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Food Safety

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Mike

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George Soros And Food Safety

Posted 07:00 PM ET


Big Government: A questionable food safety bill in search of a crisis passed the Senate, but may hit a snag in the House. This power grab of the nation's food supply may end up benefiting a certain Hungarian billionaire.

Why would the Senate take up precious time in the lame duck session considering a food safety bill?

Just as ObamaCare wasn't really about health care reform but about government power, S510 is not really about food safety but about government control of agriculture and the nation's food producers. The Food Safety Modernization Act would give the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented power to govern how farmers produce their crops. The FDA would be able to control soil, water, hygiene, and even temperature, on farms. Through the law, the agency could regulate animal activity in the fields.

"This legislation means that parents who tell their kids to eat their spinach can be assured it won't make them sick," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who wrote the bill, referring to a recent e-coli outbreak traced to spinach.

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste, even if you have to manufacture one. As the Heritage Foundation reports, the nation's food supply is the world's safest and getting safer all the time. Incidences of food-borne illnesses, despite headlines about massive egg recalls, have been declining for more than a decade.

In 1996, there were 51.2 cases of confirmed food-borne bacterial contamination per 100,000 people.

By 2009, this fell by a third to 34.8 cases per 100,000 people. So it would seem it's getting safer for kids to eat their spinach. But then again, this bill isn't about spinach.

S510 transfers authority over food regulation enforcement from the FDA to the Homeland Security Department, which brought us the TSA, naked body scanners and the groping of our junk. The bill requires the EPA to "participate" in regulating the food chain.

The bill expands government authority and control over America's 2.2 million farms, 28,000 food manufacturing facilities, 149,000 food and beverage stores, and 505,000 residents and similar facilities. It increases inspections of all food "facilities."

Because it taxes them for the privilege, the House must pass a new version of the bill to be sent back to the Senate. The Constitution requires all tax bills to originate in the House, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who opened the session with a five-minute soliloquy on football, should have known that.

One interesting feature of the bill is a bunch of new regulations regarding seeds and seed cleaning that requires expensive equipment. Smaller concerns might not be able to handle the added burden, concentrating the handling of seed production in the hands of corporate giants like Monsanto.

Curiously, George Soros' hedge fund has just bought 897,813 shares (valued at $312.6 million) of Monsanto. His hand seems to be in anything that weakens individual freedom and destabilizes currencies and free governments, and makes him money in the process.

Governments at all levels have been busy telling us what we should eat and how our restaurants should prepare our food. Trans fats are bad and must be banned, as must vending machines that dispense candy bars and soda. There's talk of putting federally funded salad bars in our public schools.

So much for the pursuit of happiness — we're from the government and we have ways to make you healthy. Thomas Jefferson once said: "If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."

Well, ObamaCare has taken care of the medicine part, and now government is after our spinach, too.

You can have our turnips when you pry them from our cold, dead hands. Bon appetit, America.
 

hypocritexposer

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If you read the bill, DHS will be working with Health and Human Services.

I wonder why Soros thinks Monsanto's stock will rise in value? Why is Monsanto's stock expected to increase in value, because of this bill? You'd think if this was all about food safety, it would mean increased costs to Monsanto, which would decrease the value of their stock.
 

Sandhusker

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hypocritexposer said:
If you read the bill, DHS will be working with Health and Human Services.

I wonder why Soros thinks Monsanto's stock will rise in value? Why is Monsanto's stock expected to increase in value, because of this bill? You'd think if this was all about food safety, it would mean increased costs to Monsanto, which would decrease the value of their stock.

You've got a good point there, Hypo.
 

Mike

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I wonder why Soros thinks Monsanto's stock will rise in value? Why is Monsanto's stock expected to increase in value, because of this bill? You'd think if this was all about food safety, it would mean increased costs to Monsanto, which would decrease the value of their stock.

That's the whole general point of the article.

"One interesting feature of the bill is a bunch of new regulations regarding seeds and seed cleaning that requires expensive equipment. Smaller concerns might not be able to handle the added burden, concentrating the handling of seed production in the hands of corporate giants like Monsanto."
 

