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S 510

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jodywy

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SENATE VOTING TO CONTROL FOOD SUPPLY!
CONTACT YOUR SENATOR IMMEDIATELY
Harry Reid has forced a Vote on Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Act. The vote invoked cloture, which limited debate to 30 hours total. Twenty four Republicans voted with Reid. All Reid needed was three-fifths (60 votes), but 24 Republicans already forgot how Americans voted November 2nd and sided with liberal Reid.

S 510 is a step toward increasing the size and cost of government at the expense of Americas farmers-big and small. The so-called Food Safety Act empowers the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate every part of every farming operation in the nation.

The cost of compliance and record keeping to farmers cannot even be estimated. Even the farm wife who sells jam, preserves and apple butter at a Christmas bizarre will have to be permitted by the FDA. The cost to the government- all tax payers-will be $1.6 billion over the next five years, according to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). It also requires that a minimum of 4000 staff members be added in 2011 and 5000 by 2015 to implement the Act. So much for the call to reduce the federal government workforce.

Over the next 30 hours, everyone needs to contact their Senator, especially those up for reelection in 2012 who voted with Reid to withdraw the hold and limit on debate. Let them know their vote did not represent your views and demand they now vote against the bill, but also let them know that this vote will be remembered in 2012, especially those up for re-election.

S 510 greatly expands federal government’s jurisdiction over intrastate commerce, meaning it threatens individual states rights to regulate food produced within their jurisdiction and gives the federal government total control. It also imposes a one-size-fits-all regulation approach making it more difficult for small farms and food processors to remain in business.

S 510 was expanded by 77 pages when the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released the Manager’s Package last August 12th.

REASONS to OPPOSE the Manager’s Package of S 510:
1. Gives dangerously broad regulatory and discretionary power to FDA over entire food supply without proper checks and balances to avoid abuse of power; 2. Will impose a one-size-fits-all regulation approach on thousands of farmers, producers, processors, and suppliers who sell fresh products to millions of Americans;
3. Limits our own U.S. domestic laws and ensures international agreements or treaties established by the World Trade Organizations will control;
4. Will preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food nature makes.

ACTION to TAKE:
1. See How Your Senator Voted.
2. Call or Email Your Senator and tell them to vote “No” on S510, the Food Safety Act.
3. Call or Email ALL Senators who voted “Yes” on the Cloture Motion up for Reelection in 2012.

For More Information:
S510 Revised: FDA Coming to a Farm Near You
Beware of the Senate Bill 510, the Food Seizure and Big Agra Act
 

Liberty Belle

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The last thing we need is to turn control of agriculture over to the federal government!

Here's another story for you:

Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act vote imminent: Would outlaw gardening and saving seeds
Mike Adams
Natural News
Nov 16, 2010

Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called “the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America.” It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public’s right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmer’s markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don’t comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government.

“It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” – Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower (http://shivchopra.com/?page_id=2)

This tyrannical law puts all food production (yes, even food produced in your own garden) under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Yep — the very same people running the TSA and its naked body scanner / passenger groping programs.

This law would also give the U.S. government the power to arrest any backyard food producer as a felon (a “smuggler”) for merely growing lettuce and selling it at a local farmer’s market.

It also sells out U.S. sovereignty over our own food supply by ceding to the authority of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Codex Alimentarius.
It would criminalize seed saving (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/20…), turning backyard gardeners who save heirloom seeds into common criminals. This is obviously designed to give corporations like Monsanto a monopoly over seeds.

It would create an unreasonable paperwork burden that would put small food producers out of business, resulting in more power over the food supply shifting to large multinational corporations.

I encourage you to read more about this dangerous bill at the Food Freedom blog on WordPress: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/20…

Watch this excellent video on NaturalNews.TV which explains S.510 in more detail:
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=9209B…

Sign this petition at Citizens for Health:
http://www.citizens.org/?page_id=2312
Do it today! This is really important.

In addition, the Cornucopia Institute recently sent out an urgent call-to-action email containing the following information: (http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/11/a…)

How to protest Senate Bill 510

1) Go to Congress.org and type in your zip code in the box in the upper right hand corner.

2) Click on your Senator’s name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number. You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.

3) Once connected ask to speak to the legislative staff person responsible for agriculture. If they are unavailable leave a voice mail message. Be sure to include your name and phone number.

