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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to read legislation 101

There has been talk on the internet that organic farming is under attack by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Because of the recent Salmonella outbreaks from Peanut Butter, the federal government feels the need to regulate the nations food supply more accurately. This is good,, right?

Maybe. First off, don't believe everything on the internet you read. It is best to go right to the source. To understand what laws are being put in place it is important to know how to read the bills before the House and Senate This post will briefly go over how to look up the bills and how to read them. For those of you who want to jump right to the legislation the link is below.

To look up bills you are interested in keeping up on go to the web site www.senate.gov . Click on Legislation and Records. The search engine to look up bills on the senate web site is called Thomas. Click on the link for Thomas and a page will come up where you can search either by bill number or by the word or phrase. You can also look up any bills in your area by searching under your representatives names.

Link to the house

The link to the senate did not work for this bill.

How to read a bill is important to know. Once the bill you are looking for comes up, click on Text of Legislation. This is where you can read the bill. It's important when you are reading legislation that you read over and understand the Definitions in the bill. This is where they define certain words such as what they define as "Food Establishments" in bill H.R. 875. What we consider Food Establishments is not neccessarily what they do. For example in the bill H.R. 875 they have five different definitons of Food Establishments. Then they have a different definition for Food Production Facility. We are primarily interested in paragrah 13(b). This is where it lists exlusions in the bill. Here is an example:

(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 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations).

So now we have to look at Paragrah 14 to see what they define as a Food Production Facility. Here that is:

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

So, from how the bill reads they are excluding the places listed above. As of right now, our backyard gardens seem like they are safe. This is where it gets a little sticky. Just because this is how the bill reads now does not mean this is how it will be passed. It has to make it through the House and the Senate and each commonly change the wording as the bill progresses, which is why it is important to keep up on things that may affect you. The link to the bill is above, you are welcome to read it over and come to your own conclusions and i welcome your opinions.

This is my view point only, but this is how our gardens, farms and orchards can come underfire. Legislation such as this is how it starts. For this reason, we need to keep up and be aware of how these bills affect our daily lives.

There does indeed need to be oversight to the facilities that provide food to the majority of the US citizens, we just have to watch to make sure they don't violate our right to be self sufficient.

1 comment:

American Prepper said...

keep reading further, wait till you get to section 206 where "food production facilities are regulated" Food production facilities are excluded from the same regulation as Food establishments, but fall under separate regulation under section 206. Now, As in the definitions: food production facility' means **any** farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation. That is so broad that it could include hobby farms and even gardens. Let's say you have a couple rows of grapes. Can that be a Vinyard? Lets say you have 5 goats and a horse on a 5 acre piece of land. can that be considered a farm? Now go to section 206 Here is just a small part of it, this is where it gets scary
(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;

***Notice this part**

(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—

Plus there's tons more very restrictive legislation. This is an evil bill Co-sponsored by the wife of someone who works for Monsanto

Not to mention, even if it did specifically exclude gardens, hobby farms and organic farms, the cost would be so enormous that our already high food prices would go through the roof....If Monsanto favors this bill, it cant be good.

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