse coming to save the small farm, and getting the foodies to work on the language for them so that end the end, the language can be twisted and used against them. One thing is so interesting to me that no commentary I have read has mentioned and that is this: even if the trick bill is defeated or passed (even with the amendments the local food people want) the feds and the states have existing authority to do what they want anyway.

Similar rules are already in place or in the pipeline, yet most farmers market vendors are not aware of them. Hence, the argument for federal uniformity. If it passes it is much worse, much faster and the states are likely to have additional rules that are stricter making selling in another county or across the state line most difficult.

The big picture here is that these food controls are AGENGA 21 in disguise–that’s right, tied to the UN food, environment, health and population programmes–to harmonize food “safety and quality” globally and to sync with the US Healthy Agenda 2010– which shares the same goals.

Tonight, we have another article from Doreen Hayes, a lively commentary from David Gumpert and a letter from the Campaign for Liberty against the issue. On the other side, we have also good analysis and arguments from the Farm-to-consumer Legal Defense Fund.–Augie

America’s Done—Stick a Fork In Her!
S. 510 Hits a Snag, But Be Wary
©Doreen Hannes 2010

Excerpts from her paper:

Make no mistake about this, SB 510, or HR 2749 are worse than the Patriot Act, the Health Care bill, and the Federal Reserve Act combined. We can all live without little pieces of paper, and many of us can live without doctors, and we have been living with the increasing police state since 911, but none of us can live without food and water. If we lose food and water, we won’t be able to fight anything else.

The Tester-Hagan Amendment—Lipstick on a Pig

The largest deception played on the public in S. 510 is the inclusion of the Tester Amendment. This amendment was sold as the complete exemption for all small farms grossing less than $500,000 per year. But if one reads the actual amendment, it is evident that it will not do what it is purported to do for the vast majority of small producers.

The Tester Amendment has strident restrictions on those who may be “exempted” from HACCP (Hazard and Critical Control Point) implementations. HACCP is 50 pages of instructions that require a certifier to sign off on the plan, and a team to be trained in ensuring the plan is followed on the farm. The requirement of this plan put about 40% of small meat processors out of business several years ago. If you fall under the “protection” of the Tester amendment, you won’t have to do it….but let’s see how protective the Tester Amendment really is.

First, the Tester Amendment purports to exempt farms with less than $500,000 in sales from the requirements of S.510. However, to be “exempt” one must sell more than 50% of their products directly to consumers or restaurants within a 275-mile radius from production, and keep records substantiating those sales. The records are open for inspection and verification of the exemption. In other words, you have to prove you are playing by their rules through record keeping and approval of those records, or meet the more onerous requirements of S.510.

You must “apply” to be included in the “protections” of the Tester amendment. You must substantiate through your records for three years that you fit the category of selling more than “50% of average annual monetary value” within this 275-mile radius. So, if you sell on the roadside or at a farmers market, you must have a map handy and ask for ID from everyone who purchases from you or lose your exemption. Nice, huh? . . .

No Surprises-It’s Locally Global

What we have in Tester is local Agenda 21 Sustainable Development. In sum, “control over all human impact on the environment”. Everything will need to be within the ‘food shed’, and if you are outside of the food shed, too bad for you. It’s a great way to surveille and monitor food production and distribution. And you still fall under the broad based “reason to believe” of the Secretary with the Tester amendment. If the “Secretary”, meaning the head of the FDA or HHS thinks you may have a problem, or deems what you produce to be ‘high risk’, you will be shut down until they say you can begin again. All of your product is subject to mandatory recall; that’s why you have to keep records of everyone you sell to. And you will have to register as a facility under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, referred to as Sec 415 throughout the bill. (Knock knock—this is “premises identification” as in NAIS)

While I know it gets frustrating to call the Congress critters, the more they know that we know, the better the chance at slowing down the destruction they have planned for us. The switchboard number for Congress is 202-224-3121.)

Get the full story at Doreen’s blog

Read more on Augie’s Journal of Natural Food and Healing

2 Comments

Filed under News

2 responses to “Food and farm control bill snagged

  1. The Title changed to The Santa Clause: Food and Farm . . .

  2. cheryl

    “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’.” (Martin Luther King – Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)

    This says it all, we don’t have to consent to obey.
    We have a moral obligation to disobey this incredibly bad law.

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