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This is the control of the food supply

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1 This is the control of the food supply on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:44 am

retired2934


HR 2749: Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply
June 16, 2009 · 56 Comments
A new food safety bill is on the fast track in Congress-HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. The bill needs to be stopped.




HR 2749 gives FDA tremendous power while significantly diminishing existing judicial restraints on actions taken by the agency. The bill would impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme on small farms and local artisanal producers; and it would disproportionately impact their operations for the worse.

Take Action HERE.



HR 2749 does not address underlying causes of food safety problems such as industrial agriculture practices and the consolidation of our food supply. The industrial food system and food imports are badly in need of effective regulation, but the bill does not specifically direct regulation or resources to these areas.



To read a detailed account of the bill, go to: http://www.ftcldf.org/news/news-15june2009.htm




(Read the section on tracing. That is NAIS, isn’t it? – highly disguised yet triggered by the word “trace.” )

Alarming Provisions:
Some of the more alarming provisions in the bill are:




* HR 2749 would impose an annual registration fee of $500 on any “facility” that holds, processes, or manufactures food. [isn't this every home in the US, every garden?] Although “farms” are exempt, the agency has defined “farm” narrowly. [What is the definition?] And people making foods such as lacto-fermented vegetables, cheeses, or breads would be required to register and pay the fee, which could drive beginning and small producers out of business during difficult economic times. [Yes. There are laws against this corporate-size-destroys-the-little-guy policy, aren't there? Are home bread or cheese or lacto-fermented vegetable makers who make for their own families included in this?]



* HR 2749 would empower FDA to regulate how crops are raised and harvested. It puts the federal government right on the farm, dictating to our farmers. [This astounding control opens the door to CODEX. WTO "good farming practices" will include the elimination of organic farming by eliminating manure, mandating GMO animal feed, imposing animal drugs, and ordering applications of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers, thus, will be locked not only into the industrialization of once normal and organic farms but into the forced purchase of industry's products. They will be slaves on the land, doing the work they are ordered to do - against their own best wisdom - and paying out to industry against their will.



There will be no way to be frugal, to grow one's own grain to feed the animals, to raise healthy animals without GMO grains or drugs, to work with nature at all. Grassfed cattle and poultry and hogs will be finished. So, it's obvious where control will take us. And weren't these the "rumors on the internet" that were dismissed but are clearly the case?]



* HR 2749 would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic area, including “prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area.” [This - "that has been used to transport or hold such food" - would mean all cars that have ever brought groceries home so this means ALL TRANSPORTATION can be shut down under this. This is using food as a cover for martial law.] Under this provision, farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the contamination. The agency can halt all movement of all food in a geographic area. [This is also a means of total control over the population under the cover of food, and at any time.]



* HR 2749 would empower FDA to make random warrantless searches of the business records of small farmers and local food producers, without any evidence whatsoever that there has been a violation. [If these bills cover all who "hold food" then this allows for taking of records of anyone at any time on no basis at all.] Even farmers selling direct to consumers would have to provide the federal government with records on where they buy supplies, how they raise their crops, and a list of customers.



[NAIS for animals and all other foods?]



* HR 2749 charges the Secretary of Health and Human Services with establishing a tracing system for food. Each “person who produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, or holds such food” [Is this not every home in the US?] would have to “maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food,” and “establish and maintain a system for tracing the food that is interoperable with the systems established and maintained by other such persons.” The bill does not explain how far the traceback will extend or how it will be done for multi-ingredient foods. With all these ambiguities, [with all these ambiguities, it is dangerous, period, separate from the money] it’s far from clear how much it will cost either the farmers or the taxpayers. [It is massive and absurd and burdensome beyond the capacity of people to comply - is this not fascism? - so it is a set up for being used to impose penalties endlessly and/or to eliminate anyone at will.]



* HR 2749 creates severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 years and/or fines of up to $100,000 for each violation for individuals. [Does it include judicial review, Congressional oversight, a defined and limited set of penalties and punishments for a defined set of "crimes"? Or is it entirely ambiguous and left to the whim and sole power of "the Administrator"? Who is that person set to be? Is it Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and executive, as Food Democracy has said? That is, do these bills set up an agency by which the entire US food supply will be turned over to the control of a multinational corporation under WTO regulations (and not to US farmers and not to US laws under the Constitution), with boundless freedom to do what it wants, and one infamous for harm to farmers and lack of safety of food?]

