Ok, this is going to be activist in nature, I admit it right off the bat. I can’t get away from it, though I am getting better at turning a blind eye to some issues. Especially when I read things like this – Israel Has Three Days Left to Save the World. (all links open in new window). Then I remember -
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3,7
Any fear I might have had in the back of my mind evaporated last week when I read that. But I still get mad about what Congress is doing.
I don’t fear this next thing, the reason for this blog post, because I am going to eat what I want however I am hoping it will make some people afraid so they will wake from their complacent slumber, with their smug sense that the government is taking care of us (well them really because I don’t want anything from the government except to be left alone), their cut and paste activism, and I-liked-a-cause-on-Facebook, woowoo.
Do you know that FDA said that we and our children have no right to eat any particular food? Furthermore, FDA said that we have no generalized right to bodily and physical health. Read more here.
So, on to the reason for this post. Senate Bill 510, otherwise known as SB 510 or S 510, officially “To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.” Yeah, it’s been floating around since last year along with a House version of it. This particular version is a full substitute bill. I know, it’s crazy how they put a bill forward and then overnight the bill morphs into something else entirely. If you are interested in reading all 225 pages (the previous version was 145), you can download the PDF here. I’ve parsed parts of it, looking for key words like ‘milk’ because they really do want to outlaw raw milk. Did you know that milk, according to the gov’t is the same as oil? I kid you not.
The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) put out their report -Budget Report: S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act on Aug. 12, which means they read this substitute bill. “As reported by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on December 18, 2009, incorporating a manager’s amendment released on August 12, 2010.” Manager’s amendment = substitute bill.
A few highlights from the CBO report:
S. 510 would broaden the FDA’s authority to regulate food facilities and would establish new requirements for those facilities.
News flash! FDA already has authority over food. USDA has authority over livestock. Why does FDA need more authority than they already have? Neither agency does the jobs they are mandated to do. Both are the marketing arms of industry, pharma and livestock.
What is a food facility? I’m not sure for several reasons, like I haven’t finished reading the bill plus I need to find out the official definition, but I do know from doing a keyword search (which is my usual MO with long bills, look for key words) in the substitute bill that:
IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, acting through the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, shall conduct a study regarding the need for, and challenges associated with, development and implementation of a program that requires a unique identification number for each food facility registered with the Secretary.
Unique Identification Number. Hmmm. Oh no! Not NAIS for lettuce and turnips.
The same subject, identification, come up in the CBO report:
The bill also would require the Secretary of HHS to establish several pilot projects to explore and evaluate methods of tracking and tracing food in the United States or for import into the country.
They’re determined to track food, aren’t they? (I was going to say something snappy about not being able to keep track of illegal aliens, but decided to stay on track.)
Record keeping (from the bill):
(h) SMALL ENTITY COMPLIANCE GUIDE.—Not later than 180 days after promulgation of a final rule under subsection (d), the Secretary shall issue a small entity compliance guide setting forth in plain language the requirements of the regulations under such subsection in order to assist small entities, including farms and small businesses, in complying with the recordkeeping requirements under such subsection.
Here’s a goodie!
NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY TRAINING, EDUCATION, EXTENSION, OUTREACH AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In order to improve food safety and reduce the incidence of foodborne illness, the Secretary shall, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, enter into one or more memoranda of understanding, or enter into other cooperative agreements, with the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a competitive grant program within the National Institute for Food and Agriculture to provide food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance to—
‘‘(A) owners and operators of farms;
‘‘(B) small food processors; and
‘‘(C) small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers.
What better way to get on the small family farm than to offer outreach training.
How about this?
The bill would require owners, operators, and agents of facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food to conduct hazard analyses, implement and monitor preventive controls, institute corrective actions when necessary, repeat hazard analyses at least every three years, and maintain records of those activities. They also would have to develop written plans that outline how facilities would meet those requirements. All records and written plans would have to be provided to the Secretary upon request.
If you grow food and sell it at a farm stand or a farmers market, guess what? You ‘hold food’.
Listen, they want to prevent us from growing our own food, from selling wholesome, local food to our communities. They want to stop us from growing tomatoes, making pasta sauce out of them, putting the sauce in a lasagna and taking it to a potluck.They want to control the food supply, which really ought to scare you even if you don’t grow your own food.
I have to ask myself, what do the recent raids on raw milk farmers have to do with this bill. I do not know the answer yet, but I’ll find it.
Be sure your lamps are filled with oil (that means I hope you know Jesus, because He is all that stands between you and what is to come.
Peace and grace.