- Politics and Social Issues
Senate Bill sb 510 and your right to grow your own food
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010
Senate Bill 510, that is set to come up for a vote this weekend is being called by some as the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. Essentially it is to our food what the bailouts were to the economy, the only difference being we can live without money.
“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. 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 whistle blower
The passage of this bill will extend control over all food in the US, violating a fundamental human right to food. It will create higher compliance costs for smaller producers, putting them at a competitive disadvantage against corporate farmers and producers who can more easily absorb costs, fees, and possible fines, furthermore products not grown according to designated standards will be considered adulterated and your business records will be subject to warrant less searches by inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all this without any evidence that you have violated any law.
Some critics of this bill say it could go a lot further also, to the point where the National Guard or other Federal Agencies are called out to quarantine your town. Under S.B. 510’s House counterpart bill, H.R. 2749 (Section 133b, “Authority to Prohibit or Restrict the Movement of Food”), sponsored by Congressman Dingell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will have the power to prohibit all movement of all food within a geographic area, whether the food is in your grandmother’s grocery bag in her Toyota Hybrid or on a flatbed. No court order will be needed, just a phone call to the appropriate state official and a public announcement will be sufficient.
They also claim that because of concerns over the production of raw milk products like soft cheese's, brie, feta, etc. This new law will be able to prevent the manufacture and distribution of such items within the US. If you don't believe that the FDA would over step their bounds look at what they did to Phusion Projects last week, with their ban on Caffeine in Alcohol they essentially crippled that company.
Under this new law, US food suppliers would need to meet other countries requirements and standards, also S.B. 510 will cost Americans $825 billion in 2010 alone.
The House of Representatives version of this bill, H.R. 2749, which passed under suspended rules, does not address any of the root causes of the U.S.'s food safety problems, which were highlighted in both a recent campaign by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and by a letter to 99 U.S. senators by the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF USA).
According to Citizens for Health
If this proposed law is enacted it would:
• Undermine DSHEA and move the U.S. one step closer to harmonizing our standards under Codex with those of supplement-restrictive regimes like the European Union. (DSHEA, or the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, asserts that supplements are food and are safe for consumption unless proven otherwise – ensuring that millions of Americans are able to enjoy access to safe, effective and affordable dietary supplements).
• Give the FDA unprecedented control over farms and direct-to-consumer distributors. If passed, the bills would charge facilities an annual $500 registration fee, require additional record keeping, and expand FDA authority to quarantine geographic areas for alleged food safety problems – all without significantly improving food safety.
• Cost U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars ($825 billion in 2010 alone) while providing fewer physical inspections and less food safety overall.
• Harm U.S. organic farmers by imposing overlapping regulations.
• Hurt food supplements and health-food stores by imposing standards that are already covered by the AER (Adverse Event Reporting) Law, cGMPs (current Good Manufacturing Practices) and food facility registration.
• Cripple local food co-ops, farm stands, independent ranchers and artisanal food producers by imposing unnecessary standards and unfair bureaucratic burdens.
To help stop this bill from going through please copy and print the letter below, sign and mail it to your Senator, or copy to your e-mail account and send it to them via e-mail.
While although SB 510 is purporting to increase food safety, it in all actuality will leave consumers more vunerable to foodborne illnesses; how, by changing the way that the FDA handles inspections. It will be going from doing physical, on-site inspections in plants, factories and slaughterhouses, to a 'risk-based food safety system'.
What will this mean for the small time farmer? The new law will force small time farmer's to go out of business, placing all of the U.S. food production into large corporations, for citizens this will mean letting corporations that are more concerned with making a profit decide what is and isn't healthy for your family to consume.
A Letter to your Senator:
I urge you to vote against S. 510 in its current form, as it is bad for consumers, bad for local food production and ultimately bad for food safety.
S. 510, sponsored by Senator Durbin, appears to address food safety concerns but would instead provide more power to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and severely hurt local food production (including farm stands, food co-ops, organics and sustainable agriculture and artisanal, small-scale food production).
The House version of this bill (sponsored by Congressman Dingell), H.R. 2749, did pass, but was only able to pass after the rules were suspended and the bill was approved by a simple majority via roll-call vote.
A large number of the changes the House wanted to legislate can be made by the FDA under current law if FDA regulators use their present authority to ensure that industry produces safe and wholesome foods.
S. 510 would leave the public more vulnerable to food-borne diseases since the FDA would be required to use a questionable, risk-based food safety system called HACCP rather than doing old-fashioned and effective physical, on-site inspections in plants, factory farms and slaughterhouses, where the actual food safety concerns are.
In addition, our nation is over $11.8 trillion in debt - but this bill would allocate trillions more in U.S. taxpayer dollars to further complicate and bog down an already confused and regulated food safety system - all for less consumer protection.
If you are already a co-sponsor of this bill, I ask you to withdraw your support. If you are not yet signed on, I ask you to please oppose and re-write this misguided bill.
Especially for all those who have been champions of food safety, such as Citizens for Health, this bill, in its current form, is bad for consumers, bad for local food production and ultimately bad for food safety.
Please oppose or completely overhaul S. 510.
Someone just e-mailed and said that because of the number of calls to Senators this bill didn't pass last night. However they are trying for another vote on it tonight. I'd like to get confirmation for sure about that.
From the Southwest Missouri Conservative Group:
Senate just passed S510 by a vote of 73-25. 12 Republicans voted "yea."
Bill is supposed to now go back to the House for reconciliation since their version was passed a year ago, and is different.