If it was not clear before how frightening these bills were, this small section of provisions, should make their actual fascism clear now. It goes way beyond “food safety” to absolute control over farms, animals, food, and us, including our movements and access to food at all.

2 Re: This is the control of the food supply on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:16 am

retired2934


relatedarticle



WILL CONGRESS WIPE OUT HOME GARDENS, GROWERS MARKETS?



By Sarah Foster
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
March 23, 2009
© NewsWithViews.com

The Internet’s buzzing about a bill in Congress its sponsor and supporters say is vital for protecting consumers from food-borne illnesses, but critics claim would place all U.S. food production “from farm to fork” under control of federal bureaucrats, effectively destroying family farms and farmers markets in the process and hijacking the burgeoning organic food movement.

“This bill will not just sweep up commercial food operations,” warns Tom DeWeese, who heads the American Policy Center in Virginia, in a Sledgehammer Alert, “[It] will subject hobby gardeners, home canners, anyone with a few chickens, or anyone who ‘holds, stores, or transports food’ … to registration, extensive management, and inspection by a huge new bureaucracy, the Food Safety Administration, even if the food items will only be consumed personally.”

“The truly chilling language lays out civil and criminal penalties of up to $1 million per day, per infraction, and imprisonment of five or 10 years, or both, depending how serious the violation(s),” De Weese adds, characterizing the bill as “over-the-top in its overreach.”

Particularly attention grabbing: the bill would bring in the National Animal ID System through the back door, opponents claim.

Introduced Feb. 4 by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), in the middle of the peanut-product recall, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (HR 875) was assigned to both the House Committee on Agriculture and the Energy and Commerce Committee. It has 41 co-sponsors. Although not yet scheduled for a hearing, proponents have been forced into damage control mode because of public outrage coming from a politically diverse opposition.

Spokesperson in DeLauro’s office offer assurances: “The bill does not apply to vendors at farmers markets, and therefore will not change the way this business runs. It is meant to address food sold in supermarkets.”

The non-profit Food and Water Watch weighs in: “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 unsafe imported foods are not competing with locally grown foods.”

A “Major Threat” to Local Food

But in an extensive analysis the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund – a DC-based advocacy group that champions locally grown and organic food production – foresees HR 875 fueling “a tremendous expansion of federal power, particularly the power to regulate intrastate commerce” and warns:

“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.” [Emphasis added]
If enacted, there would be a reshuffling within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Food and Drug Administration, a division of HHS, would be split into two agencies – one to deal with food, the other with drugs and medical devices. This second agency would be titled the Federal Drug and Device Administration and keep the acronym FDA.

Food-safety functions would be transferred to a new Food Safety Administration, headed by a food tsar (Administrator of Food Safety) appointed by the President for a five-year term, with Senate approval. The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine – both presently part of the FDA -- would move into the new Food Safety Administration, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service from the Department of Commerce.

That’s for starters.

The shakeup at Health and Human Services would be accompanied by tremendous expansion of federal regulatory power over the nation’s food producers, with mandated surveillance and monitoring of all farming, processing, transporting, and selling operations. The new agency is to “modernize and strengthen Federal food safety law,” making certain that food establishments are able to guarantee “that all stages of production, processing, and distribution of their products under their control satisfy the requirements of this law.”

The food tsar is tasked with developing and implementing a national food safety program, one that can ensure “that persons who produce, process, or distribute food meet their responsibility to prevent or minimize food safety hazards related to their products.”


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This nationwide program is to be based on a “comprehensive analysis” of “hazards” – including identification of “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.” The Administrator will also set up a national system for the registration of food establishments and foreign food establishments.

