Organic Farmers, Amish, Farmer’s Markets, May Be Outlaws Under New Bill

1x1.trans Organic Farmers, Amish, Farmers Markets, May Be Outlaws Under New Bill

The FDA Makes it Harder for small farmers

Back in March we addressed Bill HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. That bill was designed to allow corporations, with the help of their hired government guns, to force small competitors out of business. A new bill has just been introduced, HR 2749 – The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. If the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 is passed, farmer’s markets, organic farmers and the Amish will be subject to:

* Random warrantless searches of business records even with no evidence of violation
* Full quarantine of “food facilities”, vehicles, and surrounding geographic area
* Forced tracing system for food
* Severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 yrs and/or fines of $100K
* FDA mandates to regulate how crops are raised and harvested
* Annual registration plus fee of $500

Note: The FSEA would also mandate that registrations be submitted in electronic format only [section 101(b)(1)(C)–p. 4].  Amish and Mennonite food producers having to register would thus be faced with a choice of violating either their religious faith or the law, while other food producers could face added expense and problems if they do not have the necessary technology.  Failure to properly register would constitute misbranding and would be a violation of the law.

(To read a detailed account of the bill go Here)

In late May of this year, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a discussion draft of the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (FSEA). The discussion draft was introduced as HR 2749 on June 8. An amendment in the nature of a substitute to HR 2749 was introduced on June 10. On June 17, the Waxman amendment to HR 2749 was voted on and is headed to the House floor for consideration. Other amendments make take place before the House votes on HR 2749. The passage of FESA would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and empower the FDA to egregiously violate Fourth Amendment and Search & Seizure laws.

The term “facility” does not include “farms” for purposes of registration in either the current law or under the new bill, but note how the bill employs the use of Orwellian doublespeak in its language to force small farms, farmer’s markets, organic farms, and the Amish under their insidious regulatory reach. The FDA’s current regulations narrowly restricts what qualifies as a farm:

* “Facilities that pack or hold food, provided that all food used in such activities is grown, raised, or consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership; and…

* “Facilities that manufacture/process food, provided that all food used in such activities is consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership.”

In other words, if you sell food that’s consumed off property you’re a “facility”, not a farm.

More detailed Breakdown From “Food Freedom”

* HR 2749 would impose an annual registration fee of $500 on any “facility” that holds, processes, or manufactures food.

[isn't this every home in the US, every garden?] Although “farms” are exempt, the agency has defined “farm” narrowly. [What is the definition?]  And people making foods such as lacto-fermented vegetables, cheeses, or breads would be required to register and pay the fee, which could drive beginning and small producers out of business during difficult economic times. [Yes. There are laws against this corporate-size-destroys-the-little-guy policy, aren't there?  Are home bread or cheese or lacto-fermented vegetable makers who make for their own families included in this?]

* HR 2749 would empower FDA to regulate how crops are raised and harvested.  It puts the federal government right on the farm, dictating to our farmers.

[This astounding control opens the door to CODEX. WTO "good farming practices" will include the elimination of organic farming by eliminating manure, mandating GMO animal feed, imposing animal drugs, and ordering applications of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides.  Farmers, thus, will be locked not only into the industrialization of once normal and organic farms but into the forced purchase of industry's products.  They will be slaves on the land, doing the work they are ordered to do - against their own best wisdom - and paying out to industry against their will.

There will be no way to be frugal, to grow one's own grain to feed the animals, to raise healthy animals without GMO grains or drugs, to work with nature at all.  Grassfed cattle and poultry and hogs will be finished.  So, it's obvious where control will take us. And weren't these the "rumors on the internet" that were dismissed but are clearly the case?]

* HR 2749 would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic area, including “prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area.”

[This - "that has been used to transport or hold such food" - would mean all cars that have ever brought groceries home so this means ALL TRANSPORTATION can be shut down under this. This is using food as a cover for martial law.] Under this provision, farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the contamination. The agency can halt all movement of all food in a geographic area. [This is also a means of total control over the population under the cover of food, and at any time.]

* HR 2749 would empower FDA to make random warrantless searches of the business records of small farmers and local food producers, without any evidence whatsoever that there has been a violation.

[If these bills cover all who "hold food" then this allows for taking of records of anyone at any time on no basis at all.] Even farmers selling direct to consumers would have to provide the federal government with records on where they buy supplies, how they raise their crops, and a list of customers.

[NAIS for animals and all other foods?]

* HR 2749 charges the Secretary of Health and Human Services with establishing a tracing system for food.  Each “person who produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, or holds such food”

[Is this not every home in the US?]  would have to “maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food,” and “establish and maintain a system for tracing the food that is interoperable with the systems established and maintained by other such persons.” The bill does not explain how far the traceback will extend or how it will be done for multi-ingredient foods. With all these ambiguities, [with all these ambiguities, it is dangerous, period, separate from the money] it’s far from clear how much it will cost either the farmers or the taxpayers. [It is massive and absurd and burdensome beyond the capacity of people to comply - is this not fascism? - so it is a set up for being used to impose penalties endlessly and/or to eliminate anyone at will.]

*  HR 2749 creates severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 years and/or fines of up to $100,000 for each violation for individuals.

[Does it include judicial review, Congressional oversight, a defined and limited set of penalties and punishments for a defined set of "crimes"?  Or is it entirely ambiguous and left to the whim and sole power of "the Administrator"?  Who is that person set to be?  Is it Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and executive, as Food Democracy has said? That is, do these bills set up an agency by which the entire US food supply will be turned over to the control of a multinational corporation under WTO regulations (and not to US farmers and not to US laws under the Constitution), with boundless freedom to do what it wants, and one infamous for harm to farmers and lack of safety of food?] If it was not clear before how frightening these bills were, this small section of provisions, should make their actual fascism clear now. It goes way beyond “food safety” to absolute control over farms, animals, food, and us, including our movements and access to food at all. Source: Food Freedom

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is opposed to HR 2749 because it would adversely impact small farms and food producers, without providing significant reforms in the industrial food system. HR 2749 does not address the underlying causes of food safety problems, including industrial agriculture practices and the consolidation of our food supply“.

Take action Here.

1x1.trans Organic Farmers, Amish, Farmers Markets, May Be Outlaws Under New Bill
1x1.trans Organic Farmers, Amish, Farmers Markets, May Be Outlaws Under New Bill
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
1x1.trans Organic Farmers, Amish, Farmers Markets, May Be Outlaws Under New Bill

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