A bill is now before the house, proposing the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. (Incidentally, the lady who proposed the bill is married to a worker for Monsanto...a huge producer of seeds and the like. Can we say 'conflict of interests' anyone?)
What the bill does is mandate the creation of a 'Food Safety Administration' (like we don't already have enough agencies!!), allow the government to control food production, and let them fine anyone who is breaking the rules...up to $1,000,000. Per offense.
The purpose of the bill- according to the people who drafted it- is "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."
The government would go and inspect every food production facility. Which basically, is anywhere where people grow and sell food. Which include gardens and local farmers who sell their surplus on their front lawn or in a farmer's market.
These farmers would also have to give up all records they had held, about production, taxes, and selling. Yeah. This sounds so...American. Already. I love it.
Every farm/garden must abide by "minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water."
OK first off. This bill really, really sounds like it's just trying to get rid of family farms and organic farms. Why? Well, for one thing, these farms are generally small. They don't have a lot of money, and they don't have a lot of workers. So, they won't be able to pay for the changes they'd have to do to adhere to the guidelines.
Second, they would probably still fail the guidelines on some technicality. They will then be pushed out of business by the exorbitant fines they will be hit with.
Of course, none of these fines or charges will come crashing down upon the heads of big businesses. Why? Because those same big farms have lobbyists. They have lawyers, lawyers strictly on the job of finding loopholes in the laws mandating them. They can pay to get out of trouble.
Small farms cannot.
This is such a stupid, unAmerican, anti-liberty law, it isn't even disgusting. It's gone back around the circle and borders on hilarious. It's hilariously disgusting. It's hilarious because I'm left wondering if this is really true; if the government is really trying to do this.
Then, it's disgusting because I know this really is real, that our Congress really is contemplating this.
I'm so proud of my elected officials.