CRITICAL - HR 875 IS DANGEROUS LEGISLATION

View previous topic View next topic Go down

CRITICAL - HR 875 IS DANGEROUS LEGISLATION

Post by hawkiye on Tue 10 Mar 2009, 5:28 pm

Thanks to another Patriot who sent this to me.

The enemies of freedom never rest... Sigh! Contact your federal reps and let them know how you feel!

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-875

HR 875 - THE FOOD "SAFETY" MODERNIZATION ACT

We saw this coming.

There
are four bills currently in the legislative hopper, about to hit the
floor from committee: HR 875, SR 425, HR 814 and HR 759.
All of
these would be cataclysmic to organic food production and small farmers
in America. These bills, especially HR 875 and SR 425, would quickly
put organic farmers out of business, bringing all U.S. food production
under federal regulations and control. All of them must be stopped if
we wish to continue to grow and consume wholesome, non modified,
natural food.

HR 875, because it is the most immediate, is of
major concern. The red URL above contains the complete text of this
dangerous bill. Of special interest, are:
Section 3 (the definitions portion of the bill) - read in it's entirety.
Sections 103, 206 and 207 - read in it's entirety.

Note:
This bill's sponsor receives considerable contributions from big
agribusiness, and Monsanto is one of her husband's clients.

Please read the attached and take immediate action, by phone, fax, or email. Feel free to call local print and TV media.

I've included Idaho's Congressional contact information here:





Anyone nationwide can call this number: 202-224-3121 (D.C. switchboard) and ask to speak to his/her senator or representative.
(They do this via your zip code.)

We
can be certain that if this bill comes to a vote, most legislators will
not have read it; they don't read most of the legislation that is
passed. It's title will make it look good because of recent food
contamination scandals, and our busy legislators will assume it's
probably a good thing. It is, however, a very, very, bad piece of
legislation, and they need to be informed of this - immediately.

The following is a competent summary from "Farm-to-Consumer, Legal Defense Fund" website. It's shorter than the actual bill:
_______________________________________________________________________

"HR 875 - The Federal Take-Over of Food Regulation" from http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-02mar2009.htm

On
February 4, 2009 Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Food
Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (HR 875), a bill that would establish
the Food Safety Administration (FSA) within the Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS). HR 875 represents a tremendous expansion of
federal power, particularly the power to regulate intrastate commerce.
While the proposed legislation tries to address the many problems of
the industrial food system, the impact on small farms if the bill
becomes law would be substantial and not for the better. HR 875 is a
major threat to sustainable farming and the local food movement. [Click
here for the text: PDF or MS Word or HTML]

The bill would
transfer the functions and resources of several divisions within the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as the Center for Food Safety
and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine
into FSA. The National Marine Fisheries Service in the Department of
Commerce would be transferred over to FSA as well. [Section 102(b)]

Under
HR 875 the FSA, among other responsibilities, is charged to regulate
food safety and labeling [Section 2(1)(A)] and to “lead an integrated,
system-wide approach to food safety and to make more effective and
efficient use of resources to prevent foodborne illness” [Section
2(1)(C)]. Other purposes of the Act are to modernize and strengthen
federal food safety law and “to establish that food establishments have
responsibility to ensure that all stages of production, processing, and
distribution of their products or products under their control satisfy
the requirements” of federal food safety law[Section 2(3),(4)]. Under
the bill, farms are designated as ‘food production facilities’ [Section
3(14)]. Farms are also subject to all laws in the Act applying to food
establishments except that they do not have to register with the FSA as
most other food establishments are required to do [Section 3(13)(b)]. A
“food establishment”, according to the bill, 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”
[Section 3(13)(A)].

HR 875 charges the administrator of FSA with
developing a national food safety program to protect the public health
[Section 201(a)(1)]. In carrying out the program, the administrator
must “adopt and implement a national system for regular unannounced
inspection of food establishments” [Section 201(c)(2)]. With respect to
‘food production facilities’ (farms), FSA is given the power by the
bill to visit and inspect them to determine that they are operating in
compliance with the food safety law [Section 206(a)(1)]–under HR 875
‘food safety law’ refers to provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and
Cosmetics Act, provisions of the Public Health Services Act, and the
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 itself [Section 3(15)]. In
addition, the agency would have the power to have access to and copy
all records maintained by farms in order to be able to (1) determine
whether the food is contaminated, adulterated or otherwise not in
compliance with the food safety law or (2) track the food in commerce
[Sections 206(b)]. Under Section 210 of the bill which is entitled
“Traceback Requirements”, FSA is charged with establishing a national
traceability system that requires farmers to keep records that enable
FSA to track “the history, use, and location of an item of food”
[Section 210(c)]. Farmers selling direct to consumers would have to
make their customer list available to federal inspectors. The bill
orders FSA to be consistent with existing statutes and regulations that
“require recordkeeping or labeling for identifying the origin or
history of food or food animals.” Interestingly, the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS) is mentioned as some of the existing laws
that the administrator should review even though there actually is no
federal statute or regulation in place that mandates any part of NAIS
[Section 210(d)(1)]. HR 875 cites NAIS as being authorized by the
Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA) even though there is no mention of
it anywhere in the AHPA [Section 210(d)(2)].

The food
traceability records are not the only written documentation farmers are
to supply FSA under the terms of the bill. HR 875 mandates that FSA
issue regulations that “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” [Section
206(c)(2)]. If such a regulation does in fact call for a HACCP plan
(Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, ’Hass-sepp’), farmers will be
required to do the following in developing a plan for their farming
operation:

1. Conduct a hazard analysis (e.g., list the pathogens that could be present in the farming operation);
2.
Determine the critical control points (e.g., identify points in the
operation where pathogens would most likely be present or could be
introduced);
3. Establish critical limits;
4. Establish monitoring procedures;
5. Establish corrective actions;
6. Establish verification procedures; and
7. Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

FSA’s
rulemaking authority includes extensive power to regulate farming
practices as well. HR 875 requires the agency to issue regulations that
establish ”minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients,
hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and
water” with respect to “growing, harvesting, sorting, and storage
operations” [Section 206(c)(3)]; and, “with respect to animals raised
for food”, the regulations are to establish “minimum standards related
to the animal’s health, feed, and environment which bear on the safety
of food for human consumption” [Section 206(c)(4)].

continued below...


Last edited by hawkiye on Tue 10 Mar 2009, 5:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

hawkiye

Posts : 215
Join date : 2008-05-03
Location : SW Idaho

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: CRITICAL - HR 875 IS DANGEROUS LEGISLATION

Post by hawkiye on Tue 10 Mar 2009, 5:28 pm

All the
requirements outlined above apply even if the farm is engaged in only
intrastate commerce. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act
(FFDCA), FDA could only inspect farms that produce food for
introduction into interstate commerce [21 USC 374]. Under HR 875, no
nexus to interstate commerce is needed for a farm to be within FSA’s
jurisdiction. The increased federal inspection power will have an
impact particularly on those facilities slaughtering meat and poultry
that are currently subject to minimal or no regulation by the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

HR 875 designates any
facility slaughtering animals not subject to inspection under either
the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act
as a Category 1 food establishment [Section 3(5)–there are five
categories of food establishments designated by the bill]. Such
facilities are to be inspected on a daily basis and shall be subject to
“antemortem, postmortem, and continuous inspection of each slaughter
line during all operating hours” [Section 205(b)(1)]. Custom
slaughterhouses and those farms processing poultry, officially and
unofficially, under the federal exemption granted by Public Law 90-492
would now not be able to slaughter unless an FSA inspector is present.
A common complaint among those using USDA-certified slaughterhouses is
that there are not enough inspectors available to be present to oversee
slaughtering in facilities under federal jurisdiction.

The
federal government’s expanded power to regulate commerce under the bill
would place the legality of the sale or other distribution of raw milk
in intrastate commerce in jeopardy. FDA has long wanted a complete ban
on the sale of raw milk. The agency’s mantra is that raw milk should
not be consumed by anyone at any time for any reason. The agency does
not consider this subject to be debatable and refuses to send
representatives to any conference concerning the safety of raw milk
when they know anyone with an opposing viewpoint will be present. At
the 2005 National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), FDA
supported a resolution calling for all States to prohibit the
intrastate sale of raw milk. Under HR 875, FSA is given the statutory
authority to unilaterally impose a ban.

Under HR 875, FSA has
the power to adopt “preventative process controls to reduce
adulteration of food” [Section 203]. Under Section 203, FSA is to issue
regulations that “limit the presence and growth of contaminants in food
prepared in a food establishment using the best reasonably available
techniques and technologies” [Section 203(b)(1)(D)]. FDA has long made
it clear that in its opinion the best available technology to limit
contamination in milk is pasteurization.

In the event FSA does
not issue a regulation establishing a ban, raw milk producers can
expect regular, unannounced visits from inspectors. Under HR 875, farms
processing raw milk are designated as Category 2 food establishments
[Section 3(6)]. Category 2 food establishments are to be “randomly
inspected at least weekly” [Section 205(b)(2)(B)]–those farms producing
eggs not subject to the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act have also
been designated Category 2 food establishments (at this time, many of
these farms are subject to neither state nor federal regulation). The
inspector paying a visit to the raw milk producer will have had
training based on a curriculum developed by the Association of Food and
Drug Officials (AFDO) [Section 305(b)]. AFDO’s position on raw milk is
that all milk should be pasteurized.

FSA’s power to enforce the
food safety law is considerable. The administrator can assess civil
penalties of up to one million dollars for each violation [Section
405(a)(1)(A)]. Each day during which the violation continues is
considered a separate offense [Section 405(a)(1)(B)]. The criminal
sanctions are severe as well. If a violation with respect to an
adulterated or misbranded food results in serious illness, the
perpetrator can be imprisoned for up to five years [Section 401(b)(1)];
if the same results in death, the penalty can be up to ten years
[Section 401(b)(2)]. In addition, the FSA has expanded authority to
seize, detain and condemn food [Section 402(A)(1) & (C)(1)] . Under
the FFDCA, FDA could only execute these powers pursuant to a court
order [21 USC 334(a)].

There is every incentive for FSA to levy
fines under the bill. HR 875 provides that fines collected by the
agency shall be deposited in an account in the treasury [Section
405(e)(1)]. FSA “may use the funds in the account without further
appropriation or fiscal year limitation . . . to carry out enforcement
activities under the food safety law” [Section 405(e)(2)(A)]. The
agency may also use the funds in the account “to provide assistance to
States to inspect retail commercial food establishments or other food
or firms under the jurisdiction of State food safety programs” [Section
405(e)(2)(B)]; this would give the States reason to support the bill
despite the fact that it dilutes much of what is left of the their
Tenth Amendment police power to regulate food.

A violation that
could prove to be a substantial source of fines collected by the agency
would be the manufacture, introduction, delivery for introduction, or
receipt in interstate commerce of any food that is adulterated [Section
401(1)]. HR 875 has expanded the definition of “adulteration” in the
FFDCA to include “bearing or containing a contaminant that causes
illness or death among sensitive populations” [Section 3(3)(b)].
“Contaminant” is defined in the bill as “a bacterium, chemical, natural
toxin or manufactured toxicant, virus, parasite, prion, physical
hazard, or other human pathogen that when found on or in food can cause
human illness, injury or death” [Section 3(10)]. What this means is
that with this new definition of adulterated food, FSA will be lowering
tolerance levels for contaminants that can be safely and lawfully
present in food [Section 204(c)(1)(A)]. Many foods that would not be
considered adulterated under current standards would be found to be
adulterated under the definition contained in HR 875.

In New
York State raw milk producers have been fined for food adulteration
when milk samples tested positive for pathogens even though, in most
cases if not all, there was no record of anyone becoming sick from the
suspect milk. If the bill is passed into law, this experience will be
repeated on a national basis.

Those selling strictly in
intrastate commerce can still be potentially liable for food
adulteration charges or for any other prohibited act in HR 875 relating
to interstate commerce. The bill provides that “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” [Section 406]. In other words, the farmer will have the burden
of proof in establishing that no sales were made in interstate
commerce. What type of evidence would the farmer have to provide to
show that none of the product sold ever crossed state lines? There are
a number of prohibited acts contained in the bill that do not require
the farmer to be doing business in interstate commerce for a violation
to occur (e.g., refusing to allow inspection, refusing access to
inspect or copy a record, failing to maintain a required record,
etc.–[Section 401(4)-(6)]).

Passage of HR 875 into law will
result in a much greater degree of federal control of food production
and food regulation in the individual States as well as on a national
level. The Feds would control to a much greater degree the inputs
farmers can use [Section 206(c)(3) & (4)] as well as the products
farmers can produce (raw milk). Unannounced federal inspections of
small farms will be the order of the day, reducing the level of
protection provided by the Fourth Amendment. There will be little left
of the States’ police power to regulate food. HR 875 calls for the
“integration of the inspection and compliance programs in food
processing establishments” of the FSA, state and local agencies
[Section 207(e)(3)(E)]. The federal government will be dictating the
standards used in these programs to the States.

The burdensome
requirements the bill imposes on small farms and the intrusive federal
control it creates over small farm operations threaten the future
viability of sustainable agriculture and the local food movement. HR
875 has been assigned to both the House Committee on Energy and
Commerce and the House Committee on Agriculture. It needs to be
stopped. Anyone who values freedom of food choice and the rights and
independence of small farmers should contact their elected
representatives and the members of the two committees to ask that they
oppose HR 875. Updates on the status of this bill will be provided on
this site.

hawkiye

Posts : 215
Join date : 2008-05-03
Location : SW Idaho

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: CRITICAL - HR 875 IS DANGEROUS LEGISLATION

Post by mybug67 on Thu 02 Apr 2009, 5:14 pm

This bill is bad. And now there are 42 COSPONSORS for this bill. The 42 cosonsors must have sold there SOLE!! Twisted Evil
They say it is going go to a vote in 2 weeks!!!!!!!!!
Call Your REP. NOW!!!
I am not going to eat GMO FOOD! ARE YOU GOING TOO! confused

mybug67

Posts : 24
Join date : 2008-12-17

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: CRITICAL - HR 875 IS DANGEROUS LEGISLATION

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum