H.R. 875 Putting small farms out of business

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H.R. 875 Putting small farms out of business

Post  Shep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:14 am

Just forwarding this along from another group… its rather involved reading and difficult to decipher if there is some exaggeration being read into the bill by this person’s interpretation, or if they are spot on….

Let’s share our thots!

Judy
Renaissance Farms Ltd

www.renfarms.com

From: grassfedbeef@yahoogroups.com [mailto:grassfedbeef@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of B Dunlap
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2009 9:37 AM
To: RaleighChapter@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [grassfedbeef] Freedom to garden threatened!


Unregulated home gardens soon to be illegal thanks to Democratic bill. Is this the CHANGE we hoped for?

Ultimate Civil Liberties Threat! American's to Become Serfs on the King's Estate!

United States Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has proposed legislation, H.R. 875, which would literally prohibit Americans from raising food for themselves, their families, or even for their animals, without the uber alles national government's permission! Extreme statement? NOT! H.R. 875 makes Americans serfs on their own land! Read on; this one bill could wipe the United States, as a free nation, from the face of the Earth! We urgently need your help to kill this extremely dangerous bill!

H.R. 875, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (FSMA) sounds innocent enough at first blush, with language purporting to "protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes." In reality, the FSMA is an extensive and all-controlling abomination that must be stopped!

The FSMA mandates registration of every "food production facility," which the bill defines as "any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation;" and every "food establishment," which the bill defines as "a slaughterhouse..., 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."

H.R. 875 makes NAIS look tame. This bill will not just sweep up commercial food operations. The fine print of the FSMA will subject hobby gardeners, home canners, anyone with a few chickens, or anyone who "holds, stores, or transports food" - including mushrooms or wild berries gathered in the wild - to registration, extensive management, and inspection by a huge new bureaucracy, the Food Safety Administration (FSA)- even if the food items will only be consumed personally. And registration must be via "an electronic portal," which will be costly and difficult for those without computers.

H.R. 875 exponentially advances the "Foodborne Disease Surveillance Systems" required of member states of the World Health Organization (WHO), which includes the United States. "Food establishments" will be required to adopt preventive process controls, including implementing record-keeping and labeling of all food and food ingredients to facilitate their identification and trackability, including instructions for handling and preparation for consumption. This might sound rather reasonable... until you remember the definition of a "food establishment" above.

Immensely telling of how seriously this bill does not take "food safety," though, is Section 204(2)(C), which promises the Administrator will identify the "5 most significant (food) contaminants", and "not later than 3 years after a contaminant is so identified, the Administrator shall promulgate a performance standard..." Gee whiz, what's the rush?

Perhaps the Administrator's promulgation timetable has little to do with acting quickly and decisively to protect U.S. citizens (or even "all people in the United States" as required by the FSMA) and much, much more to do with the World Health Organization's stated desire in its 2004 report entitled "FOODBORNE DISEASE MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS" that "the objectives and strategies (of food borne disease surveillance systems) established by each country should be acceptable to all member countries (www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/006/j2381e.htm)," which doubtless would take time.

Perhaps it is because "studies linking pathogens in food to the disease in humans would help quantify the risk of food borne diseases." In other words, no entity, not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and not the WHO, can prove a significant problem exists in the United States.

The FSMA will not even quickly implement protections for Americans from contaminated foreign foodstuffs. The bill states, "(n)ot later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act" imported food products shall be certified safe "by the accredited foreign government (think CHINA!) or by an accredited certifying agent...." Again, what's the rush?

Maddeningly, the FSMA expects Congress to again approve a far-reaching bill without knowing the details. In this case, Congress will find out much later:

what federal resources would be dedicated to foodborne illness and food safety research;

what transfer of agencies, personnel, assets, obligations, and consolidation, reorganization, or streamlining of agencies will be involved; and

the details of regulations the new Food Czar (Administrator of the FSA) will promulgate after enactment of the Act.

Among the statutory foundations the FSMA claims for guidance and authority is the National Animal Identification System, which HAS NEVER BEEN ENACTED INTO LAW BY CONGRESS!

But beyond the mandated violations of our civil liberties in the FSMA - registration, traceability, inspections, seizures, etc. (all without court orders or search warrants), - the truly chilling language lays out civil and criminal penalties of up to $1 million per day, per infraction, and imprisonment of five or ten years, or both, depending how serious the violation(s).

Additionally, "(a)n order assessing a civil penalty against a person... shall be a final order unless the person-- (A) not later than 30 days after the effective date of the order, files a petition for judicial review of the order in the United States court of appeals... (and) (t)he findings of the Administrator relating to the order shall be set aside only if found to be unsupported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole." The FSMA is so over-the-top in its overreach that the bill's language states, "(t)he validity and appropriateness of the order of the Administrator assessing the civil penalty shall not be subject to judicial review."

And if you're by now thinking this is about as outrageous as this bill can be, you'd be very wrong. Section 406 clearly states, "(i)n any action to enforce the requirements of the food safety law, the connection with interstate commerce required for jurisdiction SHALL BE PRESUMED TO EXIST."

Now, for those who noticed, and questioned, why "foodborne" is spelled as if we reside "on the Continent," and why the United States government is attempting to implement a "solution" wanting for a "problem" - you guessed it - "Foodborne Disease Monitoring and Surveillance Systems" are a priority with the World Health Organization, to which our national government has committed US through its membership.

