Friday, June 19, 2009

Do you keep a vegetable garden? Watch out!

A bill before Congress (HR 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009) would impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme on all food producers, while failing to address underlying causes of food safety problems resulting from industrial agriculture practices and the centralization of our food supply.

The bill would charge a $500 annual registration fee on any facility that holds, processes, or manufactures food. While “farms” are exempt, the definition is narrow and vague. The act can also be interpreted to affect those who make cheeses or breads at home or in small businesses.

The bill would also empower the Food & Drug Administration to regulate how crops are raised and harvested; and would empower the FDA to make random warrantless searches of the business records of small farmers and local food producers without any evidence that there has been a violation, undoubtedly making raids like Manna Storehouse a routine occurrence.

It gets worse.

“HR 2749 creates severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 years and/or fines of up to $100,000 for each violation for individuals, “ and charges the Department of Health & Human Services with establishing a tracing system for food, in which every producer would have to “maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food,” and “establish and maintain a system for tracing the food that is interoperable with the systems established and maintained by other such persons.”

Obviously, these will be gross violations of the Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Amendments.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has published a detailed analysis of the bill.

Sounds to me like a way to enrich corporate agriculture by forcing individual farmers out of business and individuals to buy, instead of grow, food. This appears to be a huge step on the road to serfdom.

Virtual buckeye to Brian62 at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

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