Give them this message in support of the “Tester Amendment” which would exempt small farms from S.510:

“I am a constituent of Senator___________. I ask that he/she support the Tester Amendment to the food safety bill. The Tester Amendment will exempt the safest, small, owner-operator farms and food facilities and farmers who direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants. Food safety legislation should not create inappropriate and costly regulatory barriers to family farms and the growing healthy food movement in the drive to crack down on corporate bad actors. Please support the Tester Amendment and market opportunities for small and mid-sized family farms, and small food processing facilities.”

You may also wish to explain that you oppose the Food Safety Modernization Act in its entirety, and it is a destructive, freedom-crushing law that will destroy the future of food in America.

Remember, America has already lost control over its money supply to the Federal Reserve (nearly a hundred years ago). America has lost its health due to the medical industry and its profit-from-sickness agenda. Now we may lose our right to grow our own food and save our own seeds if Senate Bill 510 passes.

This is a dangerous, tyrannical law that would thrust the American people into an age of darkness and malnutrition. It would criminalize many of the very people growing our food and turn food production into yet another corporate monopoly.

Please take the time right now to contact your U.S. Senator and voice your strong opposition to this bill.

http://www.infowars.com/senate-bill-s-510-food-safety-modernization-act-vote-imminent-would-outlaw-gardening-and-saving-seeds/
 

jingo2

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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Now , this takes the cake!!!! You folks are looney!!!!

Well, Betty that means you can't garden in the nude anymore cause you won't have any tomato plants!!!

This is a riot...
 

hopalong

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jingo2 said:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Now , this takes the cake!!!! You folks are looney!!!!

Well, Betty that means you can't garden in the nude anymore cause you won't have any tomato plants!!!

This is a riot...

Also means you cannot use lettice to stuff your bra for your date with your cousins, guess you need to go back to toliet paper or paper towels :wink: :wink:

EH kolo
 

Liberty Belle

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Good one hoppy! But we have to be careful not to hurt these poor libs' feelings after the huge loses their side suffered in the last election. Try to overlook the idiotic garbage they spout, will you? :twisted:

Overreaching Food Safety Modernization Act Would Destroy Family Farmers
by Matt Kibbe
Friday, November 19, 2010


Yesterday, the Senate voted to take up consideration of S.510, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act, which would grant the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) more control over our diets. The supposed intention behind the legislation is to protect consumers from food-borne illnesses. But will it really?

If passed, the misnamed Food Safety and Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to tell farmers how to grow their crops. Federal bureaucrats who likely know little to nothing about farming will set the guidelines on appropriate temperatures, what soil to use, how much water to use and what animals are allowed to be on certain fields.

A study by Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) office states “on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer)”

Sen. Jon Tester has introduced the “Tester Amendment” which would allegedly prevent these harmful regulations from affecting small family farms. However, Campaign for Liberty says these regulations will still be imposed on whoever the FDA decides. It could even affect your home garden if you sell vegetables or fruits at a local farmers market.

President John Tate states: “Don’t fall for their rhetoric about a few provisions that supposedly address concerns of small-scale farmers; the FDA still has all the power it needs to shut down family farms on a whim. In other words, it will be up to bureaucrats to decide whether or not local food production is decimated by federal regulations or shut down.”

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that this overreaching bill would cost $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015. To carry out these new rules, the federal government will hire over 17,000 new bureaucrats. Food producers will likely spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually complying with these unnecessary government regulations. This cost will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher food prices. Big agriculture is one of the largest proponents of the bill since it will likely destroy their competitors who cannot afford the high cost of these regulations.

Since the egg salmonella scare last summer, the misguided bill has gained momentum in the Senate. However, over-regulation—not a lack of regulation— is largely to blame for the recent outbreak of salmonella. According to the Wall Street Journal, “USDA graders pointed to increasingly unsanitary conditions at Wright County Egg — but that the agriculture agency didn’t flag the problems to the FDA…”

Since the FDA is one of 15 agencies that administer numerous laws related to food safety, overlapping and inconsistent oversight often occurs. According to a Government Accountability Office testimony, the FDA and USDA have 1,451 duplicative inspections of food-producing facilities annually. Shouldn’t we seek to get rid of waste and duplicative inspections—not add even more burdensome regulation? The bill would increase the number of inspections and tax food producers to do so.

Since 1996, The Heritage Foundation states that food-borne illnesses have reduced by one third. The free market has provided technological advances that have made food much safer. But why does it seem that food-borne illnesses have increased within recent years? Cato Institute scholar Walter Olsen states “Despite the image that there are more food safety crises in recent years, the reality is that… we are just much better at identifying and tracking the crisis.”

