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Corporate **** politicians declare WAR on family farms and organic food!

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Author Topic: Corporate **** politicians declare WAR on family farms and organic food!  (Read 905 times)
Geolibertarian
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« on: August 24, 2010, 11:32:39 am »

http://www.naturalnews.com/025824.html

Stop Federal Takeover of Food Regulation in H.R. 875

by: Ethan Huff, citizen journalist
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

(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.

[Continued...]


http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=2287

HR 2749 [HR875/S425]: Farm to Fork Food Fascism Comes to America

March 16, 2009

Food is becoming a battle ground like no other: freedom, survival, fascistic take over of a once-free people (more or less, at least), corporate triumph over independent producers - it’s all happening around food. And the mechanism is simple: a set of bills ostensibly devoted to “food safety” and “food security”.

Urgent Action Item:

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26714

Tell Congress that the Farm Bills MUST be defeated. Time is short and the issue is of immense importance.

In essence, these bills are a sneak attack implementation of Codex Alimentarius. The Natural Solutions Foundation has been warning that organic farming and home growing, clean food and food freedom were under heavy attack. Here is the Mother of All Food Fascism Assaults and we still have some time to defeat it.

Congress often comes up with bad ideas. This is not just a bad idea: it is a catastrophically bad idea for health and freedom. In fact, it is nothing short of food tyranny and will kill not only organic farming, but lots of people as well, along with the entire private farming sector. Your own gardens are at risk as well.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to take action NOW (we have only a few days to create the urgent push-back needed to fend off this disastrous legislation. These are bad, deceptive and extraordinarily dangerous bills which make the eternal link between fascism and food crystal clear. But the bills are written in neutral, even calming tones. Please go to the articles below to read a brilliantly annotated version of the bills and a summary and learn just how dangerous they are. My thanks to Sue Diederich and Linn Cohen-Cole for their tireless work on this vital issue.

Just as -

~ “homeland security” is anything but assured by the Department of Homeland Security’s destruction of our rights,
~ “health” is not served by a healthcare system devoted to propagating illness for profit,
~ “democracy” is not served by corrupt voting machines and “man in the middle programs”

so food security and safety are not served by agencies and laws which -

~ drive independent farmers out of business,
~ forbid seed saving,
~ destroy safe food production and organic farming,
~ propagate dangerous and destructive industrial farming practices,
~ guarantee the total control of the food system by industrial forces known for unsafe food production while destroying the capacity of independent farmers to survive a regulatory onslaught created specifically to destroy them,
~ put home food production in jeopardy,
~ “HARMonize food production with pro-industry, pro-WTO controlled, lowest common denominator practices of Codex Alimentarius.

[Continued...]


http://www.naturalnews.com/026488_food_food_safety_health.html

Food Safety Bill HR 2749 Requires Immediate Opposition

by: Ethan Huff, citizen journalist
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

(NaturalNews) The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has announced the immediate need to oppose a new and integrated form of the many food safety bills that have been announced in recent months as potential candidate food safety bills. HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, is an aggregated version of bills such as HR 875 and HR 759 and it was introduced in its discussion draft form on June 8 by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI). It was immediately voted out of the Health Subcommittee on June 10 in an amended form and is headed quickly to the Energy and Commerce Committee on June 17 for mark-up. This is the first and only food safety bill that has received a hearing and made its way out of committee, indicating that this is indeed the bill that has been chosen and the one that needs to be vehemently opposed, and quickly.

Urgent opposition is necessary in order to stop this bill because not only does it fail to effectively reform the industrial food system, it will detrimentally impact small farms and food production facilities as well as local artisans who will be unfairly and disproportionally burdened with a one-size-fits-all regulatory system. Additionally, the bill will bolster the power of the already out-of-control Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while diminishing the existing judicial restraints on the agency's actions through its amending of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

Because the bill's provisions concerning food safety and FDA's scope of power concerning enforcement are so vaguely worded in this bill, it creates potential for the unchecked abuse of power by FDA and the incongruous application and enforcement of regulations. While failing to clearly identify and address the primary causes of food safety failures, including industrial farming practices and food supply consolidation, HR 2749 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors by unfairly targeting clean, small-scale, local farming and food operations.

Some of the disconcerting and dire provisions within the bill include:

[Continued...]


http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/the-gestapo-food-act-h-r-2749-must-be-stopped-action-link/

The Gestapo Food Act, H.R. 2749, Must Be Stopped

By The PEN
July 1, 2009

Here we have yet another phony food safety bill, which does NOTHING but grant the FDA massive new police powers without actual policy oversight. And it would do NOTHING to solve the actual problem, the stinking cesspools which call themselves “modern” factory farms, the SOLE source of whatever filth there is in our food supply. We don’t need burdensome new tracing regimes to drive small farmers out of business, we already know exactly where the problem is.

H.R. 2749 would give some FDA administrator (read self-serving corporate lobbyist) the power to dictate what farming practices must and must not be used nationwide (read enforced GMOs, growth hormones, and weird chemicals in our food). How can Congress make sane policy without identifying the specific problem and its source before empowering 10 year criminal sentences and $100,000 fines? It can’t. But only if we stop them from doing it, by speaking out now.

[Continued...]


http://aahf.nonprofitsoapbox.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=825&Itemid=

New Bill (HR 2749) Gives FDA Unheard-of Power over Small Farmers, Food and Supplement Producers

A new, long-awaited food safety bill is now before the US House of Representatives. It is the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, or FSEA. Introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D–CA) and John Dingell (D–MI), the FSEA is meant to address food safety concerns. But as you will see, much of it is not about food safety at all. Food safety issues have arisen from large agricultural operations. But this bill places its harshest burdens on small food producers and supplement producers.

The Food Safety Enhancement Act:

* gives the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unprecedented scope, authority, and power over small farmers, food producers, and supplement producers, including the power to use vague language to intimidate and threaten;

* imposes unjustifiably harsh criminal and civil penalties for even administrative violations; and

* places undue economic hardship on small and mid-sized farms and food facilities (both organic and conventional), which could easily drive many of them out of business, and lead to monopoly control of food by large corporations.

Also known as the Waxman–Dingell bill, the Food Safety Enhancement Act has a number of provisions that would directly affect many of AAHF’s members. Although much of the bill’s language is vague—and, some worry, deliberately deceptive—it is clear that the FSEA provides for the following:

[Continued...]


http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14328

Destroying America's Family Farm: HR 2749. A Stealth Agribusiness Empowering Act

by Stephen Lendman



Global Research
July 12, 2009

America is the truest example of what George Bernard Shaw meant when he said "Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for the appointment by the corrupt few." Obama is upholding the tradition and then some.

In fact, in less than six months, he's done the impossible. With congressional Democrats, he's compiled a worse record than even his fiercest critics feared, worse than George Bush, straight across the board on both domestic and foreign policies that include:

-- looting the nation's wealth, wrecking the economy, and consigning growing millions to impoverishment without jobs, homes, savings, social services, or futures;

-- proposing greater Fed empowerment and global monetary control, disguised as financial reform;

-- expanding unbridled militarism through continued foreign wars, occupations, and stepped up aggression on new fronts with the largest defense budget in history - greater than the rest of the world combined at a time America has no enemies;

-- its first coup d'etat in Honduras against its democratically elected president, an attempted regime change in Iran, and perhaps others ahead against independent leaders called national security threats while continuing to support the world's most ruthless and corrupt tyrants;

-- presiding over a bogus democracy under a homeland police state apparatus;

-- continuing the worst of the Bush administration's torture policies and practice of lawlessness;

-- targeting whistleblowers, dissenters, Muslims, and environmental and animal rights activists called terrorists;

-- illegally spying on Americans as aggressively as under George Bush;

-- destroying decades of hard won labor rights;

-- eroding Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other New Deal and Great Society social gains;
 
-- trying to control the media more aggressively than Richard Nixon, according to veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas;

-- refusing help for budget-stricken states like California; forcing them to impose austerity by gutting welfare programs, education, health care for the poor, and other vital services at a time they're most needed; to be followed by bailout-rich banks, real estate developers, and other profiteers using "shock doctrine" tactics to buy state and other troubled assets on the cheap;

-- continuing to commodify education, end government responsibility for it, and make it another business profit center;

-- proposing health care reform that will tax more, provide less, place profits above human need, disdain vital change, and leave a broken system in place;

-- readying Americans for dangerous, mandatory vaccinations that jeopardize human health, well-being, and may even cause death;

-- the (June 26) House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act to let corporate polluters reap huge windfall profits by charging consumers more for energy and fuel, create a new bubble through carbon trading derivatives speculation, yet do nothing to address environmental issues;

-- trying to revive the Real ID Act of 2005 with S. 1261: Pass ID Act, introduced on June 15 and referred to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; if enacted, it will erode personal freedoms by requiring all US citizens and legal residents to have a national identity card that will be needed to open a bank account, board an airplane, be able to vote, or conduct virtually all types of essential business; if embedded with an RFID chip, universal monitoring will be possible everywhere, all the time; and

-- the proposed HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act (FSEA) of 2009 discussed below.

HR 2749 - the Agribusiness Empowerment Act

Introduced on June 8, it "amend(s) the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to improve safety in the global market, and for other purposes."

Passed in 1938 to ensure public safety, FFDCA gives the FDA regulatory power over food, drugs, and cosmetics, later updated to include other biological products, medical devices, and products that emit radiation.

On June 10, FSEA was fast-tracked from the House Health Subcommittee to the Energy and Commerce Committee where on June 17 it cleared and was referred to the full House "for later consideration."

Like legislation introduced earlier this year but so far not passed, food safety is the presumed issue, but it's merely for cover. Current laws and regulations work well but they're not enforced, an issue this writer addressed in a previous article. It explained that the USDA is woefully understaffed, under-budgeted, and only perfunctorily carries out inspections.

A March 3, 2008 OMB Watch report highlighted the problem. Headlined, "Federal Meat Inspectors Spread Thin as Recalls Rise," it explained that USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is charged with ensuring safe meat, poultry and eggs, but its budget and staff haven't kept pace with its mandate.

In FY 1981, it had about 190 workers per billion pounds of meat and poultry inspected. By FY 2007, it was fewer than 88 or less than half as many. Yet under federal law, FSIS must inspect all meat, poultry, and egg products intended for commercial use. Its web site states: "Slaughter facilities cannot operate if FSIS inspection personnel are not present (and) Only Federally inspected establishments can produce products that are destined to enter commerce."

For these and other agribusiness products, reality belies the mandate as processors, manufacturers, and other corporate operators circumvent procedures, and according to inspectors interviewed, understaffing and lax policies contribute to the problem. An unsafe food supply results. Government policy is to blame, and FSEA and earlier proposed legislation aren't designed to help. They're vehicles to empower food giants, destroy small farmers, and harm the consuming public.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) Reacts

FTCLDF is an NGO representing farmers and consumers to:

-- "Protect the constitutional right of the nation's family farms to provide processed and unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means.

-- Protect the constitutional right of consumers to obtain unprocessed and processed farm foods directly from family farms, (and)

-- Protect the nation's family farms from harassment by federal, state, and local government interference with food production and on-farm food processing."

Run by industry officials, the FDA is a front group for agribusiness, Big Pharma, and other related industries it "regulates." If enacted, FSEA will greatly increase its power and limit judicial restraints on its actions. Although some provisions address improving the "mainstream food system," the potential for "inappropriate application and enforcement" is worrisome because the bill's language is vague and deceptive. It also doesn't define greater FDA authority or explain how it will empower agribusiness giants at the expense of small farms, "local artisanal producers" and consumers.

As a result, FTCLDF opposes HR 2749 because it will "adversely impact small farms and food producers, without providing significant reforms in the industrial food system." It also fails to address underlying food safety problems, including "agricultural practices" and industry consolidation. FTCLDT denounces FSEA for enhancing abusive powers at the expense of long-standing family farm freedoms and consumer choice.

Its specific concerns are as follows:

Current law requires "food facilities" to register one time at no charge with the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. Under FSEA, annual registration and a yearly $500 fee is required except for farms that do the following:

-- ones in a single physical location that grow and harvest crops, raise animals or seafood;

-- "that pack or hold food, provided that all food used in such activities is grown, raised, or consumed on that farm or another under the same ownership; and

-- facilities that manufacture/process food, provided that all food used in such activities is consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership."

Farm processing doesn't qualify unless it complies with the above provisions. If foods are produced elsewhere, farmers buying them lose their "farm" designation and become subject to annual registration procedures, henceforth done electronically in violation of Amish and other Mennonite customs that consider this practice a violation of their faith.

Extensive registration paperwork will also have to include:

-- certification of a hazard analysis;

-- identifying, implementing, and validating effective preventive controls and monitoring;

-- instituting and verifying corrective measures to address problems; and

-- maintaining records of all of the above and re-analyzing for hazards.

These requirements apply to local as well as others engaged in interstate commerce.

A detailed food safety plan is required as well that includes effective controls, monitoring, corrective action, verification, extensive record keeping, and other procedures that will be time consuming and expensive enough to put many small producers out of business.

All registered facilities will be subject to federal inspection in contrast to current law that applies only to ones engaged in interstate commerce. FSEA also requires all food producers to make their records available to FDA inspectors on demand. It applies to "production, manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, receipt, (and) holding of (food) in any format and at any location."

According to FTCLDF, the "FDA would now be empowered to go on a 'fishing expedition' and search records without any evidence whatsoever" of a violation. Further, "farmers selling direct to consumers would have to provide the (FDA) with records on where they buy supplies, how they raise their crops, and a list of customers."

Currently, examination only applies if there is "a reasonable belief that an article of food is adulterated and presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans and animals."

FSEA also imposes "traceability" provisions that require producers, processors, packers, transporters, and other food handlers to:

-- "maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food;

-- link that history with the subsequent history of the food;

-- establish and maintain a system for tracing the food (and)

-- use a unique identifier for each facility for such person for such purpose."

The above requirements leave many questions unanswered and may empower the FDA to enforce them onerously against small farmers, but loosely, if at all, for agribusiness because corporate officials run the agency and decide policy.

FSEA also empowers the FDA to impose growing standards called "science-based (ones) for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, sorting, transporting, and holding of raw agricultural commodities that - (1) are from a plant or a fungus; and (2) for which the Secretary has determined that such standards minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals."

This and other bill provisions mask FDA's dubious track record of serving corporate interests to the detriment of small farmers and consumers. By imposing costly and burdensome regulations, it will be easier to claim independent producers don't comply, ban their output as adulterated, and put them out of business.

[Continued...]

----------------------------------------



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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 05:22:50 pm »

http://www.prisonplanet.com/food-fascism-in-the-land-of-the-free.html

Food Fascism in the Land of the Free

Eric Blair
Activist Post
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The food industry is no longer a free market.  In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s becoming the most glaring example of corporate-government fascism in America.

Actual monopolies fully control the basic building blocks of the food that makes up the majority of the American diet — and no one seems to care.  Simply put, those who control the corn, wheat, and soybeans control all food, since all livestock and all processed foods are dependent on those food resources.  These monopolies place their cronies in government regulatory agencies like the FDA and USDA to weed out their competition through excessive regulation.  Currently proposed legislation are textbook examples of their methods.

There once was a time when free markets existed for food.  Back when local food ruled the day, if a farmer sold milk that was bad, he would not get return customers unless he adjusted his practices to make a healthier product.  This free market was self-regulating.  In other words, in a truly free market we shouldn’t need the FDA.  However, as mentioned before, we are light years from a free market.

Subsidies rain down on big agribusinesses that grow what the government tells them to grow.  Industry leaders like Cargill, Monsanto, and Tyson essentially turn farmers into indentured sharecroppers.  The food engineers at General Mills and others weave corn, wheat, and soybeans into chemical concoctions that end up in brightly colored packages — some even come with free Chinese-made toys.  The finished product develops from a Genetically Modified base, using multiple poisons to glue it together, demonstrating that the monopolies and their regulatory lapdogs care not for our health.

But what about voting with our pocketbooks, isn’t that a free market? Surely that is what we have been taught.  Yet, all 16 flavors of Cheerios — which give the appearance of free choice — are all made by General Mills from a genetically modified corn base.  This illusion of choice hides the monopolistic nature of food.

Enter Senate bill S. 510 Food Safety Modernization Act, already passed in the House as HR 2749. Some have demonized the bill as ultimate food fascism where the FDA will micromanage even small farms and co-ops to the point where it will become illegal to grow, share, trade or sell homegrown food. While others see it as a measured way to control the health and quality of factory farms. One thing is for sure, S.510 gives more power to the corrupt FDA to regulate our food. And there is renewed interest in the Senate to pass this bill since the recent massive egg and meat recalls due to salmonella and E. coli outbreaks.

       

This bill does nothing to change the actual practices of factory farming and the way the food for animals is grown and delivered. It does give the FDA draconian powers to force inspections to be paid for by the farmers themselves. This can be an effective tool for the big multinational agri-corporations to further squeeze out their competition and gain near complete control of food resources in America. Furthermore, S.510 essentially hands much of the FDA’s duties over to the liberty-smashing Department of Homeland Security — which is mentioned 41 times in the bill.

All 273 pages of the bill contain legalese that can be difficult to decode, but one of the easiest ways to determine if it is good for average Americans is to view who is supporting the bill, versus who opposes the bill. Monsanto and other agri-monopolies support the bill with full force. Indeed, some speculate that they even wrote the bill themselves.

       

Sadly, this bill is gaining momentum because of the recent food recalls. One way or another, our corrupt politicians and their corporate overlords will see to it that there is more regulation over our food. If this bill passes, we can expect more consolidation in agriculture and more police-state raids of private health-food cooperatives. Worse yet, this bill may just be the primer for the even more egregious bill HR.759 Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act, which fully restricts local food producers and natural health remedies.

Food freedom starts at home with the individual choices that we make. However, exposing the corrupt regulatory system and educating the powers that be about healthier ways to produce food is also vital to maintaining our food freedom. It’s time we tell the corporate government to back off our food.
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http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=162212.0
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