Big Brother wants your veggie gardens!

Heh. Sorry. I couldn’t resist the post title. But on to some serious business.

So now we have an idiot on the Hill pushing H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Sounds harmless enough until you actually ready what this thing does in the name of improving the safety of food we eat in the United States by creating the Food Safety Administration (FSA).

H.R. 875 has some good points but is poorly worded and could easily be interpreted (by the Feds of course) in ways unintended:

  1. Single family farms and personal gardens would be regulated by the FSA even if they never share, sell, or trade their products with anyone. The way its phrased there is no, not one, single provision excluding private homes or single family farms. Way too much potential for abuse there.
  2. No judicial review for civil penalties imposed by an administrator. In otherwords those accused of violating the bill but found innocent have no recourse for damages. The closet fascists will love that part.
  3. Potentially giving free reign to GM foods to be added to the food supply without informing the citizenry in the name of reducing food borne illness. Monsato must be happy campers with this.
  4. Usurping States rights by dictating the States role in the program, including forcing the States to pay for a mandated Federal programs. If it’s Fed the Fed should pay for it.
  5. A chilling phrase in the bill: Improving State Surveillance Capacity. Especially when its another Federal mandate and not asking for the cooperation of the States.
  6. A bizarre bit about all functions, personnell, building, et al for the new agency being transfered to the newly formed FSA the day before the Act is enacted. 

Perhaps most amusing is the notion that this new agency would somehow be able to accomplish what the existing FDA has not been able to do. It won’t since the same problem for the FDA will haunt the FSA into failure: personnel and money. And like the FDA, the FSA will become a puppet of corporations that pay FSA workers/admins off instead of protect the American public.

As I undestand it De Lauro, the bill’s sponser, claims to be working to clean up the language and tighten the bill to avoid some of the more serious problems that could arise, like going after people’s gardens and small farms. Problem is the bill is so badly phrased everyone seems confused by it, even those who support it. I suspect it is an attempt by the large food manufacturers like Monsanto to destroy small and organic farmers thereby creating their own little monopolies on the food supply. It has little to nothing to do with food safety.

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