With the economy still suffering, we cannot afford even more burdensome job killing regulation. We must stop this dangerous bill that could destroy independent family farms that provide healthy food choices. Please contact your representatives today and tell to oppose this unconstitutional takeover of food producers!

http://www.redstate.com/mattkibbe/2010/11/19/overreaching-food-safety-modernization-act-would-destroy-family-farmers/
 

Liberty Belle

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Senate Fails to Vote on Food-Safety Bill
November 19, 2010
By BILL TOMSON


WASHINGTON—The Senate failed to vote as planned Thursday on passage of a bill to overhaul the nation's food-safety system and grant new powers to the Food and Drug Administration, a delay that may threaten the legislation.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) blamed the delay on the insistence of Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) that the Senate consider an amendment to ban spending earmarks. Mr. Coburn demanded that senators publicly vote on the issue of earmarks, controversial legislation that lawmakers tuck into laws to pay for pet projects.

"This is not the time or the bill to debate on earmarks," Mr. Harkin said. "I hope he'll relent on this."

The delay resulted in the clock running out on the 30-hour time period senators had to debate and vote on the food-safety bill. The Senate then voted Thursday evening to pass another 30-hour period in which to vote.

Mr. Coburn said he was adamant that "a transparent vote on earmarks" must take place before any other legislation is voted on by the Senate.

If the Senate does approve the food-safety bill, Mr. Harkin said, the House has promised to pass it without making any changes and send it to the White House to be signed into law.

Traditionally, the House and Senate convene a conference committee to iron out differences after both bodies pass a bill, but lawmakers say there is no time for that because the lame-duck Congress finishes by the end of the year.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) suggested that he would agree to such a scenario, saying he looked forward to "the Senate passing a strong food-safety bill so that we can send it on" to President Barack Obama.

The bill, which has wide-ranging support from grocery stores, food processors, farm groups and consumer groups, would give the FDA the power to mandate food recalls and set new safety standards for food produced in the U.S. and imported from abroad.

Mr. Coburn's amendment wasn't the only roadblock for senators trying to push through the food-safety bill.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) was the primary backer of a controversial amendment banning the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, which has been linked to some cancers, in baby bottles and sippy cups. On Wednesday, she withdrew the amendment from consideration.

Earlier Thursday, Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.) agreed to compromise on an amendment he was sponsoring to exempt small farms and food processors from new FDA oversight. That exemption would now be withdrawn if the farm is involved in a food-borne-illness outbreak.

Before the Senate went into recess Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said: "We're trying to work out something on food safety."
 

Liberty Belle

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Sen. Coburn’s Detailed Concerns with S. 510
Posted on September 15, 2010
By Senator Tom Coburn

Growing an Already Disjointed and Duplicative Federal Government
In 2008, GAO testified before a House subcommittee that “FDA is one of 15 agencies that collectively administer at least 30 laws related to food safety.

This fragmentation is the key reason GAO added the federal oversight of food safety to its High-Risk Series in January 2007 and called for a government wide reexamination of the food safety system. We have reported on problems with this system—including inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources.”

Specifically, GAO found that in 2003, FDA and USDA activities included overlapping and duplicative inspections of 1,451 domestic food-processing facilities that produce foods regulated by both agencies. This GAO testimony came on the heels of a 2005 GAO report that identified significant overlap in food safety activities conducted by USDA and the FDA, and to some extent the EPA and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), including “71 interagency agreements [to coordinate overlapping activities] that the agencies entered into… However, the agencies have weak mechanisms for tracking these agreements that…lead to ineffective implementation.”

This overlap was evident in the egg salmonella scare. The Wall Street Journal reported (USDA Graders Saw Bugs and Trash at Egg Producer; Didn’t Tell FDA) that U.S. Department of Agriculture experts knew about sanitary problems at one of the two Iowa farms at the center of a massive nationwide egg recall, but did not notify health authorities.) USDA inspects farms and gives eggs their “Grade A” label, while the FDA technically is tasked with the safety of the final egg product.

This discrepancy was the impetus behind an egg safety rule originally promulgated 10 years ago by the FDA. Unfortunately, three administrations sat on the proposed rule without finalizing and implementing it. FDA Commissioner Dr. Hamburg stated, “We believe that had these rules been in place at an earlier time, it would have very likely enabled us to identify the problems on this farm before this kind of outbreak occurred.” A lack of regulatory bill isn’t the problem.

Charging the Bill to Our Children and Grandchildren
The legislation will cost $1.4 billion over 5 years. This cost does not include an additional $230 million in expenditures that are directly offset by fees collected for those activities (re-inspections, mandatory recalls, etc.). The total cost of the bill is over $1.6 billion over 5 years. Of these costs, $335 million are for non-FDA programs – the food allergy grant program, implementation grants to assist producers, assistance grants to states and Indian Tribes.

Many argue that this spending is just “discretionary.” It is important to realize that the CBO score reflects the cost of the increase in FDA’s scope. It is true that this bill only authorizes funding (though problematically, for the first time ever provides an authorization line for just food activities at FDA).

If future appropriations do not add up to the amount CBO is estimating, the likely result is that none of these provisions can be fully implemented, or worse, the FDA is forced to cut corners in other areas it regulates (drugs/devices/etc.) to fund this added regulatory burden on foods.

Without paying for this bill, at best we are just passing it for a press release, and at worse, we shackle the FDA with unfunded mandates.

New and Unnecessary Non-FDA Spending
CBO estimates that implementing other provisions of S. 510 would increase non-FDA discretionary spending by $335 million over the 2011-2015 period. The bill would authorize three grant programs outside the purview of the FDA:

• School-based allergy and anaphylaxis management grants. Authorized at $30 million annually, CBO estimates that this program would cost $107 million over the 2011-2015 period. This program creates new federal standards for how local schools deal with food allergies and ties the “voluntary” standards to eligibility for federal grant funds. This is not a federal role, the standards are overly prescriptive, and it duplicates existing efforts. The CDC has already published extensive best practices for how local schools can implement sounder strategies for dealing with food allergens. The word “food” is the only relationship between legislation to dictate the food allergy policies of local schools and legislation to modernize how the FDA regulates the food industry.

• Food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance grants. Enacting the bill would require the Secretary of HHS to enter into cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Agriculture to provide grants for food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance to owners and operators of farms, small food processors, and small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Based on spending patterns of similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost $21 million over the next five years

• Food safety participation grants for states and Indian tribes. S. 510 would authorize the appropriation of $19.5 million for fiscal year 2010 and such sums in subsequent years to award grants to states and Indian tribes to expand participation in food safety efforts. CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost $83 million over the 2011-2015 period.
Along with the grant programs, S. 510 also would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to participate in food safety activities and would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance its participation in food safety activities. CBO estimates that EPA will incur costs of about $2 million annually. CDC is required to significantly increase its surveillance activities, which CBO estimates will cost $100 million over 5 years. CDC is also required to set up “Centers of Excellence” at selected state health departments to prepare for food outbreaks at a cost of $4 million annually.
Burdensome New Regulations
There are 225 pages of new regulations, many of which are problematic. While some regulations are potentially onerous, but perhaps reasonable – such as requiring every facility to have a scientifically-based, but very flexible, food safety plan—others give FDA sweeping authority with potentially significant consequences.
While it is hard to pull out just 1 or 2 regulations in the bill that make the entire thing unpalatable, on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer). The following regulations are perhaps the most troubling:

• Performance standards. The bill gives the Secretary the authority to “issue contaminant-specific and science-based guidance documents, action levels, or regulations.” The way the bill is written the authority is extremely broad and could be used by FDA to issue very specific and onerous regulations on food facilities, without even the normal rule-making and guidance process FDA food regulations normally go through.

• Traceability. FDA is required to establish a “product tracing system within the FDA” based and develop additional recordkeeping requirements for foods determined to be “high risk.” The House legislation includes “full pedigree” traceback which puts FDA in charge of tracing the entire supply chain. The final bill requires the FDA to do this for high-risk foods, and while there are some limitations on FDA, anything further than the “one-up-one-back” requirement in the bioterrorism law will be very onerous on industry.

• Standards for produce safety. For produce, this bill gives FDA the authority to create commodity-specific safety standards for produce. Instead of trusting industry and the free-market, this provision implies that complying with government standards is the best way to keep consumers safe. A lot of the produce industry lobbied for these standards to provide “consumer confidence” after the jalapeno and tomato scare, but federal regulations could particularly adversely impact small providers.

Overly Punitive
Other regulations in this bill are overly punitive and could set up an adverse relationship with industry. They include:

• Administrative Detention of Food. The bill lowers the threshold for detaining articles of food to “adulterated or misbranded.” The threshold is currently higher for a reason—administrative detention is an authority that should only be used when there is clear, imminent danger.

• Suspension of Registration. Facility registration may be suspended if there is a reasonable probability that food from the responsible facility will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. “Reasonable probability” isn’t a difficult enough burden for FDA to prove when the consequence is closing down a private business.

• Fees. Allows FDA to assess fees for compliance failures (recalls and re-inspections). These fees give FDA incentive to find reasons to re-inspect a facility or order a mandatory recall—the only ways they can collect money for their efforts. Furthermore, assessing industry to pay for a new regulatory structure will increase food costs for consumers during a recession.

• Mandatory Recall Authority. Provides FDA with the authority to force a recall (and collect fees to pay for it). It is unclear why this authority is necessary – even in the worst food safety outbreaks, there do not appear to be any instances in which tainted products were on the shelves or with distributors that the company at fault did not work with FDA to conduct a voluntary recall. Allowing FDA to collect fees for forcing a mandatory recall could also push FDA to pull the trigger early on a mandatory recall – putting them at odds with the company responsible.

Permalink: http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2010/9/detailed-concerns-with-s-510-the-fda-food-safety-modernization-act-of-2010

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/sen-coburns-detailed-concerns-with-s-510-the-fda-food-safety-modernization-act-2010/

Senator Coburn quotes from his debate with Senator Durbin on S.510:
“Why won’t we fix the real problem?”
“Why did it take ten years to get an egg food safety standard?”
“Hold accountable the agencies that have failed to do their job.”
“The incompetency of the agency cost tomato growers $350 million.” GAO says the agencies are incompetent.
“Bureaucrats don’t follow the rules in their own agencies.” DeCoster was known as a habitual violator.
“We’re treating pneumonia with aspirin.”

Watch these:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddz58kpAl_Y&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VRRX-7-IKA&feature=channel
 

Ben H

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Anyone who has their eyes open and has woken up can clearly see that this is part of the structure that has been being being built for quite a few years. Small pieces have been in most of the major bills but we don't see the pieces because they are meaningless on their own.

Farm Bureau is apparently on board with this. Bob Stallman gave the keynote at our State meeting a few weeks ago, he never talked about this bill but he was saying how Farm Bureau is true grassroots from the County level up. At the same time I know we've been struggling for membership here and there is a serious lack of participation, I don't think Farm Bureau is representing what the majority of members truly feel.

Follow the money:
http://maplight.org/us-congress/bill/111-s-510/360488/total-contributions
 

Steve

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S.510, The Food Safety Modernization Act, clearly increases FDA authority over small-scale value-added agriculture businesses. The potential impact of that oversight may be considerable, even though small businesses are not the source of the vast majority of illnesses that S.510 targets:

1. Costs to comply for small businesses could exceed 150 hours in labor and as much as $20,000 in consulting and testing expenses per year. These and other costs for complying with one-size-fits-all food safety rules could force many small farms and food businesses to abandon value-added markets.
 

Liberty Belle

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One of my contituents sent me this and I'm passing it on. S. 510 should come to a vote tomorrow.

Leftists Pushing Higher Food Costs

Legislation will shut down family farms.

While America celebrates Thanksgiving, the leftists in Congress have been hard at work.

Notorious Senator Dick Durbin and his allies are pushing the so-called "Food Safety Modernization Act" (S. 510).

This bill would drive up the costs of food production by adding more layers of government interference. Like Cap and Tax, which will guarantee higher energy bills, S. 510 will ensure you pay more to meet an essential need.

It will also increase the size of an already bloated federal government to the tune of nearly $1 billion and over 17,000 new bureaucrats.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION:

Please first, call and leave a message for Senators Thune and Johnson, urging them to vote against S. 510. You can then, also email them at the links below. Feel free to use the sample message to write your email. I have also saved it as a document at http://www.meetup.com/mitchell912 - click on "More" then "Files". From there it can be personalized, then faxed.

The preliminary votes on S. 510 will likely begin on Monday evening. Even though the offices are closed for the holiday, you can leave messages for the Senators any time this weekend and/or send up to two free faxes per day at http://www.FaxZero.com.

