The fact that I am writing this message depresses me greatly. Stephen and I have written about a bill S.510 – the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. I know many FB Friends took action when we called for help in communicating resentment for this bill and such wide sweeping Federal Actions.
Sadly, last week the Senate passed the bill – 73 votes to 25, 2 not voting.
The House would have then been charged with debating the bill. However, a few days after the Senate passed the bill, the bill’s entire language got stuffed into another bill the House was voting on, The Omnibus Appropriations Act aka the Consolidated Appropriations . There on page 1685 of 1924 is Division M – Food Safety. The short title referenced in section 6001, sub section (a) the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.”
Yes, it is the same language as in the original Senate Bill 510.
The bill looks to reclassify food retail establishments to include road side stands, farmers markets and the like, plus enforce stricter standards for all food retailers. Of course, we want to ensure that food retailers sell contaminant-free items to consumers. However, when the regulations that large corporate food processors must now be met by small local farmers the impact is catastrophic to that small farmer; in essence, they’d have to pay 50% of their revenue to the government.
This is a tactic that is very similar to the recent supplement manufacturer regulations that passed a few years ago and took full effect this past June 24. The largest pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers had to comply in 2008. Next, the medium sized manufacturers had to comply in 2009. And finally, the smallest manufacturers had to comply this year. The amount of paperwork and cost of certified compliance put many smaller manufacturers out of business. In fact, a few of our favorite products fell into oblivion as a result of these stricter regulations.
Here in Montana, the local farmers are able to feed entire valleys. And, in Montana, I think there are many people who won’t abide or recognize an immoral law. However, I am concerned that the lifeline of most small communities in this country will be regulated out of business leaving an individual’s source of food to be only from a semi-truck transport from a big agri-farm.
If your food supply is in the control of a governmental agency and big business, would you feel “safer” about your “modernized” food supply?
We clearly are not legal experts that can dissect the bill’s shenanigans or Congress’ sneaky tactic, but I cannot urge you enough to reconsider the importance of our inherent rights to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you value them, please start conversations with your friends and neighbors. When the social salutation arises and it does every day, “Susan, how are you today?” Let everyone know how depressed or upset you feel, because the Federal Government is looking to regulate your local food co-op or farmers market.
This is happening in this country.
What will you do?
Email your senators: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5303