The H R 875 Bill…How Bad Is It?

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My family lineage is full of lawyers, this has had it’s good and bad moments needless to say, but my Daddy taught me one of the most valuable lessons that has saved my butt many, many times…
Know the Law…Know what it says…and use what is there to protect yourself.

Hence, I started reading the law anytime there is a lot of noise about something violating my rights…

So when another round of emails came through my box about the bill that was going to take away small farming rights and my rights to locally grown, yummy tasting food that supports a model of green energy I had to read it. It is incredibly boring and wordy; of course, and yes they do this on purpose, but first let me go here…

What the bloggers are saying since March 09:
http://www.leavemyfoodalone.org/
Go sign the petition here.

What Monsanto is saying…Last Updated: 09/21/2009
www.monsanto.com
Nowhere in HR 875 is there any mention of seed banks, loss of property rights, or GPS tracking of animals. The bill seems to be nothing more than a well-intentioned effort to improve food safety laws and processes. It was no doubt written in response to public concerns with relatively recent incidents with peanut butter, ground beef, spinach, etc.

The likely root of the offending blog post is a concern that food laws will make it more difficult to sell and process food that is grown locally. That is a legitimate concern—especially for small enterprises that would be hurt disproportionately by the fixed costs of regulation that larger businesses can spread across more revenue.

It is uncertain whether HR 875 would be effective at improving food safety, or whether it would create unreasonable burdens on local production and sale. This is the discussion that needs to take place in both the blogosphere and in Washington. Wild and unsupported allegations do nothing to further the policy goals of improving food safety or supporting local food production and sale.

Monsanto is correct in pointing out this bill does not directly say those things (and it chokes me up the way they position themselves as if they cared for public health), however what the bill does say is enough for me to decide, NO THANK YOU.

H R 875 in my abridged form, you are welcome to find and read the whole thing here:
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h875/text?version=ih&nid=t0:ih:44

Who is targeted and who is to be in charge:
(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.

We need better inspection/regulation:
(1) IN GENERAL- There is established in the Department of Health and Human Services an agency to be known as the ‘Food Safety Administration’.
(2) HEAD OF THE ADMINISTRATION- The Administration shall be headed by the Administrator of Food Safety, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of 5 years, and who may be reappointed.

Here’s where I lose faith:
SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FOOD SAFETY ADMINISTRATION.
(A) in consultation with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all activities related to foodborne illness surveillance and investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks;
(B) implementation of food safety inspection, enforcement, and research efforts to protect the public health;

SEC. 201. ADMINISTRATION OF NATIONAL PROGRAM.
(8) implement a national system to identify the food products posing the greatest public health risk and to analyze the effectiveness of existing food safety programs, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other Federal agencies;

At the moment the CDC, is running a fear mongering campaign to stimulate the nationwide distribution of the H1N1 vaccines for a non-existent ‘pandemic’ of the swine flu. Having claimed 1000 lives this year, YES ANY LOSS OF LIFE IS TRAGIC, but what they conveniently omit is the truth about ‘Influenza’. It kills more than 36,000 people in the US a year and it is admitted by all reporting agencies, state, federal, and the CDC that this is an underestimation. So we have to ask, what is the agenda to pushing the panic button? It certainly is not public health concerns!

AND THEN this new administration gets bundled with the FDA as outlined in:

SEC. 102. CONSOLIDATION OF FOOD SAFETY FUNCTIONS
(1) the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration;
(2) the Center for Veterinary Medicine of the Food and Drug Administration;
(3) the National Center for Toxicological Research of the Food and Drug Administration;
(4) the personnel and assets of the Office of Regulatory Affairs of the Food and Drug Administration

I have already done extensive research into the FDA’s ability to inspect, regulate and keep our bottled water industry safe and the truth is – THEY DO NOT. While city water is under the jurisdiction of the EPA and must submit testing reports at least twice a month for contaminants, the bottled water industry is ‘watched’ by less than one person in the FDA. The FDA states on their website that they trust the bottle water so implicitly as not really worry about their safety measures and only requires the test reports once a year! WHAT! and these are the guys who will marry up with this new administration.

AND THEN more of my point spelled out here:

SEC. 204. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR CONTAMINANTS IN FOOD.
(C) SIGNIFICANT CONTAMINANTS- The list under paragraph (1) (and any revision thereto) shall identify the 5 most significant contaminants in the list (in terms of the number and severity of illnesses and number of deaths associated with foods regulated under this Act). Not later than 3 years after a contaminant is so identified, the Administrator shall promulgate a performance standard under subparagraph (A) for the contaminant.
(3) REVIEW; REVISION- Not less than every 3 years, the Administrator shall review and, if necessary, revise-
(A) the list of contaminants under paragraph (1);
(B) each performance standard established under paragraph (2).
(c) Performance Standards-

AND THEN one man with all the power (to be corrupted):

2) BEST REASONABLY ACHIEVABLE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS- In developing best reasonably achievable performance standards under paragraph (1)(D), the Administrator shall collect, or contract for the collection of, data on current best practices and food safety outcomes related to the contaminants and foods in question, as the Administrator determines necessary.
(3) REVOCATION BY ADMINISTRATOR- All performance standards, tolerances, action levels, or other similar standards in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act shall remain in effect until revised or revoked by the Administrator.

AND THEN they may get slapped on the wrist if caught, in bold:

SEC. 205. INSPECTIONS OF FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS.
(h) Bribery of or Gifts to Inspector or Other Officers and Acceptance of Gifts- Any person or agent or employee thereof that gives, pays, or offers, directly or indirectly, to the Administrator or any employee or other designee thereof authorized to perform any duty under the food safety law any money or other thing of value, with intent to influence the discharge of any duty under such law, shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or both. Any Administrator, employee, or other designee that solicits or accepts any money or other thing of value from any person, with intent to influence the discharge of any duty under the food safety law, shall be summarily discharged from office and imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or both.

AND THEN this where they have already determined that small farmers are more at risk of spreading something and the American big agri-industry is a trusted group:

TITLE III–RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
SEC. 301. PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT SYSTEM.
(2) COMPONENTS OF ANALYSIS- The analysis under subsection (b)(1) may include–
(A) a comparison of the safety of commercial processing with the health hazards associated with food that is harvested for recreational or subsistence purposes and prepared noncommercially;
(B) a comparison of the safety of food that is domestically processed with the health hazards associated with food that is processed outside the United States;

AND THEN note what this says (in bold):

SEC. 302. PUBLIC EDUCATION AND ADVISORY SYSTEM.
(2) REQUIREMENTS- The program shall provide–
(C) such other information or advice, including on safe food handling practices, to consumers and other persons as the Administrator determines will promote the purposes of this Act.

This did not say as to protect the American public but simply promote the purposes of this Act.

AND THEN a year later we get to find out how much it may cost for food-borne illness and food safety research …no accountability to a budget here:

SEC. 307. STUDY ON FEDERAL RESOURCES.
Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall complete a study on the Federal resources being dedicated to food-borne illness and food safety research and submit a report on the results of such study to the Congress.

AND THEN the next can of worms is addressed:

SEC. 402. FOOD DETENTION, SEIZURE, AND CONDEMNATION.
(3) RELEASE OF FOOD- If the Administrator determines that, through reprocessing, relabeling, or other action, a detained food can be brought into compliance with this Act, the food may be released following a determination by the Administrator that the relabeling or other action as specified by the Administrator has been performed.

Relabeling is exactly how the food manufacturers using ‘hydrogenated fats’ got around having to take them out of our food last year and how MSG (google ‘glutamate lobby in congress’) is still prevalent in our packaged foods today, it just has several new names.

AND THEN we get to see everyone that gets paid; guaranteed income, wish I had that. Whose money are we using anyway?:

SEC. 507. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 102. CONSOLIDATION OF FOOD SAFETY FUNCTIONS.
(b) Transferred Functions and Resources- The components referred to in subsection (a) are–
(1) the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration;
(2) the Center for Veterinary Medicine of the Food and Drug Administration;
(3) the National Center for Toxicological Research of the Food and Drug Administration;
(4) the personnel and assets of the Office of Regulatory Affairs of the Food and Drug Administration used to administer and conduct inspections of food establishments and imports and conduct laboratory analyses and other investigations relating to food safety and enforcement of the food safety law;
(5) the personnel and assets of the Office of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs used to support–
(A) the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition;
(B) the Center for Veterinary Medicine;
(C) the National Center for Toxicological Research;
(D) the personnel and assets of the Office of Regulatory Affairs described in paragraph (4);
(6) the personnel and assets of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce used to administer the seafood inspection program.

So at the end of these last 2 hours of research and sheer determination to read this dang bill, I have to VOTE NO.
HR 875 is as BAD as BAD gets these days, when do we stop the insanity?

What do you think? Do we need to spend OUR money on another agency that gets to submit annual reports on how to protect our personal health? Yes the premise is a good idea; greater accountability about our food source. However, is there any proven accountability that this new agency or any other government agency to date can really implement what’s required for our safety? Can you say ‘Hurricane Katrina?’ Hmmmmm

I don’t think so!
Ramona

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Ramona explains that in order for any pathogen to take over an organism, they need to come to power. Basically a foreign invader will evolve over time into more sophisticated states eventually leading to opportunistic virulent forms we know as diseases.

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