Defenders of H.R. 875 insist it wouldn’t overburden small farming operations; that the law is aimed at “Food establishments” – facilities where food is actually processed and packaged, where food-borne illnesses begin. Indeed, there’s a subsection under “Definitions” (Section 3) that at first reading appears would exclude farms from the onerous regulatory provisions of the law. Specifically:

“(13) FOOD ESTABLISHMENT (A) 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), other retail food establishments, …

“(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY – The term “food production facility” means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.”
The devil’s in the details, and these are in Section 206 which deals with Food Production Facilities. According to FTCLDF, the only thing farms and the other food production facilities don’t have to do is register with the FSA as food establishments must. The agency has sweeping powers to regulate farming practices, and is directed to issue regulations establishing “minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water.”

“The Feds would control to a much greater degree the inputs farmers can use 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.”

Here’s a taste of what farmers and other food producers can expect from H.R. 875 if it becomes law:

• Each food production facility – no matter how small – would have to have a written food-safety plan describing “the likely hazards and preventive controls implemented to address those hazards.”

• Farmers selling directors to consumers would have to make their customer list available to federal inspectors.

Federal inspectors would be authorized to:

• inspect food production facilities to make sure the producer is “operating in compliance with the requirements of the food safety law;”

• conduct “monitoring and surveillance of animals, plants, products, or the environment, as appropriate;”

• access and copy all records to determine if food is “contaminated, adulterated, or otherwise not in compliance with the food safety law or to track the food in commerce.”

FTCLDF stresses that these regulations and requirements apply even if the farm is engaged in only intrastate commerce – that is, within state boundaries. Under the existing Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, the FDA can only inspect farms that produce food destined for commerce across state lines. HR 875 changes this – all production and commerce becomes “interstate.” Section 406 provides: “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.”

“Traceability” and the National Animal ID System

Under Section 210 – “Traceback Requirements” – the Food Safety Administration is charged with setting up a national traceability system requiring farmers to keep extensive records that would enable inspectors to track “the history, use, and location of an item of food.”

This system is to be “Consistent with existing statutes and regulations that require record-keeping or labeling for identifying the origin or history of food or food animals,” including “The National Animal Identification system (NAIS) as authorized by the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002 (AHPA).”

The problem is that NAIS was not authorized by the AHPA; it’s never been authorized by congressional legislation.

Jim Babka, editor of DownsizeDC.org, a political action website, regards this as a “bureaucratic initiative,” a “de facto authorization” of NAIS.


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“This false assumption gives NAIS the aura of congressional approval,” he writes. “Instead, this is another step on the road to converting NAIS from a voluntary program to a mandatory one. This is exactly what we predicted three years ago when we launched our anti-NAIS campaign.”

Could “Raw” Milk Take a Hit?

Many critics are wondering whether they'll be able to buy "raw" milk if HR 875 becomes law. According to the FTCLDF it’ll depend on the regulations, but the future doesn’t look good. Right now it’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk across state lines, but some states allow its sale within their boundaries, albeit grudgingly and with heavy restrictions. HR 875 puts even this limited market in jeopardy.

FTCLDF explains:

“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…Under HR 875, FSA is given statutory authority to unilaterally impose a ban.” [Emphasis added]

“Under HR 875, FSA has the power to adopt “preventative process controls to reduce adulteration of food” [Section 203], and 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.”

Even if the FSA doesn’t issue an outright ban, raw milk producers could be harassed out of business instead. HR 875 designates dairies and farms processing milk as Category 2 Food Establishments – and these are to be “randomly inspected at least weekly.”

$1 Million-a-Day Fines for the Food Police

On March 14, during his weekly radio broadcast, President Barack Obama accused the Bush administration of having created a “hazard to public health” by not solving food contamination problems, adding he planned to set up set up a “Food Safety Working Group” to “upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century.”

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That’s going to cost money, and Obama said he’d ask Congress for $1 billion to pay for added inspectors and new laboratories.

If $1 billion isn’t enough, HR 875 has its own built-in money generator to make up any deficit. Fines can be assessed at up to $1 million a day per violation – and each day a violation continues is considered a separate offense. That’s for civil offenses. Criminal offenses – those causing illness or death -- mandate lengthy jail terms for those deemed responsible.

