The FDA….Food Destruction Agency

To me, the Federal level agencies would best serve the citizens of this country by being completely gutted. They have “charges” under specific legislation, and they routinely expand their authority and “boot on the face” approach on people who hurt no one, and they completely fail to do the tasks they were created to accomplish. Yes, this is a broad brush, but we would be better served doing everything ourselves….Case in point below:

 

Consumers count on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to keep food safe, but the agency tests very little of the produce sold in the United States for pesticides and some of its methods were deemed incomplete, according to a recent report.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the FDA “takes relatively few targeted samples to test for pesticide residue and detects what is likely to be a small percentage of the foods that have violative levels of residue. Moreover, FDA does not disclose in its annual monitoring reports that it does not test for some commonly used pesticides that have established tolerances for many commodities.”

The FDA tests only one-tenth of 1% of the food imported for use on U.S. dinner tables, and that’s actually far more testing than happens to domestic food. The GAO said the FDA tests only about a quarter as many domestic products as imported. “According to its recent annual reports, FDA has placed a greater emphasis on testing imported foods because it has found a higher percentage of imported samples with violations,” according to the report.

This is startling considering that “from 1970 to 2007, hundreds of millions of pounds of pesticides were applied annually to U.S. food crops to protect them from pests,” the GAO wrote.

The lack of testing includes pesticides that another federal agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, considers dangerous enough for which to have tolerance levels, Common Dreams noted.

“FDA takes relatively few targeted domestic and imported samples to test for pesticide residues. Additionally, FDA does not test for several widely used pesticides that have established tolerances for many commodities, meaning that it is unable to detect violations of those tolerances,” the GAO reported.

Food safety advocates at the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation organization, criticized the lack of pesticide inspections at the FDA.

“The FDA is supposed to be protecting the American people from dangers in their food and it’s clear they’ve dropped the ball when it comes to pesticides,” Lori Ann Burd, endangered species campaign director for the organization, said in a statement.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley

 

Fined Again for Feeding the Homeless

Whether they claim it is because the food isn’t from a “certified” kitchen, or that feeding homeless people keeps them from getting into the social services programs that “help” them, the bottom line is that governments want people to look to government for all provision. I applaud this man for standing up for right and decency in the face of governmental stupidity and overreach. It still comes down to the consent of the governed. We outnumber them, and their control is exactly as strong as we allow it to be. Share this article, please. It is linked in the title to the original page:

90-year-old Florida man cited for feeding homeless — again

Arnold Abbott cited for 2nd time

Author: Bob Norman, Reporter, bnorman@Local10.com

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -A 90-year-old Florida man was cited for a second time for illegally feeding the homeless.

Arnold Abbott and his team of chefs set up shop Wednesday night on Fort Lauderdale Beach and dished out free food to the homeless. Uniformed police were also there recording the event.

 

“They didn’t have the gumption to move in on us. They were afraid, afraid of public opinion,” said Abbott.

But Abbott was ultimately confronted by cops in the middle of an interview with Local 6 sister station WPLG-TV.  Abbott was escorted away in front of a large crowd of his supporters. Instead of whisking the 90-year old to jail, police decided to just fingerprint Abbott and issue him a citation on the spot.

“It’s our right to feed people, it’s our First Amendment right and I believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and we should be allowed to feed our fellow man,” Abbott said.

After news broke of the first incident, Abbot said he’s received support from across the world.

“We’ve heard from every continent,” said Abbott. “The last I heard was from Kenya and Moscow.  I’ve heard from South America, any number of people from Canada, three newspapers from the United Kingdom.”

Abbott was the first to be charged with a new ordinance that makes it a crime punishable by up to 60 days in jail to feed the homeless in public.

“I am both enthused and humbled,” Abbot said. “The good news is that there is pressure being put on the city of Fort Lauderdale to do something about a law that is not only unfair, it’s repressive.”

Mayor Jack Seiler, who supports the ordinance, said he’s gotten massive feedback as well.  He said the law is meant to help the homeless, not to keep them from eating.

“Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree,” Seiler said.

 

Abbott said there aren’t adequate government services or food to deal with the homeless.

“What the city is doing by cutting out feeding is very simple — they are forcing homeless people to go Dumpster-diving all over again,” Abbott said. “They will steal. That’s what the mayor is forcing the homeless to do.”

And while Abbott said he wants to compromise with the city, he expects to be charged again.

“I love the city. I live here, it’s a beautiful place and I’d like to keep it beautiful, but you cannot sweep the homeless under a rug,” he said. “There is no rug large enough for that.”

“It’s a pubic safety issue. It’s a public health issue,” said Seiler. “The experts have all said that if you’re going to feed them to get them from breakfast to lunch to dinner, all you’re doing is enabling that cycle of homelessness. They don’t interact with anyone, they don’t receive the aid that they need.”

Abbott was asked if he would return to the beach.

“You bet your life,” Abbott replied. “I’ll fight for the beach as long as there’s breath in my body.”

 

A Law to Stop Liars? Farm Market Fraud

Here’s an article from Modern Farmer talking about an effort to prevent Farmer’s Market Fraud in California. I really don’t think that this is the answer. I do think that people need to be more educated so they can make the most intelligent choices possible, but if there are certifications, then there are regulatory oversights, and we all know that inspectors are the most trustworthy people of all, right? Sarcasm is inherent in that statement. I just think that people need to be informed and educated about their food and then when they ask questions of the seller of the product, they can tell if they are answering truthfully or not.

I know, I am too altruistic. Just look at how the “organic” program has been co-opted. Look at how people have perceived the “USDA Prime” and “Grade A” stamps. They thought they meant these were good things that someone who actually cared took a look at. I don’t believe agencies can fix the problems. People, and integrity combined with education, CAN. Sigh.

Here is the article: (click on the title for the source)

Stamping Out Farmers Market Fraud

 

A new task force in California will be dedicated to stamping out farmers market fraud. Is this a problem nationwide? We called up the director of New York City’s biggest greenmarkets to find out.

Last week, Jerry Brown, the governor of California, signed a bill authorizing a million dollars to, as NPR puts it, “deploy a small army of inspectors to farmers markets around the state.” This is following a few well-publicized incidents of farmers market fraud, or FMF (as nobody calls it).

It should be no surprise that farmers markets are occasionally home to fraudulent or misleading behavior; small producers are notoriously strapped for cash, and farmers market profits can be the difference between making money and losing it. Farmers might be tempted to fudge the truth a bit, by bringing in produce they didn’t grow — or in the worst cases, produce they purchased from the same retail or wholesale channels that their customers could frequent themselves, with a significant price bump.

Los Angeles in particular has had a rough go of FMF in the past few years; this LA Times investigation from last year showed some pretty unsavory practices, including bringing in imported fruit from Mexico. The new bill will send forth inspectors to check for telltale signs of produce grown by somebody else. But how is that even done?

We called up Michael Hurwitz, director of the greenmarket program at GrowNYC, the non-profit organization that runs and monitors the majority of New York City’s markets, including its largest ones in Union Square and Grand Army Plaza, to ask about farmers market fraud. “There’s no other food location in New York City that has such a strict oversight,” he says about GrowNYC’s policies and policing. “No other retailer is as strict as we are.”

GrowNYC is a producer-only market, which means that the booths at the farmers market are only allowed to sell what they’ve produced themselves. No reselling is allowed whatsoever, whether you sell goat meat or fairytale eggplants or shoofly pie. In order to maintain that position, GrowNYC has a very robust inspection system, with a few different types of inspectors: All market managers can inspect the individual booths, and they also employ dedicated inspectors to head out to the farms and make sure everything’s legit. Every single year, all producers must submit a crop plan, which includes estimates of yield, specific products they intend to bring to market, and the dates at which they’ll bring them.

Then there are random checks at the market themselves, which vary mostly based on quantity: Heavy producers get inspected more. The inspectors are looking for anything that doesn’t jibe with the crop plan, or anything suspicious, like waxed fruit or boxes from retailers. “Some folks we’ll inventory weekly for a month at a time, so we can get a full picture of their entire product line, if they’re someone with a substantial amount of product,” says Hurwitz. “Otherwise, once every few months.” The farmers don’t know when the inspection is happening; it’s a delicate balance for the inspectors, because the inventory can be burdensome and time-consuming. Not to mention, GrowNYC’s main objective is to help farmers, not annoy them. But Hurwitz was very firm that the inspections are very, very serious, and that GrowNYC won’t hesitate to kick farmers out of the program or fine them if there are violations.

Farm inspections are less frequent; there are about 60 to 75 inspections on the farms per year, out of 240 current vendors. “Roughly a quarter of our farmers are being inspected on farm every year,” says Hurwitz, but some of the big farmers may be inspected three or five times a year. It’s worth noting that GrowNYC is not in the business of certifying organic, but for the farmers that do make that claim, they’ll take a look around to make sure nothing distinctly un-organic is going on at the farm.

It’s very rare that GrowNYC has a problem with its farmers; Hurwitz estimates there are 6-10 violations per year. Usually, he says, those are simple things, like a farmer without enough to sell bringing a neighbor’s products to the market. That kind of thing would usually just result in a fine. But what’s the worst offense a New York farmer can make? “An extreme case is when somebody brings in product from outside the region,” says Hurwitz. “That’s like, a class A felony. That will get you an immediate suspension. That’s the one we have absolutely no tolerance for.”

New York City’s markets are a bit unusual and certainly different from Los Angeles’s in that New York’s are wholly producer-driven. There are markets, says Hurwitz, like some in Los Angeles, that allow reselling. “As long as they’re transparent about that, I think that’s totally fine and legitimate,” he says, but that transparency is why Governor Brown needed to dedicate a million dollars for a farmers market fraud task force.

Hurwitz approves of the new bill; cost is primarily the problem for policing markets. GrowNYC gets around this by requiring that farmers pay a fee to sell in their markets. Fraud doesn’t just reflect poorly on the individual offender; it kind of ruins the whole enterprise, which is largely about trust — trust that by buying your groceries at the market, you’re supporting local agriculture, that your money is going where you want it to go.

 

 

 

FDA Warns Companies Against Things that Help Fight Ebola

This is perhaps the best advertising money can’t buy. If you don’t already get these companies products, you might want to.

Remember it took the FDA 30 years to admit that vitamin C was helpful in combatting another virus…the common cold. BTW, I just started with doTerra. So if you want to get into that, please feel free to email me about it. Young Living has the MOST phenomenal product for helping with eye issues, it’s called Ningxia Juice and it has been tremendously helpful in halting ocular migraines. I can also help get you into that line, although I am not a member. Dr. Rima has been fighting the FDA longer than many of us have been alive. While I haven’t used their products, I think I am going to get some.

I guess I take the contrarian position to the US Federal Government’s agencies. If they are against it, there might very well be good reason to use it. If they recommend it, probably best to stay away from it. Also, my opinions, experiences, thoughts and existence have not been tested, approved, proven effective, nor sanctioned by the FDA.

Here’s the article:

FDA warns three companies against marketing their products as Ebola treatments or cures

 September 24 at 4:21 PM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent letters to three companies this week, warning them against marketing their products as possible treatments or cures for Ebola. The letters, posted online on Wednesday, document multiple claims from the companies or their paid representatives that essential oils and other natural remedies can “help prevent your contracting the Ebola virus” and in at least one instance, “effectively kill the Ebola virus.”

There are currently no approved treatments, cures or vaccines for Ebola.

Natural Solutions FoundationYoung Living, and dōTERRA International LLC all produce products that were promoted on the Web as cures for a variety of ailments, all without FDA approval. The products in question, the letters note, are not FDA-approved drugs, yet their marketing makes the sort of claims that only approved drugs may make — that they can be used to treat, mitigate, prevent and cure diseases.

According to the three letters, those promotions — either on Web sites owned by the companies or on sites and accounts used by paid “consultants” promoting and selling the products — included Pinterest messages, Facebook postings and blog posts claiming products such as “CBD Organic Dark Chocolate Bars,” “Clary Sage” essential oils and the “Family Protection Pack” can do what has not yet been done: Treat, cure or prevent the deadly Ebola virus.

In one letter, to doTERRA, the FDA outlined the extent of those claims:

“Your consultants promote your above mentioned dōTERRA Essential Oil products for conditions including, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), bacterial infections, cancer, brain injury, autism, endometriosis, Grave’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, tumor reduction, ADD/ADHD, and other conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners. Moreover, your consultants redirect consumers to your website, http://www.doterra.com, to register as a customer or member (i.e., consultant), and to purchase your dōTERRA Essential Oil products.”

According to the FDA, these promotions — especially ones related to Ebola — are inaccurate but not unexpected. “Oftentimes with public health incidences, like Ebola or even during H1n1, we see products that are marketed, often online, that claim to treat or cure the disease…without FDA approval,” FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Yao said in an interview, adding that “these sorts of things pop up” in almost any public health crisis.

In August, as the Ebola outbreak was accelerating in West Africa, the agency issued a preemptive warning to consumers, emphasizing that there is no FDA-approved vaccine or drug for the prevention or treatment of Ebola. The letters issued this week are something of a follow-up to that concern, Yao said, based on the results of online monitoring from the agency’s health fraud unit. The FDA will continue to monitor for similar claims.

Here is a sample of one such post, which was at the time this article was published available here:

Written by a paid consultant (referred to as a “member”) for Young Living, the post goes on to tout the possible benefits of a few oils sold by the company: “The Higley Essential Oil Reference guide mentions that the Ebola Virus can not live in the presence of cinnamon bark (this is in Thieves) nor Oregano. I would definitely add those two oils to whatever I was using.”

It adds: “I pray we don’t have to hear about this virus coming to the U.S. but if you travel outside of our country or know someone who goes to Africa or lives in Africa, maybe you could send them a care package of Young Living essential oils!”

In a statement provided to The Washington Post, a spokesman for Young Living said that the company was “cooperating fully with the FDA regarding its inquiry.” Young Living “members,” the statement continued, “are provided specific instructions on how to promote our products to their customers. In the coming days we will be contacting all our membership to ensure that they understand how to best use our products and remain compliant with regulatory directives.

“We have already contacted each of the Members cited in the FDA letter to help get them into compliance.”

One company targeted by the FDA, Natural Solutions Foundation, had materials on related Web sites promoting the company’s products as cures to several serious diseases and viruses, including Ebola.

On one YouTube video posted to the Natural Solutions Foundation account, the written text complains that the “WHO, FDA, the New York Times, etc., have gone on a rampage of disonformation [sic] to keep you in the dark about natural ways to dispose of dangerous microbes without damaging your beneficial bacteria.”

The video features Rima Laibow, the company’s medical director, claiming that the Natural Solutions product, Nano Silver, can “inactivate viruses like the HIV Virus, the Hepatitis B and C virus, Influenza viruses like H1N1, and Ebola virus.”

According to the FDA, all three companies have 15 days to respond to the documented violations and notify the agency of any corrective actions. If the companies are unable to correct those violations within 15 days, they’re required to explain why and provide a timeline for completion.

If they don’t take corrective action, the FDA could take any number of enforcement actions against the companies. Those include seizure, or possible criminal charges.

We’ve reached out to all three FDA-warned companies for comment.

The agency’s three letters are available here.

Abby Ohlheiser is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.

 

 

Startling? Not really…

The study that brings this “startling” information to proven status is likely the reason I dropped out of PoliSci. At any rate, it may be helpful knowledge for some, and with the stamp of academia upon the obvious, it can now be dealt with as factual. This is one of the myriad of reason why Missouri’s Amendment 1, “Right to Farm” is so horrific. We cannot affect the definitions and rule making processes very much at all. Hence the massive contraction of independent participation in actual agriculture markets and the death of the entrepreneur.

You Have Nearly Zero Impact on US Policy

 

 

A startling new political science study concludes that corporate interests and mega wealthy individuals control U.S. policy to such a degree that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

 

The startling study, titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” is slated to appear in an upcoming issue of Perspectives on Politics and was authored by Princeton University Professor Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Professor Benjamin Page. An early draft can be found here.

 

Noted American University Historian Allan J. Lichtman, who highlighted the piece in a Tuesday article published in The Hill, calls Gilens and Page’s research “shattering” and says their scholarship “should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government.”