The 53rd World Health Assembly (a branch of the WHO) in the year 2000 adopted a resolution to recognize food safety as an essential public health function and called for the development of a Global Strategy for reduction of the burden of food borne diseases. The resolution (WHA 53.15) encouraged member states "to implement and keep national, and when appropriate, regional mechanisms for food borne diseases surveillance." All this, despite the WHO admission in a 2004 report (www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/006/j2381e.htm) that "(t)he true dimension of the burden of food borne diseases is still unknown..."

The FSMA is a "government solution" in seek of a problem! In the year 1900 at least some cases in two of the ten leading causes of death might have been food related (diarrhea/enteritis, liver disease). But the twin leading causes were pneumonia, followed closely by tuberculosis.

In 2002, WHO listed the leading cause of death in the U.S. (www.who.int/whosis/mort/profiles/mort_amro_usa_unitedstatesofamerica.pdf) as ischaemic heart disease, killing ~ 514,000 people. The second greatest cause was cerebrovascular disease (stroke), killing ~ 163,000. None of the top ten causes bore any relation to foodborne illness.

In apparent support of all this brazen, strong-arm command and control attempt, the CDC reports its estimate that every year in the United States sees approximately 76 million cases of foodborne illness (www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/foodborne.html), with 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths (which equates to one death out of every 15,200 who become ill). Admittedly those 5,000 deaths are significant, and devastating to all those involved, but this figure must be put in perspective. We must consider the larger picture long before we even consider such draconian measures as those mandated by the FSMA.

Perhaps too little is known of reports that "iatrogenic events" - medical errors - kill almost 800,000 in the U.S. each year (www.whale.to/a/null9.html#Underreporting_of_Iatrogenic_Events_). That's the equivalent of six jumbo jets falling out the sky each and every day. Those who track these events believe as few as 5% and no more than 20% of these deaths are ever reported.

Clearly deaths resulting from foodborne disease are exponentially lower than these other major causes, which begs an obvious question: If Congress is so very concerned about our health, why haven't they felt inclined to tackle the much more significant incidence of iatrogenic deaths in this nation? Hmmm?

One need only consider the "Healthy People 2010" goals (www.healthypeople.gov/About/goals.htm) to understand the true (A)genda behind this initiative.

ACTION TO TAKE

The FSMA is an extremely dangerous bill. We recommend a multi-prong attack, as the more salvos we throw at the FSMA the better chance we have of killing this abomination.

Contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, via phone: (202) 225-0100, or email: http://speaker.house.gov/contact/

Contact the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, via phone: 202.225.3130, or email: www.majorityleader.gov/email_and_rss/email_the_leader/

Contact the House Republican Leader John Boehner, via phone: (202) 225-4000, fax: (202) 225-5117, or email: http://republicanleader.house.gov/Contact/

On March 11th Congress will hold its first hearing in many years on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), conducted by the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee. It is vitally important you contact all the committees below.

Contact the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee members listed below. If one of the Subcommittee members is from your state, call that member.

Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Phone: 202-225-3261
Fax: 202-226-8485

Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
Phone: 202-225-6131
Fax: 202-225-0819

Jim Costa (D-CA)
Phone: 202-225-3341
Fax: 202-225-9308

Joe Baca (D-CA)
Phone: 202-225-6161
Fax: 202-225-8671

Betsy Markey (D-CO)
Phone: 202-225-4676
Fax: 202-225-5870

David Scott (Chair), (D-GA)
Phone: 202-225-2939
Fax: 202-225-4628

Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Phone: 202-225-3806
Fax: 202-225-5608

Steve King (R-IA)
Phone: 202-225-4426
Fax: 202-225-3193

Walt Minnick (D-ID)
Phone: 202-225-6611
Fax: 202-225-3029

Frank Kratovil, Jr. (D-MD)
Phone: 202-225-5311
Fax: 202-225-0254

Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Phone: 202-225-6435
Fax: 202-225-0207

Tim Holden (D-PA)
Phone: 202-225-5546
Fax: 202-226-0996

David P. Roe (R-TN)
Phone: 202-225-6356
Fax: 202-225-5714

K.. Michael Conaway (R-TX)
Phone: 202-225-3605 or 866-882-381
Fax: 202-225-1783

Randy Neugebauer, Ranking Minority Member (R-TX)
Phone: 202-225-4005 or 888-763-1611
Fax: 202-225-9615

Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Phone: 202-225-5431
Fax: 202-225-9681

Steve Kagen (D-WI)
Phone: 202-225-5665
Fax: 202-225-5729

Contact your own Representative and ask him or her to approach the Subcommittee member to urge them to oppose NAIS.

If you're not sure who represents you, click here: www.congress.org/

We strongly recommend that you make at least your initial contact by telephone.

Additionally, H.R. 875 has been assigned to the committees on Energy and Commerce, and Agriculture.

Contact members of the Energy and Commerce Committee via phone: (202) 225-2927, or email: http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1313&Itemid=1

Contact members of the Agriculture Committee via phone: 202-225-2171, fax: 202-225-8510, or email: agriculture@mail.house.gov. Committee members are listed here: http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/members.html

Shep

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