"The Food Safety Bill HR 2749 is less about food safety and more about giving the Federal Government, through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the power to control food from production to point of sale. The one size to fit all regulatory system will mean that small family farms and homesteaders will be at a major disadvantage when competing with the large industrial food production companies.
Opponents of the Bill say that if this Bill becomes law then most family farms, including organic farms, and homesteaders will be forced to go out of business. Which will mean the end of buying locally grown food and in particular organic food from organic food stores.
Some of the provisions in HR 2749 are -
The establishment of a food and ingredient tracking system. Which will track all edible raw materials from the land, or industry complex, to the retail outlets. How this will be accomplished is to be left to the FDA to create. The fear is that this tracking system will not only be complicated but that the FDA will pass the cost onto the food business facilities in the form of extra taxation.
The FDA will have the legal authority to turn up at a food facility's place of business without a warrant and conduct a search of the business records without any justification, i.e. the food facility need not necessarily have committed any offense or be suspected of having committed any offence.
If you owned a farm, or a shop, where you did all the work yourself. If the FDA were to turn up at your premises unannounced and conduct a search of all of your business records which could take all day, or several days, how much work would you get done? Would you consider the intrusion a major setback in the running of your business? Do you consider it would not happen to you?
Here are just three examples, as listed on Mike Adams web site, of the many armed raids carried out by the FDA on independent businesses.
1. During October 2007 the FDA conducted a raid on the premises of FulLife Natural Options, Inc, based in Florida. The FDA took away 71,000 dollars worth of herbal supplements. FulLife's crime was to state on their web site that the herbal supplements could lower blood sugar levels.
2. In 1990 FDA agents, without a search warrant, raided the pet food store of 57 year old Sissy Harrington-McGill, confiscating products and literature. Her crime was to say that vitamins could help keep pets healthy.
3. In 1992, in Texas, the FDA conducted raids on 12 health food stores. Stock was confiscated and never returned to the owners. No reason was given for the raids and no charges were filed. According to Mike Adams "The raids were simply a campaign of terror designed to destroy the inventory and disrupt business operations of stores selling natural health products".
The FDA will have the power to stop the movement of all food in an area regardless of the fact that the food may or may not be involved in a contamination scare. In theory this could result in some retail outlets in the designated area, such as farmers markets, running out of food.
The FDA will have the power to instruct farmers how to grow their crops. This could result in organic farms being forced to use chemical pesticides and fertilizers, thus reduce or obliterate organic standards.
All food facilities who produce, store, process or sell food will be required to pay an annual mandatory registration fee the 500 dollars. If you ever sell your surplus food to your neighbor then this also includes you.
Any individual person who violates any regulation set by the FDA will face criminal charges with a maximum fine of up to 100,000 dollars per violation and up to ten years in prison.
The legal power to be given to the FDA is horrific by any reasonable person's standards. Which is why the organic farming organisation "The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund" is so strongly opposed to HR 2749. If this Bill should become law then it is more than likely that in the near future the only food available to buy will be processed food either frozen, in a packet or can. Fresh food will become a rarity.
One last point. Even if fruit and vegetables in their natural state are still available there is a high probability that they will not be fresh. The FDA is well known for its support for the irradiation of food. If the FDA get full control of the food supply it is highly likely that they will regulate that all natural unprocessed food is to be irradiated. Their excuse for the irradiation of fresh food - food safety."