Fines collected by the agency are to be deposited in an account in the Treasury, and the agency “may use the funds in the account without further appropriation or fiscal year limitation . . . to carry out enforcement activities under the food safety law.” The agency may also use the funds “to provide assistance to States to inspect retail commercial food establishments or other food or firms under the jurisdiction of State food safety programs.

As FTCLDF see it: “This would give the States reason to support the bill despite the fact that it dilutes much of what is left of their Tenth Amendment police power to regulate food.”

“Great for Factory Farming”

“How did they get this far with such a scheme to apply insane industrial standards to every farm in the country?” asks Linn Cohen-Cole. “Through fear of diseases and of outbreaks of food borne illnesses, both of which they [the multi-national food corporations] cause themselves.” Cole-Cohen, self-described “leftist” and Democrat, isn’t alone in linking the food industry to food control bills like HR 875.

HR 875 would be “Devastating for everyday folks but great for factory farming ops like Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo and Tyson to name a few,” writes Lydia Scott at Campaign for Liberty. “I have no doubt that this legislation was heavily influenced by lobbyists from huge food producers. … It will literally put all independent farmers and food producers out of business due to the huge amounts of money it will take to conform to factory farming methods.”



The role of agribusiness in actually writing HR 875 is a valid question. The fact that DeLauro’s husband Stanley Greenberg, a powerful Democratic political strategist and consultant, counts pesticide and biotech giant Monsanto among his many clients has helped fuel a growing bipartisan opposition to the bill itself, as has the revelation that DeLauro received over $186,000 from agribusiness for her recent re-election campaign.



Critics like Cohen-Cole, Scott and DeWeese say HR 875 has little or nothing to do with food safety and everything to do with government and corporate control of the food supply, and ultimately over the population. As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger famously observed: "Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world."

3 Re: This is the control of the food supply on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:19 am

retired2934


HR 2749: WELCOME TO THE GLOBAL PLANTATION

another related article.....



By Doreen Hannes
August 14, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

HR 2749 Authorizes International Take-Over of Domestic Food Production

HR 2749 AUTHORIZES NAIS and OTHER INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

Congressional staffers have been telling people that HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, does not authorize the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Many organic groups have agreed with them. However, this is misleading. Though HR 2749 does not name "the" National Animal Identification System, it still authorizes the program. It also does not state that it legally authorizes Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, partially comprising Codex guidelines on traceability and food safety, and the OIE's Guide to Good Farming Practices including auditing, certification and inspections, disincentives for not participating in the form of fines, penalties, and loss of access to market, but it does. Is it possible that Congress was not aware of what it voted on? The bill was changed three times in a 24-hour period before passing the House 283-142 on July 30, 2009.

Are these assertions about HR 2749 wild and unsubstantiated? Proving them is fairly easy—just understand “Good Agricultural Practices” (GAP), how the agencies of the World Trade Organization operate within member countries to achieve them and what comprises the actual jurisdiction of the FDA and USDA. A brief explanation follows, along with substantiating quotes from HR 2749.

First we look to jurisdiction in HR2749….

"Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to alter the jurisdiction between the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, under applicable statutes and regulations…" (p.3&4)

Then, tossing our preconceived notions to the wind and looking to law instead, we find that congressional testimony of the FDA on establishing a single food safety agency and a myriad of other sources including the FAO (Food and Ag Organization of the UN), the FDA statements on the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, and many books on food law affirm that FDA has jurisdiction over live food animals:

"FDA is the Federal agency that regulates 80 percent of the nation’s food supply-everything we eat except for meat, poultry, and certain egg products, which are regulated by our partners at USDA. FDA’s responsibility extends to live food animals…"

So then what is the authority of the USDA? It is over agricultural disease, animals in the slaughter channel or transport, marketing (like grading of eggs and certification of processes) and the end product of many (but not all) food animals; meat. This is why NAIS always had to be "about disease" because the USDA couldn't run it otherwise! The exemption section on USDA regulated products is a dust up. Most people think the USDA has authority over live food animals, but it is the FDA after all. They surrender "cow, sheep or goat for milk production", but the FDA retains authority of the fluid milk and when the animal is no longer productive for milking, it's into the slaughter channel (under USDA) or out to pasture (back to FDA) anyway!

