HR 875 the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
Here is another good analysis of this bill: http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-02mar2009.htm
and one that asks some really good questions that need to be answered: http://www.anhcampaign.org/news/what-might-the-so-called-monsanto-bill-really-do
Posted by: Pete at Mar 29, 2009 5:19:37 PM
For several months, there has been a close watch on these fake [food safety] bills slipped into committees for consideration and debate. Among them was HR 875.
875 is the establishment and structuring of the new food agency. It establishes the agency, and administrator. It broadly cites what will be controlled by this new agency and NO ONE IS EXEMPT if you grow or produce food or livestock.
While the bill claims its intent is to protect the US from food borne illness and contamination, it fails to address these issues which are known to be contaminated food imports, and unsanitary conditions at the points of processing. It also fails to note or fault the lack of inspection at these points, or to hold industrialized AG corporations accountable.
97% of all food borne illness occurs either in imported food products which come into our food supply uninspected and are co-mingled with domestic or other foriegn imports AND from processing NOT from domestic production.
At this time there are at least 17 bills and none of them address either of the known problems.
These bills are being submitted to force the US into total complance with Codex Alimentarius/Global Strategy. This is the same Codex which seeks to make vitamins and supplements illegal without a prescription and produced only by big pharma.
Although Codex is carefully presented as a humanitarian effort, its implementation in 40 poorer nations has resulted in famine and food riots.
Posted by: Marti Oakley at Mar 30, 2009 1:53:18 PM
Regarding the peanut recall in Georgia......the same owner of that company was a member of the USDA quality control board for peanut industry. Wonder how he got away with this?
No bill should be so broadly written that it can at a later date, under the rule making (law-making) ability of another dictatorial US agency be used to target, harrass or terrorize small farmers and ranchers. This is what the USDA and FDA do now.
They just complained to congress that their agencies were undermanned, underfunded......but they have the manpower and funds to put private farms and ranches under surveillance for refusing to comply with Premises ID and NAIS.
Reading this article a second time I have to state that Monsanto is so deeply involved with our government even on the state level. Ask the fine people of Montana who were just informed that a bill which would have prevented Monsanto from seizing all rights to seed distribution and would have penalized them for contaminating non gmo crops.....got brushed aside by their Republican friends over a fine dinner...that Mansanto paid for.
Posted by: Marti Oakley at Mar 30, 2009 2:03:04 PM
There is obfuscating language in this bill designed to confuse and redirect your attention to thinking by implication rather than specification. This is cleverly illustrated using the words "include(s)", "exclude(s)" and custom definitions. So let's take a look at an example.
(a) In General- Any food establishment or foreign food establishment engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding food for consumption in the United States shall register annually with the Administrator.
Notice that annual registration is limited to a Food Establishment or foreign food establishment. One cannot imply that this extends beyond these two entities as defined in the definitions section and only those that engage in manufacturing, processing, packing or holding food for consumption.
Before I get to what is a Food Establishment or foreign food establishment, let me give you an example of the use of include and typical efforts employed to muddy the waters.
To start with we must recognize that if a word is meant to be understood as having its common meaning, there is no need to define it at all. It is axiomatic that if a word is explicitly defined, it has a restricted meaning. If language such as the term "Fruit" is used and defined as "includes, apples, oranges, and pears", it can only be understood as restricting the definition to those things listed, or no definition would be required; the word "fruit" would be understood to include apples, oranges and pears, as well as all other fruits. If the word "common" is left out of the definition, then the things used in the definition are what establish the class to which belong, and as the word is being deliberately defined, the common meaning of the word must be excluded.
Under the definitions section:
(13) FOOD ESTABLISHMENT-
(A) IN GENERAL- The term ‘food establishment’ means a slaughterhouse (except those regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act), factory, warehouse, or facility owned or operated by a person located in any State that processes food or a facility that holds, stores, or transports food or food ingredients.
(B) EXCLUSIONS- For the purposes of registration, the term ‘food establishment’ does not include a food production facility as defined in paragraph (14), restaurant, other retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer, or fishing vessel (other than a fishing vessel engaged in processing, as that term is defined in section 123.3 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations).
(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.
So a Food Establishment is not a farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, confined animal-feeding operation. This is a custom definition, is specific and no other implications can be drawn as meaning something else. Note that farm, ranch .... since not custom defined, have a common definition without exclusion or inclusion. I do not have cites to their common definition.
In addition to the above, a Food Establishment is not a resturant, retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment or fishing vessel (as limited in definition to section 123.3 of title 21 of CFR). Again, resturant, retail food establishment .... have a common definition without exclusion or inclusion.
There is a specific class of actions as custom defined by 'Process', all of them being Commercial.
(19) PROCESS- The term ‘process’ or ‘processing’ means the commercial slaughter, packing, preparation, or manufacture of food.
Note this means Commercial slaughter, commercial packing, commercial preparation, commercial manufacture of food.
There is another specific class of actions not defined but listed as holds, stores, or transports. Common definitions apply here.
Also, there is a geographical constraint that limits this to any State. What is a State?
(20) STATE- The term ‘State’ means--
(A) a State;
(B) the District of Columbia;
(C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and
(D) any other territory or possession of the United States.
This is important since we move to the only other entity required to register annually, a foreign food establishment.
(16) FOREIGN FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘foreign food establishment’ means any category 1 through 5 food establishment or food production facility located outside the United States that processes or produces food or food ingredients for consumption in the United States.
Look at what has happened here. The Food Establishment custom definition does not apply since the location is specific and "located outside the United States" and does not fall within the confines of a 'State'. Therefore the exclusions of "(14) Food Production Facility" do not apply.
This makes this particular entity far more reaching than the restrictive entity of a "Food Establishment" located in a 'State'.
What does all this mean?
If you do not fall under the custom definition of a "Food Establishment" you are not required to register. If you are not required to register then there is no categorization of you as a Category 1 thru 5, you can't be assigned a registration number, there is no inspection, monitoring, or reporting requirements. This is however not a statement that you are not obligated to practice good health standards.
Posted by: Bob S. at Apr 2, 2009 12:26:15 PM
When one writes a bill with such sweeping language that does not specifically exclude small farmers, roadside veggies stands, and home gardens it causes confusion and apprehension.
So here is the question:
Wouldn't this entire mess just be cleared up if simple language, you know the Keep It Simple Silly principle, was applied?
"No foodstuffs produced by American Citizens on their own property for their own consumption, sharing with neighbors or to supplement other hungry individuals during these Economically Challenging times shall be covered by HR 875."
I mean - we expect results - let us tell the legislators what we want.
Maybe that is too simple - but look at the situation we are in now by writing thousand page Bills.
Posted by: Sharon S. at Apr 6, 2009 8:44:12 AM
http://www.gqrr.com/index.php?ID=109 Please be sure and look at the list of clients represented by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and you will see that Monsanto is still listed. I would think that since Greenberg's personal page on the site has been updated as late as 2/15/09, if Monsanto wasn't still someone's client at GQR, in the past decade they wouldn't still be listed today. Who will ever really know?
I see the US as the Shire when Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin return after the end of the War of the Ring. The hobbits eat the "leavings" at the ruffian's houses after they have distributed everyone's goods, and taken the best for themselves. I don't see any good in any of the legislation proposed in the last 10 years, just people legislating their agendas out of greed.
"Come the revolution, we'll all have strawberries and cream!"
"But I don't like strawberries and cream!"
COME THE REVOLUTION, WE'LL ALL HAVE STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM!!!"
"Meet the new boss - same as the old boss."
Posted by: Lynn Holbrook at Apr 6, 2009 7:35:14 PM
The article you highlighted in your first paragraph on nonny mouse's blog from Crooks and Liars was written by Brad G. Mitchell, Director of PR for Monsanto. You might want to do your own research and not depend on organizations or others to tell you what they think from what somebody else tells THEM to think.
Posted by: Debbie at Apr 6, 2009 8:43:46 PM
Actually Debbie, the highlighted paragraph, was from Jill Richardson, "an intelligent and passionate campaigner for organic farming", according to Nonny Mouse.
I am well aware that there is a large section of the post on Crooks and Liars that is written by Brad G. Mitchell, and I don't believe I quoted any of it here, nor do I put much stock in what a PR guy from any large corporation says. And, for the record, I did my own research before I wrote my post, as I do for everything I write - but thanks for the tip!
Sahron S. - I agree! It seems there is some simple language that can "fix" the problems in the current bill, or perhaps it will be re-written entirely. Getting a bill passed can be a rather long process after all.
Thanks everyone else for your thoughts, I'm sorry I haven't had much time to respond, as I have many baby seedlings to tend to. (post coming soon!)
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Posted by: Whitney Segura at Apr 18, 2009 5:17:42 AM
you may like to see this! which opens USA up to a whole lot of unchecked and dodgy food coming in.
thanks FDA. and as so little is customs inspected....
Posted by: amicus curiae at Apr 25, 2009 11:07:14 AM
ps, to the folks who do not think that commercial is a home kitchen, In australia a home kitchen also has to have HACCAP rules followed accreditation is $80 and the council has the right to inspect and approve your own kitchen anytime it wants! if you make ANYTHING to sell, it IS commercial.
these laws will put you in the same position, i now need to go hire the local halls approved kitchen to make jam to sell, as my kitchen doesnt meet commercial standards, and i bet most homes do not also!
the NAIS proposed is here too, it cost one farmer who moved his cattle to another farm he owned, $23,000 in fines. It is draconian and we have it Mandatory from the start.
If the animal is not on the tag system you cannot have it processed even for personal eating at a local slaughterhouse, and home killing is also illegal. catch 22!
Posted by: amicus curiae at Apr 25, 2009 11:13:16 AM
I just wanted to point out that - in the section on civil penalties, 405(a)(1); the bill states
(A) IN GENERAL- Any person that commits an act that violates the food safety law (including a regulation promulgated or order issued under the food safety law) may be assessed a civil penalty by the Administrator of not more than $1,000,000 for each such act.
(B) SEPARATE OFFENSE- Each act described in subparagraph (A) and each day during which that act continues shall be considered a separate offense."
Key language here is "not more than $1,000,000".
But still... !
intrusive, bureaucratic, unnecessary.
Posted by: maria at May 7, 2009 1:15:13 AM
MYTH: This bill will make it illegal to grow vegetables in a back-yard garden.
FACT: This bill will make it illegal for anyone to sell vegetables from there back-yard garden to restaurants without permits/licensing/regulation
FACT: Small farmers with "back-yard gardens" grow me nicer produce for my restaurant than anything I can get from SYSCO®.
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Posted by: organic delivered at Sep 29, 2010 1:38:44 PM
I am concerned that any home garden could be lumped in to the above definition, but I am more concerned about the small organic farmer and CSA's.
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I like this! The article you highlighted in your first paragraph on nonny mouse's blog from Crooks and Liars was written by Brad G. Mitchell, Director of PR for Monsanto. You might want to do your own research and not depend on organizations or others to tell you what they think from what somebody else tells THEM to think.GooD luck!
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Thanks for this post! They just complained to congress that their agencies were undermanned, underfunded......but they have the manpower and funds to put private farms and ranches under surveillance for refusing to comply with Premises ID and NAIS.
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What remarkable post! It seems there is some simple language that can "fix" the problems in the current bill, or perhaps it will be re-written entirely. Getting a bill passed can be a rather long process after all.
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