South Dakota Senator Thune

Toll Free: 1-866-850-3855 Fax: 202-228-5429

http://thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email


South Dakota Senator Johnson

Phone: (202) 224-5842 Fax: (202)-228-5765

http://johnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

For other state's contact information for your senators, go to: http://www.votesmart.org

Site with additional information:
http://www.redstate.com/mattkibbe/2010/11/19/overreaching-food-safety-modernization-act-would-destroy-family-farmers/


------Sample Message-------


Dear Senator,

Please oppose S. 510, the so-called "Food Safety Modernization Act."

This bill would drive up the costs of food production by adding more layers of government interference. Like Cap and Tax, which will guarantee higher energy bills, S. 510 will ensure we pay more to meet an essential need.

It also grants blanket authority for federal agencies to impose international guidelines and standards on domestic food producers, giving the FDA all the power it needs to shut down family farms on a whim.

In other words, it will be up to bureaucrats to decide whether or not local food production is decimated by federal regulations or shut down if the FDA has "reason to believe" the food on the premises is contaminated.

The bill is another power-grab for an already bloated federal government. Section 401 of S. 510 authorizes nearly $1 billion to grow the government’s reach and calls for over 17,000 new bureaucrats to be hired through fiscal year 2014 (just for starters).

Well-intentioned amendments to this rotten bill are not enough to make it anything else. Don't let the statists empower their Big Agriculture allies and destroy reputable food producers like the independent family farm, where the free market works every day to provide the public with healthy choices

I respectfully urge you to publicly oppose S. 510.

Sincerely,
 

Ben H

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I've been talking with a few people that we need to follow Montana's lead on a State Sovereignty resolution. Even if this bill passes, it shouldn't be able to have any affect on intrastate commerce but only interstate commerce.
 

Mike

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(NaturalNews) Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called "the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America." It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public's right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmer's markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don't comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government.

"It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God." - Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower (http://shivchopra.com/?page_id=2)

This tyrannical law puts all food production (yes, even food produced in your own garden) under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Yep -- the very same people running the TSA and its naked body scanner / passenger groping programs.

This law would also give the U.S. government the power to arrest any backyard food producer as a felon (a "smuggler") for merely growing lettuce and selling it at a local farmer's market.

It also sells out U.S. sovereignty over our own food supply by ceding to the authority of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Codex Alimentarius.

It would criminalize seed saving (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/20...), turning backyard gardeners who save heirloom seeds into common criminals. This is obviously designed to give corporations like Monsanto a monopoly over seeds.

It would create an unreasonable paperwork burden that would put small food producers out of business, resulting in more power over the food supply shifting to large multinational corporations.

I encourage you to read more about this dangerous bill at the Food Freedom blog on Wordpress: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/20...

Watch this excellent video on NaturalNews.TV which explains S.510 in more detail:
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=9209B...


Take action now or lose your right to grow your own food
Sign this petition at Citizens for Health:
http://www.citizens.org/?page_id=2312
 

Liberty Belle

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Well, I suppose you've heard that the Senate passed S. 510. Luckily, the Senate Democrats overstepped their legal bounds and have ticked off the Democrat House members so it may die yet. Although our brain-damaged Senator Johnson voted for S. 510, Senator Thune voted against it. Remember to thank him for it!

Here's the story:

House May Block Food Safety Bill Over Senate Error
By John Stanton - Roll Call Staff
Nov. 30, 2010


A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.

By pre-empting the House’s tax-writing authority, Senate Democrats appear to have touched off a power struggle with members of their own party in the House. The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House, but House Democrats are expected to use a procedure known as “blue slipping” to block the bill, according to House and Senate GOP aides.

The debacle could prove to be a major embarrassment for Senate Democrats, who sought Tuesday to make the relatively unknown bill a major political issue by sending out numerous news releases trumpeting its passage.

Section 107 of the bill includes a set of fees that are classified as revenue raisers, which are technically taxes under the Constitution. According to a House GOP leadership aide, that section has ruffled the feathers of Ways and Means Committee Democrats, who are expected to use the blue slip process to block completion of the bill.

“We understand there is a blue slip problem, and we expect the House to assert its rights under the Constitution to be the place where revenue bills begin,” the GOP aide said.

The blue slip could lead to one of two likely outcomes. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could simply drop the issue and let the next session of Congress start from scratch, a strategy that would allow him time in the lame-duck session to tackle other last-minute priorities, such as the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, a long-term continuing resolution, an immigration bill and a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.

Or he could try to force the issue in the Senate after the House passes a new version of the bill. But in order to do that and still tackle the other issues, he would need a unanimous consent agreement to limit debate.

According to Senate GOP aides, a unanimous consent agreement is all but certain to be a nonstarter because the bill’s chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), will not agree to such a deal.

Coburn “will object and demand changes as [he has] from the get-go,” a GOP aide familiar with the situation said.

This is not the first time that Reid has run afoul of the Constitution’s tax origination provisions. His efforts to pass a tourism promotion bill that was key to his re-election hopes was temporarily stymied earlier this year because the Senate passed a version with revenue raisers similar to those in the food safety bill.

Spokesmen for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Ways and Means Democrats and Sen.Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a co-sponsor of the food safety bill who authored its language, did not immediately return requests for comment. Aides for Ways and Means Democrats also did not immediately return requests for comment.

http://www.rollcall.com/news/-201012-1.html
 

Liberty Belle

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Even liberals are upset about the intrusiveness of S. 510!

S. 510 Passed with the Tester-Hagan Amendment
December 1, 2010 by Sima


As many of you may have heard, S 510 the food safety bill, passed the Senate yesterday. I’ve discussed this bill once before. In that post I asked that people ask their Senators to vote for the Tester-Hagan amendment if they must vote for this poorly done bill. I’m happy to say the Tester-Hagan amendment passed with the bill, along with several other amendments that will make it a bit easier on small farmers. Thanks so much for writing and calling about this!

Even with bill’s passage all hope is not lost by any means. Because of Democrat foolishness, the Senate bill includes provisions about taxes, a House prerogative. So the House Democrats will probably stop the Senate bill for a bit.

The bill has to be reconciled with the House version once all these mistakes are rectified, if they can be rectified. The House version of the bill is much, much harsher to small farmers. I might, therefore, be asking you all to write and call as the reconciliation process goes forward.

There are several other ways to stop the worst of this bill. One is when the UDSA/FDA/HSA (Why the heck is Homeland Security involved?) actually make up the rules. There will be hearings, committees, ‘listening’ sessions and more. Although the path to public involvement in these hearings is convoluted and arcane, it can be done.

For example, up until last year small farmers, and anyone who owned a horse, goat, sheep, cow, chicken, duck, or pig as a pet, had NAIS looming before them. NAIS, the National Animal Identification System, was to mandate an RFID for every ‘farm’ animal in this country. It was meant to facilitate disease outbreak tracing and enhance the ability for American meat producers to sell their products overseas.

NAIS mandated one RFID per ‘lot’ of animals. So a ‘lot’ of 10,000 chickens hatched, raised and slaughtered together would need one RFID tag. That’s great for a CAFO. But for a small farmer, who hatches maybe 100 chickens here, 100 there, or even less, it’s disaster. Each chicken or small lot would need a number. The system worked the same for horses, cattle, goats, etc. So I, with my 18 (keep forgetting the little one) goats, would pay 18 times what someone with 1,000 goats kidded at once would pay. Yea, that’s fair. The NAIS rules also meant a ton of other impositions. Farmers would be required to report any movement of animals within 24 to 48 hours. If you rode your horse down a trail, every farm you passed would have to report your movement into and off of their property. Take your pet goat to the vet in your car? Report that movement within 24 to 48 hours or face a fine. Animal die? Report it. Animal born? Report it. Animal moved to a different pasture through a common area? Report it. In order to facilitate all this reporting your property would be registered as a ‘premises’ and given a ‘premises number’. Legally, the owner of a premises has a different set of rights, lesser rights, than the owner of property.

When the particulars came out the government ignored the unrest. Then the listening sessions started, and they had to add more, and more. Comments on the Federal register grew long and loud. The listening sessions were attended by people 80% to 95% against NAIS. People dared the government to pass it, promising stubborn, non-violent resistance.

NAIS died last year, supposedly. Funding was dropped by Congress and the FDA/USDA stopped pushing it. However, elements of it are in the S 510 bills.
We can do this again with the Food Safety Act. We can make it palatable and workable for the little farmers. People power CAN fight against corporate ruled government if we are united. Unity is the key. With NAIS all sides came together to fight it. I was on mailing lists with people who became rabid tea-partiers. I didn’t agree with their solutions for everything, but I, and other liberals like me, did agree with how to fight NAIS. And so when someone made a political comment, the rest of us chastised them. ‘The list is only about NAIS, keep the rest out of it. We need everyone to fight it.’ This kind of unity is going to have to happen more and more, to fight against government take-over of our rights to privacy, freedom of speech, travel, and more. I welcome it.

Added the following to discuss the Washington Post article mentioned by BB in her great news roundup. These are my admittedly argumentative thoughts on the points in the article. I think the Food Safety bills could be good, but they need to be gone over very carefully and the wording needs reflect reality. It’s too vague right now.

Point 1: ‘Would require farmers and food manufacturers to put in place controls to prevent bacteria and other pathogens from contaminating food.’

The bill requires ‘GAPS’ (Good Agricultural Practices) to be put in place for farmers. These are basically flow charts that are meant to identify problem areas and tell the farmer how to prevent them. They probably work ok for a farmer who grows 10000000000 acres of lettuce. However, I grow about 2 4 x 100 ft beds of lettuce, 4 4 x 100 ft beds of broccoli, 8 4 x 100 ft beds of potatoes… well you get the idea. I’d have to have a GAPS, generally designed by a food engineer ($$$$) for each vegetable and for how the growing of each vegetable impacts the other. I really resent this kind of linear, engineering thinking that is applied to everything. Learning about, and deciding to follow ‘good agricultural practices’ is something every farmer does. If they don’t, they go out of business.

Point 2: ‘Would require the Food and Drug Administration to regularly inspect all food facilities, with more frequent inspections in higher risk facilities. ‘

Who defines ‘higher risk’? Right now, it seems the FDA thinks little dairies and creameries are high risk. The factories that produced the 550 million egg recall had the equivalent of ‘GAPS’ in place. They had inspections, and got fined and written up, over and over again. Most of the HAACP (equivalent of GAPS) stuff requires them to self inspect and self report. The problems in these factories were ongoing over years. But a little cheese producer that has never tested positive for listeria is shut down because a California seized sample, held in improper conditions by the government, stripped of all the actual tracing lot numbers which are supposed to allow backtracing of food by that same government, ad nauseum, came back positive for listeria.

Point 3: ‘Would allow the FDA to order a mandatory recall of any product it suspects may harm public health. ‘

This one sounds great. Of course, the FDA basically already has this ability. Note the wording ‘suspects may harm’. This could mean that a small farm or food producer is effectively destroyed while the FDA determines with the glacial slow movement of government facilities dragging their collective feet, that the farm/food producer did nothing wrong.

Point 4: ‘Would improve disease surveillance, so that outbreaks of food poisoning can be discovered more quickly’

I like this one. But how are they actually going to do it? More testing I suppose. Who pays? The consumer and the farmer. What about testing post slaughter, post canning, post wrapping, etc?

Point 5: ‘ Would require farmers and food-makers to maintain distribution records so that the FDA can more quickly trace an outbreak to its source. ‘

This is NAIS-like. At one time the government was talking about requiring every head of lettuce or broccoli to have an RFID. Interesting concept, and it may come to that. It would provide great tracing, until the RFID is removed. And even then, what if you return to the store with an RFID tag from lettuce that you said made you sick. You neglect to mention you ate that lettuce right after you cleaned the cat box… RFID tags won’t do anything about post-slaughter contamination, which is where MOST of the contamination of meat happens. The tag is removed from the animal when it’s slaughtered, of course.

Having said that, I don’t know of a farmer or food-maker that doesn’t maintain distribution, aka sales, records. Maybe it’s different in the big ag operations.

Point 6: ‘Would require foreign food suppliers to meet the same safety standards as domestic food-makers. ‘

I love this one. Could we reverse it and make it so that our food suppliers have to label GMO products and so on? That would rock.

Point 7: ‘Would exempt small farmers and food processors.’

This is good. I’ll believe it when I see it. Tester’s amendment says that small food producers have to abide by either the state regulations or the fed regulations. In practice, the fed usually tells the state how to regulate, or withholds money. So it’s all one in the same. I’m a bit worried about the part (they might have removed this in the final bill) that sends a farmer to jail for 10 years if they ‘distribute adulterated food’. The problem is the definition of distribute, adulterated and even food. Heh. Raw yogurt can be considered adulterated by some, because it’s still got the little raw beasties in it that make it so good.

Final point: ‘Would add 17,800 new FDA inspectors by 2014.’

I’ll believe that when I see it. Paid for by what? Are they going to be like the TSA? Who’s training them?

http://dakiniland.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/s-510-passed-with-the-tester-hagan-amendment/
 

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