Liberty Belle

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Big government makes for strange bedfellows. Here is a list of organizations that support and oppose S. 510. I was a very active member of Farm Bureau for decades, but after their support for NAIS and the government takeover of agriculture I'm done with them forever! I am, however, a proud member of the Heritage Foundation.

Sources of Influence
MAPLight.org reports that the following organizations have taken a stance on Senate Bill 510:


SUPPORT:
Consumers Union
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Food Marketing Institute
Consumer Federation of America
National Restaurant Association
General Mills
National Association of Manufacturers
International Dairy Foods Association
American Public Health Association
Grocery Manufacturers Association
American Bakers Association
International Foodservice Distributors Association
National Consumers League
American Frozen Food Institute
National Confectioners Association
Snack Food Association
Trust for America's Health
United Fresh Produce Association
American Beverage Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Veterinary Medical Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Kraft Foods North America
Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP)
Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention
National Fisheries Institute
Pew Charitable Trust
International Bottled Water Association
National Coffee Association

OPPOSE:
John Birch Society
American Grassfed Association
Produce Marketing Association
National Family Farm Coalition
Campaign for Liberty
The Heritage Foundation
Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
Weston A. Price Foundation
Raw Milk Association of Colorado
Small Farms Conservancy
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Farm Family Defenders
 

Liberty Belle

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Check this list of RINO Republicans who voted for S. 510. If your Senators are on the list, send them packing at the next election.

Senate passes new food police bill: Roll call vote 73-25
Senator Bennet: “It’s all rigged”
By Michelle Malkin • November 30, 2010


I mentioned last week that a new Big Foodie bill opposed by a diverse coalition of limited government activists, small family farmers, and left-leaning “locovores” was coming down the pike.

Today, I’m disappointed to tell you, the regulatory expansion bill masquerading as a “safety” measure passed by a large margin — with stomach-turning Republican support.

Here’s the roll call vote.

The 15 power-grabby Republicans who voted for it:
Alexander (R-TN)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Collins (R-ME)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kirk (R-IL)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Snowe (R-ME)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)

The Senate bill must be reconciled with a version that passed the House of Representatives in 2009 before Congress adjourns for the year.

***
Walter Olson weighs in (be sure to go to his post for all the accompanying background links):

The wider question is whether the bill as a whole, with its massive ramp-up of federal regulation to displace both voluntary market choices and state-level regulation, is a good idea. As I observed to TownHall’s Jillian Bandes, despite the panic atmosphere generated over the issue in recent years, the best evidence is that the incidence of food poisoning continues to fall, not rise; one reason for the greater press coverage of the issue is that science has gotten better at identifying and tracing the sorts of outbreaks that were happening all along. To some who promote a more intensive regulatory state, the resulting “crisis” presents a welcome opportunity, even though, on these advocates’ own terms, the existing array of laws provides ample means by which federal agencies can crack down on food actually shown to pose a hazard.

When the new Congress convenes in January, it will bring to Washington dozens of new lawmakers with more skeptical views about regulation, who may listen with favor to colleagues like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has argued against the pending FSMA as an unjustified power grab. Could that be why Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is determined to force through the bill during the lame duck session? In this case — as with the very bad Paycheck Fairness Act, which Republicans managed to stop earlier this month, and the even more appalling “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act” to force unionization on local public safety workers — it’s almost as if the point of the post-election session is to push controversial measures that would encounter more resistance if held over to the next Congress. Is this really a proper use of the lame duck?

Chris Moody at the Daily Caller reports on a hot mic moment of candor caught on the Senate floor:

A hot mic left on during a Senate vote Tuesday morning on the Food Safety Act caught a senator complaining that process of setting the agenda during the lame-duck session is “rigged.”

“It’s all rigged. The whole conversation is rigged,” a currently unknown member on the Senate floor said. “The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck . It’s just rigged. ”

The remark was picked up live on C-SPAN 2, although microphones are usually turned down during voting times. An aide quickly realized the mistake, jumped up and had the sound cut off.

So who said it? Sounds a lot like my own Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (last heard dodging Peter Boyles here).

David Freddoso thinks it’s Bennet, too. Chris Moody is checking it out.

Update: Yup, it was Bennet. Gaffetastic!

http://michellemalkin.com/2010/11/30/senate-passes-new-food-police-bill-roll-call-vote-73-25/
 

Ben H

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Oh believe me it's my intent to send Snowe and Collins packing. Monsanto will just past costs on to the consumer, at a profit of course.
 
A

Anonymous

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Do you believe that its possible these (only a few of the hundreds over the last 3 years) and the multinational corporate food producers and importers failure to do anything to change it on their own- could have any reason for why those Dems and Repubs both that voted for the bill :???:

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22274&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26447&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28427&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30446&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30446&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17726&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24128&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21420&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21625&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18714&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19139&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17349&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17597&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16915&highlight=recall
 

Ben H

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I don't have an argument against the massive recall, but I do feel it's a symptom of the vertical integration of agriculture and an unintended consequence of "efficiency".

Joel Salatin has said it best in his book "Everything I want to do is illegal, war stories from the local food front". One of the big take home messages was that when you are producing food locally and direct marketing, your reputation is on the line, if you don't produce a good clean product people can see that for themselves and you go out of business.
 

hypocritexposer

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Oldtimer said:
Do you believe that its possible these (only a few of the hundreds over the last 3 years) and the multinational corporate food producers and importers failure to do anything to change it on their own- could have any reason for why those Dems and Repubs both that voted for the bill :???:

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22274&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26447&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28427&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30446&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30446&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17726&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24128&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21420&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21625&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18714&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19139&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17349&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17597&highlight=recall

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16915&highlight=recall


And you think this bill is going to end recalls?


:lol: :lol:
 

hypocritexposer

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Mike said:
I wonder why Soros thinks Monsanto's stock will rise in value? Why is Monsanto's stock expected to increase in value, because of this bill? You'd think if this was all about food safety, it would mean increased costs to Monsanto, which would decrease the value of their stock.

That's the whole general point of the article.

"One interesting feature of the bill is a bunch of new regulations regarding seeds and seed cleaning that requires expensive equipment. Smaller concerns might not be able to handle the added burden, concentrating the handling of seed production in the hands of corporate giants like Monsanto."



Follow the money, as they say....

OT, still think this is all about food safety?


“Unconstitutional” food bill driven by Big Food lobby dollars


While over 200 organizations lobbied on the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), no one seemed to notice an unconstitutional section in the bill until after it passed on Tuesday. That day, Roll Call advised that the bill contained a provision, Sec. 107, allowing the Senate to raise revenues. This violates Article I, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution, granting that power exclusively to the House. S.510 opponents now celebrate the House’s use of the “blue slip process” to return the bill to the Senate.

The Alliance for Natural Health figures that, “The only possible ‘quick fix’ would be a unanimous consent agreement in the Senate to strike that revenue-raising provision from the bill—but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has already stated that he will oppose, so unanimity will be impossible.” ANH believes it is unlikely that the Senate will return to a debate on S.510, given its full agenda. Its only other option is to “allow the bill to die at the end of this Congress [which means] a new Food Safety Bill will be introduced next year.”

After S.510 passed, President Obama issued a statement: “I urge the House — which has previously passed legislation demonstrating its strong commitment to making our food supply safer — to act quickly on this critical bill, and I applaud the work that was done to ensure its broad bipartisan passage in the Senate.”

Apparently, the Senate moved too quickly. Their overreach only supports the natural foods movement assertion that the entire bill is over-reaching as the federal government seeks complete control over local foods.

The Money and the Vote

In an email, Canada Health whistleblower Shiv Chopra noted, “It is all about corporate control of food and public health.” He’s not alone in believing that a ‘hidden corporate agenda’ is driving the federal government to impose itself on local food production and distribution. This belief is bolstered by a detailed look at the financial contributors in support of food control legislation. Open Secrets.org reports that 208 groups lobbied on S.510. According to an analysis by Maplight.org, financial supporters of S.510 include:

* The US Chamber of Commerce (no friend to small business);

* Kraft Foods North America (the world’s second largest food and beverage company;

* General Mills (which earned $15 billion in revenue in 2009); and the

* American Farm Bureau Federation (a Big Ag and insurance industry lobbyist that supports the use of genetically modified foods).

