A new assault to the family farm is beginning in the form of legislation proposed called H.R. 814, The TRACE Act of 2009. This legislation would REQUIRE ALL food sold in the USA to be traced back to the farm. That means you the small farmer who sells at the local farmers market will be required to tract the origins of your fruits and veggies all the way to the consumer. That means more paperwork for you, higher costs for the produce and higher costs to the consumer.
‘SEC. 414A. TRACEABILITY OF FOOD.‘(a) Establishment of System- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall establish a traceability system described in subsection (b) for all stages of manufacturing, processing, packaging, and distribution of food.
‘(b) Description of System- The traceability system required by subsection (a) shall require each article of food shipped in interstate commerce to be identified in a manner that enables the Secretary to retrieve the history, use, and location of the article through a recordkeeping and audit system or registered identification.
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may require that each person, firm, and corporation required to identify an article of food pursuant to subsection (b) maintain accurate records, as prescribed by the Secretary, regarding the purchase, sale, and identification of the article.
‘(2) ACCESS- Each person, firm, and corporation described in paragraph (1) shall, at all reasonable times, on notice by a duly authorized representative of the Secretary, allow the representative to access to each place of business of the person, firm, or corporation to examine and copy the records described in paragraph (1).
‘(3) DURATION- Each person, firm, and corporation described in paragraph (1) shall maintain records required to be maintained under this subsection for such period of time as the Secretary prescribes.
‘(d) False Information- No person, firm, or corporation shall falsify or misrepresent to any other person, firm, or corporation, or to the Secretary, any information as to any location at which any article of food was held.
‘(e) Alteration or Destruction of Records- No person, firm, or corporation shall, without authorization from the Secretary, alter, detach, or destroy any records or other means of identification prescribed by the Secretary for use in determining the location at which any article of food was held.'
As you can see the above section references ALL food transported for interstate commerce. That means your fresh free-range eggs, your fruits and veggies and your livestock. This Blog goes into even more detail on the livestock part and what it will mean to farmers. Please take the time to read this bill and understand how it will affect you the farmer. Then please take the time to write to your representatives and tell them how you feel about this bill.