To quote John F. Tate, president of Campaign for Liberty,
On Sunday evening, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell conjured up a backroom deal to revive the so-called “Food Safety Modernization Act” – passing it by unanimous consent after it was thought dead.This is truly outrageous!
Even though dozens of Republican senators opposed the bill only a few weeks ago, not one member – not even Tom Coburn, who led the opposition to the regulatory boondoggle – dared speak up to oppose the FDA’s food takeover.
They shoved it into HR 2751, what used to be known as the "Cash for Clunkers" bill. They gutted HR 2751 as it was written, and "simply" substituted S510! So the "new" HR 2751 may (indeed, probably will) come up for a vote as early as tomorrow (Tuesday).
Liberty is never more in danger than when legislators are looking to cut a quick deal, and last night was another harsh reminder of this fact.But that was not to be.
It only required one senator to speak up and object to further empowering [the current Congress'] radical regulatory agenda to bury the bill.
Main problems with the bill: As noted in the past, it gives the FDA unbridled authority to shut down virtually any farm operation merely on the basis that some bureaucrat somewhere had "reason to believe" that something on the farm might be harmful. No judicial review. No appropriate due process. Just suspicion.
And look whose "beliefs" will control your food supply if the act passes tomorrow!
As the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund noted this morning:
[The] FDA does not respect individuals' rights to obtain healthy, quality foods of their choice. The agency has stated as a matter of public record, thatIndeed, when a group of citizens sued the FDA for the right to drink raw milk, the FDA replied,
. . ."There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food."
"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' isMore to the point of the bill itself, however, consider, please, that,
. . .unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
The Act does nothing to address [the worst] food safety problems in this country, such as those resulting from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and various contaminants (e.g., BPA, pesticides, herbicides, etc.).The FDA has shown that it cares very little about these significant and proven sources of danger. It refused to go after the egg producer whose half-billion tainted eggs became the rallying cry for those who claim we need the bill. It has been well aware of this producer's problems for years. But it maintains a rather hands-off approach to them. After all, it's a big producer and it employs a lot of people.
Meanwhile, it makes sure to pursue every minor problem it hears about on small farms and among raw and unprocessed food advocates. (See my post with a whole series of sample videos.)
Notice that the agency
has used its existing power to benefit the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries at the expense of public health (e.g., allowing the overuse of antibiotics in confined animal feeding operations and refusing to require labeling for genetically-modified foods). This Act does not address the fundamental problems at this agency in order to truly protect public health.Moroever,
[The] FDA has adequate powers under existing law to ensure food safety and effectively deal with foodborne illness outbreaks. FDA has power to inspect, power to detain product and can readily obtain court orders to seize adulterated or misbranded food products or enjoin them from being sold. The problem isn't that FDA needs more power; it's that FDA does not effectively use the power it currently has. The agency has power to inspect imported food yet inspects only 1% of food coming into this country from outside our borders.From a constitutional perspective:
The Act will expand FDA's involvement in regulating food in intra-state commerce, further interfering with local communities. State and local governments are more than capable of handling any problems related to food in intrastate commerce. All the major outbreaks of foodborne illness involve either imported food or food in inter-state commerce.And from a practical perspective:
The Act will hurt our ability as a nation to be self-sufficient in food production because it has more lenient inspection requirements for foreign than domestic producers creating an unfair advantage for food imports. Giving an advantage to foreign producers will only increase the amount of food imported into this country that does not meet our domestic standards. The Act does not address food security--the ability of a country to produce enough food to meet its own needs.Please contact your Representative first thing Tuesday morning.
I just used the petition capacity of DemocracyInAction.org to send a modified version of their standard anti HR 2751 letter to my representative:
Sir:A shorter note (more to the point) on another DemocracyInAction page:
While there is no question that food safety has been lacking at the large, multi-million-dollar corporate food producers, HR 2751, the so-called "Food Safety Modernization Act" creates unbelievably burdensome requirements for thousands of small family farmers who exceed $500,000 in mere food REVENUE, whether they make a profit in the end or not.
As a small business owner myself, and a fan of our local farmers' market, I am appalled at this notorious attempt by Big Ag to stifle their organic and whole foods competitors.
I urge you to OPPOSE the passage of HR 2751's so-called "Food Safety Modernization Act." Leave intRA-state commerce in the hands of the states, where it belongs . . . and create a bill that provides teeth to deal with the companies that are really doing damage to our health through their confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and BPA, pesticides, herbicides, and so forth.
No Food Control (S.510/HR.2751) this Year!Make your voice heard.
I oppose including the fake "food safety" (actually "food control") bill, S.510/HR.2751 or any of its language in any Bill before Congress, this year.
"No one's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." SO FINISH YOUR BUSINESS AND GO HOME!
I want the new Congress to find ways and means to protect our local and natural food production and distribution, as well as our natural health remedies, from Federal FDA control.
Divest the FDA of any authority over our food and supplements!
Health and Food Freedom for food safety is an important issue to me, and to many millions of Americans, and I will remember your votes!