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H.R. 875 – The Food Safety Modernization Act Does NOT Threaten Organic Farms [View All]

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grassfed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 10:25 AM
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H.R. 875 – The Food Safety Modernization Act Does NOT Threaten Organic Farms
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Edited on Mon Mar-23-09 10:39 AM by grassfed
Please disregard previous calls to contact Congressman Waxman with regard to HR 875. Paranoia in the organic/raw food world has been exploited by right wing activists. Thank you TWO AMERICAS for the following:

"The bill in question has nothing to do with Monsanto, nothing to do with animal tagging, nothing to do with organic, and nothing to do with home gardens. What it does do is this: it starts rebuilding the public health and safety infrastructure, and restoring inspections and regulations - all of which the Republicans have been dismantling since Reagan.

However, the right wingers know that if they talk about "Monsanto" and organic and small scale animal keeping and home gardening that will fool liberals into supporting their campaign. Those are "hot buttons" for liberals - home gardening, small animals, Monsanto is evil, and organic food - so they just throw those words into their messages willy nilly, even though they have nothing to do with this bill, and sure enough, a bunch of liberals start spreading a right wing program of anti-government and anti-regulation advocacy all over the Internet."

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. This bill is focused on ensuring the safety of foods sold in supermarkets.

MYTH: H.R. 875 would mean a "goodbye to farmers markets" because the bill would "require such a burdensome complexity of rules, inspections, licensing, fees, and penalties for each farmer who wishes to sell locally - a fruit stand, at a farmers market."

FACT: There is no language in the bill that would result in farmers markets being regulated, penalized 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.

MYTH: H.R. 875 would result in the "death of organic farming."

FACT: There is no language in the bill that would stop 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).

MYTH: The bill would implement a national animal ID system.

FACT: There is no language in the bill that would implement a national animal ID system. Animal identification issues are under the jurisdiction of the USDA. The Food Safety Modernization Act addresses issues under the jurisdiction of the FDA.

MYTH: The bill is supported by the large agribusiness industry.

FACT: No large agribusiness companies have expressed support for this bill. This bill is being supported by several Members of Congress who have strong progressive records on issues involving farmers markets, organic farming, and locally-grown foods (Barbara Lee, etc.). Also, H.R. 875 is the only food safety legislation that has been supported by all the major consumer and food safety groups, including:

* 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

MYTH: The bill will pass the Congress next week without amendments or debate.

FACT: Food safety legislation has yet to be considered by any Congressional committee.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/blogs/healthy-food/organic-farming-440320604

A lot of attention has been focused on a bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (H.R. 875), the Food Safety Modernization Act. And a lot of what is being said about the bill is misleading.

Here are a few things that H.R. 875 DOES do:

- It addresses the most critical flaw in the structure of FDA by splitting it into 2 new agencies –one devoted to food safety and the other devoted to drugs and medical devices.
- It increases inspection of food processing plants, basing the frequency of inspection on the risk of the product being produced – but it does NOT make plants pay any registration fees or user fees.
- It does extend food safety agency authority to food production on farms, requiring farms to write a food safety plan and consider the critical points on that farm where food safety problems are likely to occur.
- It requires imported food to meet the same standards as food produced in the U.S.

And just as importantly, here are a few things that H.R. 875 does NOT do:

- It does not cover foods regulated by the USDA (beef, pork, poultry, lamb, catfish.)
- It does not establish a mandatory animal identification system.
- It does not regulate backyard gardens.
- It does not regulate seed.
- It does not call for new regulations for farmers markets or direct marketing arrangements.
- It does not apply to food that does not enter interstate commerce (food that is sold across state lines).
- It does not mandate any specific type of traceability for FDA-regulated foods (the bill does instruct a new food safety agency to improve traceability of foods, but specifically says that recordkeeping can be done electronically or on paper.)

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/foodsafety/background-on-h-r-875




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