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Do You Shop at Farmers’ Markets? Could These Be In Jeopardy in the US? | Amoils.com

Added December 27, 2010, Under: Environment, Health, Law, Nutrition

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There is a food safety bill in the US that is going through the various stages and which has been vehemently opposed by many – particularly because of the risks to the few remaining small family farmers and organic growers and suppliers.

The infamous S.510 “food safety bill” was passed by the US Senate just before Christmas.  Just days later, the House of Representatives gave it their approval with a new name as HR 2751 and now it is on its way to the White House for a presidential signature.

If you are one of the growing number of health conscious people who likes to eat fresh, locally produced produce then you need to know that, with the signing off of this bill, your local food source could be at risk.

Why is this

The Alliance for Natural Health says the bill gives the FDA much too much control over farming in general and small producers in particular.

They site 3 specific concerns – all major:

1. The bill mandates that every registered facility must be inspected by the FDA: high-risk facilities will be inspected initially within the first five years and then every three years thereafter; low-risk facilities, initially within seven years, and then every five. The FDA will need to hire an additional 5,000 employees to do all the inspections. Big companies love this, because the FDA will be so bogged down inspecting all the smaller operations that they won’t have time to focus on the big guys—where the actual food safety problems arise. Food safety legislation should be targeted at the large industrial farms, but, no surprise, this bill does just the opposite.

2. Language in the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act currently reads:  An officer or qualified employee of the Food and Drug Administration may order the detention, in accordance with this subsection, of any article of food that is found during an inspection, examination, or investigation under this chapter conducted by such officer or qualified employee, if the officer or qualified employee has credible evidence or information indicating that such article presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
Under this bill, the boldfaced text above would be changed to:
if the officer or qualified employee has reason to believe that such article is adulterated or misbranded.
And remember, as interpreted by the FDA, a food or supplement may be deemed “adulterated” if there have been any record-keeping violations. “Misbranded” can mean that the producer makes a completely true statement about the product but without FDA permission.
So when the FDA is inspecting a facility, if they merely believe an item is misbranded or adulterated—no concrete evidence is required—they can confiscate all of that product. If there is a suspected record-keeping error for a supplement, the entire stock can be taken by the FDA.

3.  A company has to be registered to operate. Under this bill, if the FDA finds there to be a reasonable probability that a product may cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals, the FDA may suspend that facility’s registration, effectively shutting it down. This seems reasonable, but there is only one informal opportunity for companies to reinstate registration, with no opportunity whatsoever to appeal—they are at the mercy of an FDA inspector’s whim. This should not be allowed in America.”

Why does all of this matter?

According to NaturalNews, it will effectively destroy many small, local organic farms by suffocating them under a new regulatory burden. Food safety was supposed to apply to the factory animal operations that co-mingle with large, corporate food operations, thereby contaminating fresh produce with animal-grown bacteria. But the bill gives the FDA unbridled authority to go for the small producers.  Bureaucracy will really come into play here. The FDA needs to focus on large producers, not get its tentacles onto small producers.

There are lots of concerned web sites that will give you further information on this including this one.

The big producers are loving the bill because it will take the heat off them as the FDA will use all their manpower and resources on the small producers instead.

It is in your own and your children’s interests to protect the remaining healthy food sources in the US.

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