Rebut to the "Myths of HR875"

This is a rebuttal to the organic groups who issued a ‘myths and facts regarding 875 that Delauro’s office actually gave to them. These groups are being paid to be watchdogs and instead have become the (perhaps unwitting??) lapdogs of the administration and the bureaucrats they are supposed to be watching……..Page numbers for the print out of the legislation are inserted. You can get the pdf for HR875 at http://www.govtrack.us Please use your search feature on the pdf to seek the pertinent words and definitions out and be sure to understand them. This is a nightmare piece of legislation…….

Myths and Facts
H.R. 875 – The Food Safety Modernization Act

∑ MYTH: H.R. 875 “makes it illegal to grow your own garden” and would result in the “criminalization of the backyard gardener.”
FACT: There is no language in the bill that would regulate, penalize, or shut down backyard gardens. The focus of the bill is to ensure the safety of food in interstate commerce.

Answer to the ‘purported’ myth number 1:

First of all, the Federal government hasn’t even got the right to exercise jurisdiction within the borders of a state, so they can’t write any legislation without having the authority via the constitution to expand their powers. The interstate commerce clause has been turned on it’s head for decades. Look at sec 406 here, they ‘presume’ that position in this legislation….

SEC. 406. PRESUMPTION. In any action to enforce the requirements of the food safety law, the connection with interstate commerce required for jurisdiction shall be presumed to exist.

page 20
SEC. 201. ADMINISTRATION OF NATIONAL PROGRAM.
(a) In General- The Administrator shall–
(1) develop, administer, and annually update a national food safety program (referred to in this section as the ‘program’) to protect public health; and
(2) ensure that persons who produce, process, or distribute food meet their responsibility to prevent or minimize food safety hazards related to their products.

(b) COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS.—The program shall be based on a comprehensive analysis of the hazards associated with different food and with the processing of different food, including the identification and evaluation of—
(1) the severity of the potential health risks;
(2) the sources of potentially hazardous contamination or practices extending from the farm or ranch to the consumer that may increase the risk of food-borne illness;
Note: there is No exclusion for gardeners, and

∑ MYTH: H.R. 875 would mean a “goodbye to farmers markets” because it would regulate and penalize “each farmer who wishes to sell locally.”
FACT: There is no language in the bill that would result in farmers markets being regulated, penalized by any fines, or shut down. Farmers markets would be able to continue to flourish under the bill. In fact, the bill would insist that imported foods meet strict safety standards to ensure that unsafe imported foods are not competing with locally-grown foods.

Answer to ‘purported myth’ number 2

page 45

(b) INSPECTIONOF RECORDS.—A food production facility shall permit the Administrator upon presentation of appropriate credentials and at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, to have access to and ability to copy all records maintained by or on behalf of such food production establishment in any format (including paper or electronic) and at any location, that are necessary to assist the Administrator—
(1) to determine whether the food is contaminated, adulterated, or otherwise not in compliance with the food safety law; or

(2) to track the food in commerce.

cont’d page 120……..

SEC. 406. PRESUMPTION. In any action to enforce the requirements of the food safety law, the connection with interstate commerce required for jurisdiction shall be presumed to exist.

∑ Farmer’s markets under this bill would be deemed as commerce. How do you propose to track sales? Also note anyone in the definition of ‘food production facility’ shall be open to inspection whenever the agency deems it is ‘reasonable’.

∑ MYTH: H.R. 875 would result in the “death of organic farming” or “mandate the use of chemicals or certain types of seeds on organic farms.”
FACT: There is no language in the bill that would stop or interfere with organic farming. The National Organic Program (NOP) is under the jurisdiction of the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Food Safety Modernization Act only addresses food safety issues under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Answer to ‘purported myth’ number 3

page 120 again

SEC. 406. PRESUMPTION. In any action to enforce the requirements of the food safety law, the connection with interstate commerce required for jurisdiction shall be presumed to exist.

Also, from the definitions section:

page 11 and 12……….please read carefully. Food Establishments, are not to be equivocated with ‘food production facilities’. The exemption is for restaurants, fishing vessels and those mentioned in the -exclusion section as ‘food establishments, NOT ‘food production facilities’

13) FOODESTABLISHMENT.— (A) INGENERAL.—The term ‘‘food establishment’’ means a slaughterhouse (except those regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act), factory, warehouse, or facility owned or operated by a person located in any State that processes food or a facility that holds, stores, or transports food or food ingredients.

(B) EXCLUSIONS.—For the purposes of registration, the term ‘‘food establishment’’ does not include a food production facility as defined in paragraph (14), restaurant, other retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer, or fishing vessel (other than a fishing vessel engaged in processing, as that term is defined in section 123.3 4 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations).5


14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.

page 44 and 45–the most damnable section……..

SEC. 206. FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITIES.

(a) Authorities- In carrying out the duties of the Administrator and the purposes of this Act, the Administrator shall have the authority, with respect to food production facilities, to–

(1) visit and inspect food production facilities in the United States
and in foreign countries to determine if they are operating in compliance with the requirements of the food safety law;

(2) review food safety records as required to be kept by the Administrator under section 210 and for other food safety purposes;

(3) set good practice standards to protect the public and animal health and promote food safety;

(4) conduct monitoring and surveillance of animals, plants, products, or the environment, as appropriate; and

(5) collect and maintain information relevant to public health and farm practices.

(b) Inspection of Records- A food production facility shall permit the Administrator upon presentation of appropriate credentials and at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, to have access to and ability to copy all records maintained by or on behalf of such food production establishment in any format (including paper or electronic) and at any location, that are necessary to assist the Administrator–

(1) to determine whether the food is contaminated, adulterated, or otherwise not in compliance with the food safety law; or

(2) to track the food in commerce.