According to data at Open Secrets.org, AFB spent $9.5 million since 2009 to lobby for S.510 and against the House version. Food & Water Watch noted that AFB president Bob Stallman “condemn consumers and farmers who oppose the industrial model of agriculture, referring to them as ‘extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule.’” Clearly, the American Farm Bureau Federation does not favor small farms.

Breaking agribusiness lobby spending down by sector, Open Secrets reports that in 2009, the:

* Crop production and basic processing industry spent $20.3 million;
* Food processing and sales industry spent $30.2 million; and the
* Agriculture services and products industry spent $34.4 million.

In 2009 and 2010, Pepsi spent over $14 million and Coca-Cola spent $4.5 million on both S.510 and HR 2749 (the House version). Other groups supporting S.510 include the International Bottled Water Association, International Dairy Foods Association, International Foodservice Distributors Association, and the Snack Food Association. Hardly advocates of small producers or natural foods.

Under the guise of food ‘safety,’ food control legislation has been widely supported by major food industry lobbyists, who spent over $1 billion since 1998 to influence Congress. Do the American people even have a voice in food choice, when measured against the hundreds of millions of dollars multinational corporations foist on Congress to influence legislation?

Monsanto and the Tester Amendment


Two final comments are in order: one on the ineffectual Tester Amendment and the other on Monsanto’s influence over food safety.

First, the Tester Amendment “exemption” — defined as those generating less than $500,000 a year in revenue – is ludicrously low. Kraft Foods generates that every seven minutes : it earned $40 billion in revenue in 2009. There can be no single bill that adequately addresses food production when talking about producers as disparate as these. Small farms are in a different universe from multinational corporations.

A ten-million-dollar exemption is more reasonable. Farms earning less than $10 million a year are much more similar to Mom & Pop operations than they are to Kraft Foods or Monsanto. Farms earning between a half million and ten million annually are more likely than Mom & Pop to achieve product consistency and, because of a higher output, lower market price, thus appealing to locavores on three levels. That ludicrously low $500,000 figure only highlights the overreach of an obese federal government.

Second, the Tester Amendment does not exempt small food producers as broadly as proponents claim. Eric Blair noted that “even a ‘very small business’ making less than $500K per year, doing business ‘within 275 miles’ and directly with ‘end-user customers’ is still required to adhere to all of the [other] regulations” in the massive food control bill.

In order to qualify for exemption, he points out that small producers must file three years of detailed financial records, detailed hazard analysis plans, and detailed proof of compliance with local, county and state laws. Then, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must approve each exemption.

How many “food producers” who donate food to the homeless, or who supply homemade products at bake sales, county fairs, church bazaars, and community picnics are going to bother with such hyper-regulation? Obama’s vision of food “safety” destroys the local economy, and it destroys community relations.

S.510 opponent Sen. Tom Coburn has repeatedly stressed that the bill will not make our food supply any safer and will “drive small producers out of business.” No wonder so many multi-billion dollar corporations support it.

Finally, let’s not forget that Obama has stacked his administration with former employees of Monsanto, making Michael Taylor his Food Czar. Anything this Administration supports in the way of food control will surely benefit Monsanto, while harming the natural foods industry and small producers. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration is already waging a bureaucratic war on private food contracts and natural food producers.

Meanwhile, the battle for food freedom rages on, with a temporary reprieve now that S.510 has been recalled to the Senate Chamber


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22236
 

Steve

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Oldtimer said:
Do you believe that its possible these (only a few of the hundreds over the last 3 years) and the multinational corporate food producers and importers failure to do anything to change it on their own- could have any reason for why those Dems and Repubs both that voted for the bill :???:

http://ranchers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16915&highlight=recall

the last big scare was eggs?
A massive egg recall by Write County Egg has sickened hundreds of people, and affected 13 retail brands that the egg factory packages.

Wright County Egg, based in Galt, Iowa, is one of the top ten egg producers in the United States, with a flock of more than 15 million chickens

In August, 2010, the company recalled 380 million eggs in connection with a salmonella outbreak,[8] and a related company, Hillandale Farms, recalled 170 million eggs

not from a mom and pop operation... mainly because in the egg industry there is no mom and pop organizations left...

the bigger question is why are there so few Mom and Pop operations left in egg production?

you might find the answer is that they could no longer afford to comply with the regulations constantly heaped upon them by the government..
 

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