"Livestock and poultry that are intended to be presented for slaughter pursuant to the regulations by the Secretary of Agriculture under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act are exempt from the requirements of this Act. A cow, sheep, or goat that is used for the production of milk is exempt from the requirements of this Act." (p.5 of HR2749)


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HR 2749 is 160 pages (July 29 version) and contains the following references to international standards and guidelines (emphasis added for clarity) (all page numbers refer to the PDF file):

"(B) INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS.—In issuing guidance or regulations… the Secretary shall review international hazard analysis and preventive control standards that are in existence on the date of the enactment of this Act and relevant to such guidelines or regulations to ensure that the programs…..are consistent……with such standards." (p. 35)

"CONSISTENCY WITH INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS.—The Secretary shall apply this paragraph consistently with United States obligations under international agreements." (p. 81)

"The Secretary shall issue regulations to ensure that any qualified certifying entity and its auditors are free from conflicts of interest. In issuing these regulations, the Secretary may rely on or incorporate international certification standards." (p. 82)

This means that there will be a layer of auditors, certifiers and inspectors over every aspect of food production in this country and that these inspectors and certifiers will be trained in ISO (International Standards Organization) management program certification. The ISO has been working with Codex Alimentarius on Food Safety Standards and, in particular, a technical standard for Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) which is a consortium of the seven largest food retailers in the world, and that is ISO22000:2005. All traceability (read NAIS) falls under the purview of Codex, the OIE (World Animal Health Organization) and the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) for global trade agreements.

The following excerpt from HR 2749 shows the fully interoperable global network already in existence regarding food and its production:

"Development of such guidelines shall take into account the utilization of existing unique identification schemes and compatibility with customs automated systems, such as integration with the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the International Trade Data System (ITDS), and any successor systems." (p. 142)

So it is clear that international standards and guidelines are implicit in this legislation. Note the usage of the command form SHALL. This isn't a 'might', 'may' or in anyway a voluntary issue on the part of the Secretary. Then there is the section on Traceability. This is a code word in the National Animal Identification System and when one reads Sec.107 of this bill, it describes specific components of NAIS down to 48-hour trace-back, which cannot even be fantasized about with out individual animal identification.

"…..the Secretary shall issue regulations establishing a tracing system that enables the Secretary to identify each person who grows, produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, holds, or sells such food in as short a timeframe as practicable but no longer than 2 business days." [note that it says "grows"] (p. 70)

and…

"……use a unique identifier for each facility owned or operated by such person for such purpose…" (p. 69)

So we have PIN (Premises Identification Number) and 48-hour traceback harmonizing with international standards and guidelines along with this:

"….‘‘(C) COORDINATION REGARDING FARM IMPACT.—In issuing regulations under this paragraph that will impact farms, the Secretary ‘‘(i) shall coordinate with the Secretary of Agriculture; and ‘‘(ii) take into account the nature of the impact of the regulations on farms." (p. 71)

Now that I've killed you with legalese, it's time to let you find out just what these international standards and guidelines mean to those engaged in agriculture in this country.

“GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES”

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are not a standard in and of themselves. They are a combination of standards and guidelines set forth by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO), through both the OIE (World Animal Health Organization) and Codex Alimentarius (Food Code) and IPPC to meet the certification and auditing side of the international trade aspects of the standards set forth. The OIE and Codex are charged with setting global standards and guidelines for the member countries of the WTO to meet and satisfy the SPS (Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary), TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) and Equivalency agreements of the WTO for participation in international trade. Both the OIE and CODEX have guidelines for traceability that, with the passage of HR2749 into law, would be written into regulations governing all interstate commerce within the boundaries of the United States. The components of traceability are the pillars of NAIS that many of us have become so familiar with in the course of the battle over the past several years. Those being 1) Premises Identification 2) Animal Identification and 3) Animal Tracking. You can't have traceability under international standards without having those three components.


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One of the main issues in the implementation of these standards and guidelines within a member nation of the WTO is that they must have a legal framework through which to regulate and enforce these guidelines and standards. HR 2749 would meet the criteria for that legal framework by way of the excerpts from the bill above.

4 Re: This is the control of the food supply on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:20 am

retired2934


second part of above art.


In the OIE's "Guide to Good Farming Practices" the management of a livestock facility are clearly spelled out. Some of these recommendations that would become defacto law in the US under agency rule-making on passage of HR2749 (GGFP delineates international guidelines for food safety at the farm level) are:

- For each animal…Require and keep all commercial and health documents enabling their exact itinerary to be traced from their farm or establishment to their final destination…

- Keep a record of all persons entering the farm…..

- Keep medical certificates of persons working with the animals……

- Keep documents proving the water you give to the animals meets specific criteria

- Keep samples of all feed given to the animals

- Keep all documents from official inspections

- Keep records of treatment and procedures on all animals (castration, disbudding, calving, medications, etc.)

- Prevent domestic animals (cats and dogs) from roaming in and around livestock buildings

- Place all these documents at the disposal of the competent authority (Veterinary Services) when it conducts farm visits.

Some of the other guidelines and standards that would come into play after the implementation of traceability for all agricultural products would be : (from FAO COAG/17 "Development of a Framework for Good Agricultural Practices") "the adoption and implementation of international standards and codes for which Codex food safety standards and guidelines have been designed, and the associated capacity building, training, development and field implementation in the context of the different production systems and agro-ecozones. These include: Enhancing Food Quality and Safety by Strengthening Handling, Processing and Marketing in the Food Chain (214A9); Capacity Building and Risk Analysis Methodologies for Compliance with Food Safety Standards and Pesticide Control (215P1); Food Quality Control and Consumer Protection (221P5); Food Safety Assessment and Rapid Alert System (221P6); and Food Quality and Safety Throughout the Food Chain (221P8)."*

To be certified as meeting the requirements of "GAP", which is synonymous with being in compliance with international standards and guidelines, we can check out GlobalGAP.org. This is "the" certifying methodology for international trade in ag products. Here are a few excerpts from their 122-page general regulations booklet that has links to checklists for those who would be certifiers and auditors under the principles of GAP. This is an organization, not a governing body under WTO agreements, but working with nations and businesses to meet the criteria regarding these GAP practices for international trade. Here is a bare minimum of excerpts from their regulation document:

-(ii) Developing a Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) framework for benchmarking existing assurance schemes and standards including traceability. (iii) Providing guidance for continuous improvement and the development and understanding of best practice. (iv) Establish a single, recognised framework for independent verification.

-Production Location: A production unit or group of production units, covered by the same ownership, operational procedures, farm management, and GLOBALGAP (EUREPGAP) decision-making activities.

-Within the context of GLOBALGAP (EUREPGAP) Integrated Farm Assurance this means tracing product from the producer’s immediate customer back to the producer and certified farm.

-Within the context of GLOBALGAP (EUREPGAP) Integrated Farm Assurance this means tracking product from the producer to his immediate customer.

In simple English, which appears to be highly lacking in all these guidelines, it means NAIS for everything, and for anyone who wishes to be engaged in agriculture….Remember the "grows" phrase from the earlier excerpt from HR2749. Now let's look at some of the 'exception' clauses in HR2749. This bill is a terrifically crafty piece of legislation that is designed to cloud the reader's understanding of the impact of the law being proposed in it. All of the exception clauses give the exception under this Act so long as you are ready to be regulated under a different Act. We'll just look at a couple of these clauses to allow you to get the gist of the lack of exception available through the exceptions….

“EXCEPTIONS”

Farms- A farm is exempt from the requirements of this Act to the extent such farm raises animals from which food is derived that is regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or the Egg Products Inspection Act.

