Oh this is just Fscking wonderful - H.R.875

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Feast your eyes on this little bit of legislative idiocy: Sure, it sounds like a fantastic idea:
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes.
Until you start reading the actual body of the bill. Sean Shepard has an excellent analysis over at Shepard on Politics and Policy:
HR 875 Would Essentially Outlaw Family Farms In The United States
I get a lot of e-mails each day and one today (hi Cheryl!) pointed my attention to HR 875, a bill introduced into the 111th Congress. SO, I went and did something that members of Congress rarely do and actually read the bill.More accurately, I glanced through it which is still more than they ever do. It was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd) and, as of this writing, has around 36 co-sponsors including my Congressman, Andre Carson (D-IN 7th). It immediately strikes me as being terribly bad legislation.

Under a heading described as protecting the public health and ensuring the safety of food it creates a "Food Safety Administration" within Health and Human Services. Oddly, it doesn't just add regulations to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which is also under HHS. And don't we have the USDA as well? The bill applies to all manner of "Food Establishments" and "Food Production Facilities" (note the following excerpt).
(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term �food production facility� means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.
The bill would appear to even cover some fishing boats and potentially your downtown hot dog street vendors. "Transportion" of food also could be covered. In fact, the bill probably would also apply to your family garden since no exemption is apparent.

What it essentially does is place a tremendous regulatory burden on all of these organizations and individuals by requiring them to have "food safety plans", consider all relevant hazards [note: I wish Congress would consider all "relevant hazards" or unintended consequences of everything THEY did], testing, sample keeping and to maintain all kinds of records. The bill also allows the government to dictate all manner of standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, packaging, temperature controls and other items.
It is before committee now and just in the very early stages but still, something needs to be done about this. And of course, the Bill's sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D-CT] is married to Stanley Greenburg who works for Monsanto. Nope -- no conflict of public interest there... Move along folks, nothing to see...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 18, 2009 8:45 PM.

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