 

The statistical research looked at public attitudes on nearly 1,800 policy issues and determined that government almost always ignores the opinions of average citizens and adopts the policy preferences of monied business interests when shaping the contours of U.S. laws.

 

The study’s findings align with recent trends, where corporate elites have aggressively pursued pro-amnesty policies despite the fact that, according to the most recent Reuters poll, 70% of Americans believe illegal immigrants “threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs,” and 63% believe “immigrants place a burden on the economy.”

 

The solution, say the scholars, is a reinvigorated and engaged electorate.

 

“If policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened,” conclude Gilens and Page.

 

Lt Governor and Several Representatives ask DNR to Extend Comment Period

Many regular listeners of  The Power Hour are aware of this new “Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan” being enacted in nearly every state in the nation. Here in Missouri, we have received from very positive action from some of our elected representatives. Following is a press release about this action and the pdf of the letter sent to the Director of the Missouri DNR by Lt Governor Peter Kinder and other reps:

                                            July 3, 2014

              

Lt. Gov. Kinder, Legislative Leaders
seek more time on DNR water plan

Letter to director cites need for more public hearings
JEFFERSON CITY – Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today delivered a letter to Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, seeking an extension of 60-day public comment period regarding Missouri’s Nonpoint Source Management Plan. The comment period is slated to end Tuesday, July 8.
The letter, which also was signed by Sens. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, and Rep. Timothy Jones, R-Eureka, cited concerns about “the potential impact of this plan on agriculture, private property rights and land use in our state.” They asked that the DNR extend the comment period 30 days and conduct additional public hearings around the state.
The Nonpoint Source Management Plan is the state’s attempt to address nonpoint sources of water pollution and align its water management with new, more stringent federal EPA regulations.
The letter from Kinder and the legislative leaders said “it is incumbent on the DNR to ensure Missourians understand the potential impact of these changes while allowing those affected to fully comment on the plan.”
Lt. Governor Kinder issued the following statement on the issue:
“Few people are aware of this shift in management practices proposed by the DNR. The potential impact on private property rights, land use and agriculture are profound. We want to make sure Missouri doesn’t cede to bureaucrats in Washington control over how we manage our resources.”
###

 

Letter to dnr director Pauley.

Norway Study on Glyphosate and Missouri’s Amendment 1- “Right to Farm”

If anyone wants one more reason to have GMO food labeled, a very solid study out of Norway shows Round Up accumulation in treated crops to be excessive when ready for consumption.

Should Amendment 1 pass in Missouri, Monsanto’s home state, there will be even more uncontrolled GMO proliferation and spraying of Round Up and 2-4d. Amendment 1 masquerades as a protection against animal rights activists, but it will provide for complete factory farming in the State with no ability to constrain it left to the citizens.

Here are a few questions about Amendment 1:

•If it is to halt the animal rights agenda, then why hasn’t the legislature simply passed legislation to prohibit the most extreme of their activities?

•If it is to protect agriCULTURE as opposed to agriINDUSTRY, then why was the original wording specifically tailored to protect “modern technology”?

•Since we, and all other states, already have statute that prevents nuisance suits against existing farms and ranches, why do we need to change our Constitution? Do we have to protect our right to use an indoor flush toilet in the Constitution as well? Isn’t enumerating every single right of man a little beyond the pale?

•Additionally, who is going to define the terms farm, farmer, rancher, ranching, farming? Regulators, courts and lawyers…Do we trust them?

If you think protecting Monsanto, one of the proponents of Amendment 1, should be part of Missouri’s Constitution, then you should vote for this proposed amendment.

Read this study if you are still of the mindset that Round Up is a good thing. Think about telling your grandchildren that you voted to have them sterilized by the food supply because you thought eating herbicides was good business.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613019201

As with everything political, you have got to look at the interests of those who are the major supporters of a proposed action. Cargill, Monsanto, Missouri Corn and Soy Growers, and the biggest proponent for destructive free trade agreements, Missouri Farm Bureau, are the major supporters of Amendment 1. Many members of Farm Bureau are the best people you may ever meet! Farm Bureau even does some things that are actually positive for real farmers. Amendment 1 is just NOT one of those positive actions.

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