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‘‘(I) such an operation that packs or holds food, provided that all food used in such activities is grown, raised, or consumed on such farm or another farm under the same ownership;

‘‘(II) such an operation that manufactures or processes food, provided that all food used in such activities is consumed on such farm or another farm under the same ownership; (pages9 and10)

Thus, if you grow everything you feed and consume everything you grow, and use no minerals or salts that you don't mine yourself, you may be exempt. Or, in plain English, don't even try to make a living in agriculture if you won't comply with these rules.
One more exception to contend with here is:

‘(A) DIRECT SALES BY FARMS- Food is exempt from the requirements of this subsection if such food is--

‘(i) produced on a farm; and

‘(ii) sold by the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such farm directly to a consumer or to a restaurant or grocery store. (page 71)

This sounds good. However, there are several problems with this that are not evident without some knowledge of how things are done in the traditional avenues open for market to growers. First of all, cattle, whom you may recall as the primary target of the NAIS Business Plan, are often sold either at auction barns or via potload to feedlots. It is illegal to sell beef directly from the farm to consumers in every state that I know of. People often will sell a calf ready to butcher in halves or quarters to people and deliver the calf to the slaughter facility for the consumer, but this is far from the normal route of commerce in cattle or other species of meat animal. Even if you can securely wedge your operation into this particular exemption, they get you later via the record keeping section of this bill:

‘(E) RECORDKEEPING REGARDING PREVIOUS SOURCES AND SUBSEQUENT RECIPIENTS- For a food or person covered by a limitation or exemption under subparagraph (B), (C), or (D), the Secretary shall require each person who produces, receives, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, distributes, or holds such food to maintain records to identify the immediate previous sources of such food and its ingredients and the immediate subsequent recipients of such food.

‘(F) RECORDKEEPING BY RESTAURANTS AND GROCERY STORES- For a food covered by an exemption under subparagraph (A), restaurants and grocery stores shall keep records documenting the farm that was the source of the food.

‘(G) RECORDKEEPING BY FARMS- For a food covered by an exemption under subparagraph (A), farms shall keep records, in electronic or non-electronic format, for at least 6 months documenting the restaurant or grocery store to which the food was sold.’ (pp. 74-75)

So being exempt means you are required to keep records. Keeping required records means you could be required to release those records. So how exempt can a person get under this legislation? Especially when the slughter facilities will all be regulated unless the USDA already regulates them?

PENALTIES AND FINES
Then of course, as with any law, there are the fines and penalties. These are from $20,000 to $1,000,000 per violation. (p. 122)

NO JUDICIAL REVIEW
There is also the change under the seizure section that takes away judicial overview…(double quotations indicate amending language)

…….procedure in cases under this section shall conform, as nearly as may be, to the procedure in admiralty; except that on demand of either party any issue of fact joined in any such case shall be tried by jury, ""and except that, with respect to proceedings relating to food, Rule G of the Supplemental Rules of Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions shall not apply in any such case, exigent circumstances shall be deemed to exist for all seizures brought under this section, and the summons and arrest warrant shall be issued by the clerk of the court without court review in any such case""…… (p. 116)

So we can just throw out that pesky Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and while we're at it, let's get rid of probable cause as well via this wording from page 117:

by striking ‘‘credible evidence or information indicating’’ and inserting ‘‘reason to believe’’;

There are many other dangerous aspects to HR 2749, like seizures, quarantines, and licensing and whistle blower provisions, but this should leave no doubt that this bill will indeed affect farms and has the potential to affect even home food production if an agency decides to apply the international risk analysis schemes to that venue. This bill opens a huge regulatory nightmare that is only evident when one knows what the international guidelines and standards consist of in regard to agriculture. Understanding those, it is highly unlikely that they will issue regulations that keep things as they are now.

Now, the questions that everyone involved in agriculture, meaning everyone who eats, must ask themselves are these:

Can regulating, fining and destroying the freedom of people to grow food create food safety?



Have the impacts of so-called “Free Trade” on this nation been beneficial for the citizens of this country?

Have food safety concerns increased or decreased since we have begun to import more food under these trade agreements?

And ultimately, does the US Constitution provide for the voidance of the Bill of Rights to participate in global trade?



My copy of the Constitution clearly does not allow for any law to void the Bill of Rights which is unalienable and Constitutionally guaranteed. It's time to let our Federal representatives know in no uncertain terms, that everything to do with governance ultimately comes down to the consent of the governed, and we will not consent to being run by international agencies.

My deep thanks to Paul Griepentrog, who helped in going through the legislation and many of the ramifications and amendments to current law under this Act.

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