(c) Regulations- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of State departments of agriculture, shall promulgate regulations to establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production of food by food production facilities. Such regulations shall–

(1) consider all relevant hazards, including those occurring naturally, and those that may be unintentionally or intentionally introduced;

(2) require each food production facility to have a written food safety plan that describes the likely hazards and preventive controls implemented to address those hazards;

(3) include, with respect to growing, harvesting, sorting, and storage operations, minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water
;

(4) include, with respect to animals raised for food, minimum standards related to the animal’s health, feed, and environment which bear on the safety of food for human consumption;

(5) provide a reasonable period of time for compliance, taking into account the needs of small businesses for additional time to comply;

(6) provide for coordination of education and enforcement activities by State and local officials, as designated by the Governors of the respective States; and

(7) include a description of the variance process under subsection (d) and the types of permissible variances which the Administrator may grant under such process.

∑ MYTH: H.R. 875 was written by Monsanto and other large agribusiness companies because Stan Greenberg, Rep. DeLauro’s husband, is a consultant for Monsanto.
FACT: Monsanto and other large agribusiness companies did not write or express support for H.R. 875. Mr. Greenberg had no involvement in the drafting of the bill. Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner does no lobbying on any issue and its work is wholly independent. Mr. Greenberg never worked for Monsanto, and has not conducted surveys for Monsanto in the past decade. The bill is supported by several Members of Congress who have strong progressive records on issues involving farmers markets, organic farming, and locally-grown foods. Also, H.R. 875 is the only food safety legislation that has been supported by all the major consumer and food safety groups:
— Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention
— Center for Science in the Public Interest
— Consumer Federation of America
— Consumers Union
— Food & Water Watch
— The Pew Charitable Trusts
— Safe Tables Our Priority
— Trust for America’s Health
Answer to myth number 4……….

Begs the question……Once the authority exists who will determine the practices? In so far as no producer groups were consulted in this draft or have been given voice, are we to be dictated to by consumer groups? Did these consumer groups, who seem to have not read the bill, have the slightest idea who actually authored the legislation??? This legislation incorporates both GAP (Good Agricultural Practices of the IPPC-International Plant protection Convention and Guide to Good Farming Practices, of the OIE-so it does the work of the WTO, and agribusiness, but maybe these groups who are sponsoring it have no clue about much of anything. However, I do not see a direct and irrefutable link to Monsanto in this legislation myself. There are tenuous threads, but nothing concrete. There is plenty that is horrific enough regardless of a potential lack of interest on behalf of Monsanto.

∑ MYTH: H.R. 875 would implement a national animal ID system (NAIS).
FACT: There is no language in the bill that would implement NAIS, which is under the jurisdiction of the USDA. H.R. 875 addresses issues under the jurisdiction of the FDA.

Answer to Myth number 5….read the Bill!!!!!!

pages 71 and 72—72 mentions NAIS by name and ratifies the AHPA as giving the USDA authority to implement the program. Call if you want help on the ratification ramifications….
SEC. 210. TRACEBACK REQUIREMENTS.
(a) In General- The Administrator, in order to protect the public health, shall establish a national traceability system that enables the Administrator to retrieve the history, use, and location of an article of food through all stages of its production, processing, and distribution.
(b) Applicability- Traceability requirements under this section shall apply to food from food production facilities, food establishments, and foreign food establishments.
(c) Requirements-
(1) STANDARDS- The Administrator shall establish standards for the type of information, format, and timeframe for food production facilities and food establishments to submit records to aid the Administrator in effectively retrieving the history, use, and location of an item of food.
(2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the Administrator to prescribe a specific technology for the maintenance of records or labeling of food to carry out the requirements of this section.
(3) AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS FOR INSPECTION- Any records that are required by the Administrator under this section shall be available for inspection by the Administrator upon oral or written request.
(4) DEMONSTRATION OF ABILITY- The Administrator, during any inspection, may require a food establishment to demonstrate its ability to trace an item of food and submit the information in the format and timeframe required under paragraph (1).
(d) Relationship to Other Requirements-
(1) CONSISTENCY WITH EXISTING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS- To the extent possible, the Administrator should establish the national traceability system under this section to be consistent with existing statutes and regulations that require recordkeeping or labeling for identifying the origin or history of food or food animals.
(2) EXISTING LAWS- For purposes of this subsection, the Administrator should review the following:
(A) Country of origin labeling requirements of subtitle D of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1638 et seq.).
(B) The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act of 1930 (7 U.S.C. 499a-t).
(C) Country of origin labeling requirements of section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1340).
(D) The National Animal Identification System as authorized by the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.).

(3) CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS- Nothing contained in this section prevents or interferes with implementation of the country of origin labeling requirements of subtitle D of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1638 et seq.).

∑ MYTH: H.R. 875 will pass the Congress next week without amendments or debate.
FACT: Food safety legislation has yet to be considered by any Congressional committee. As legislation moves forward, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider H.R. 759 as its base bill. The Senate HELP Committee will consider S. 510 as its base bill.

Answer—-on April 2nd the House Ag Committee had a hearing on Food Safety, the bill is in Energy and Commerce and Ag. 759 is equally as repugnant to the Constitution as 875, and neither one of them, or the other 16 pieces of legislation regarding food safety should have ANY hearing or even be introduced in a Democratic Constitutional Republic under Article 1 sec 8 of the US Constitution….Also, Obama promised to do ‘something’ about food safety within the next 100 days in the end of March. So fast track or not, we will see where this lands.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: