by Ethan Huff, citizen journalist
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(NaturalNews) The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund recently reported the unveiling of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (H.R. 875) on Feb. 4, 2009, by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), to both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Agriculture. Cosponsored by 36 other Congressmen, all Democrats, H.R. 875 would essentially transfer all state control over food regulation to the Food Safety Administration (FSA), a newly-established federal bureaucracy to be created within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Its implications point to the elimination of all independent, family farms as well as all organic farming operations due to overbearing federal regulations subjectively determined by FSA in favor of corporate factory farms.
Some of the requirements set forth within H.R. 875 include:
- Designating FSA as sole regulator of food safety rather than the individual states, including granting FSA the power to implement and administer a "national system for regular unannounced inspection of food establishments" under its own terms.
- Reclassifying all farms as "food production facilities", ensuring they come under the regulatory and inspection protocols of FSA as well as enforcing compliance with whatever FSA deems as appropriate food safety requirements.
- Requiring farmers to comply with FSA-established "minimum standards" for farming practices, including requiring them to establish Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans and other written documentation as determined and mandated by FSA.
- Granting FSA the power to arrogate "preventative process controls to reduce adulteration of food" as it deems fit.
- Instituting FSA as food safety law enforcement, allowing it to assess civil penalties and fines for violation of any and all FSA safety laws up to $1 million for each violation. Collected fines would become unappropriated slush funds to be used however FSA deems fit in order to "carry out enforcement activities under the food safety law".
While many of these provisions may appear benign due to language emphasizing safety and to standardized regulations, the implications are far more mischievous. While stripping states of what little tenth amendment powers remain, H.R. 875 would establish a central regulatory body with even more unaccountable authority than that of the FDA. Similar to the provisions contained in the Obama "stimulus" package and the Bush "bailout" before it, H.R. 875 would bolster the ever-burgeoning federal empire in eliminating state sovereignty and individual freedom, particularly in relation to food.
The legality of any type of raw milk distribution across the country is also in jeopardy as H.R. 875 would grant FSA the statutory authority to impose a ban on its sale and distribution, period. If, for example, FSA determines that pasteurization is a necessary "preventative process" for safe milk production, it could override any current state provisions permitting intrastate raw milk sales, an area where even the overbearing FDA does not have legitimate jurisdiction. This limit would not apply to FSA, however, which would be granted unlimited jurisdictional power over all decisions concerning food safety, despite the unconstitutionality of such authority.
Additionally, the bill contains language that would expand the definition of the word "contaminant" for purposes of widening the scope of what constitutes "adulterated food". In other words, the vague, open-ended language would grant seemingly unlimited authority to FSA to arbitrarily levy fines whenever and to whomever it deems fit for breaching its subjective food safety rules.
The full text of H.R. 875 can be found here as well as committee contacts and a listing of the bill`s cosponsors. It is important to keep in mind that Rep. DeLauro`s husband, Stanley Greenburg, works for biotechnology giant Monsanto, the multi-national corporation responsible for the creation of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in cows, the perpetuation of "Round-Up Ready" sugar and soy products hidden in conventional foods, and the instigation of lawsuits against farmers whose fields were contaminated by Monsanto`s patented seeds. H.R. 875 provides the means by which corporations like Monsanto can seize control of the last-remaining independent farming operations in the United States.
H.R. 875 is still being reviewed by the committees with no official date set for a vote. Now is the time to contact both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Agriculture to express opposition to this federal takeover of the food supply. Also, be sure to contact your representatives to express opposition as well.
"Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people." -Henry Kissinger, 1970
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
House Committee on Agriculture
govtrack.us - H.R. 875
United States House of Representatives