Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 4, 2013

CONFER: 'Food Safety' act: Government run amok

'Food Safety' act: Government run amok

Niagara Gazette — Using fear as a tactic to gain control over personal food freedom and agriculture, President Barack Obama in 2011 signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act, claiming that it would prevent the spread of E. coli, Mad Cow disease and the like by empowering the Food and Drug Administration to regulate every facet of a farm’s or food facility’s operations.

It’s not disease that we should fear so much, it’s the government. The act gives the FDA unlimited power and affects farms of all sizes, though not equally. Farms with $25,000 in annual sales are excluded outright from the law; any farm with revenues from $25,001 to $500,000 will face partial exemptions; and any farm above that suffers the full force of the law. It will affect three-quarters of American farms.

Slowly but surely, many aspects of the act have taken effect and are just now affecting farms and their customers. Many more regulations are coming down the pike.

The act requires farms and food producers, large and small, to track the origins of their food whether they grew it or it was previously distributed. Extensive records must be maintained that show exactly where the fruits and vegetables came from, how they were grown, how they were stored and just who they were sold to. 

Based on that, farms would be subject to warrantless searches whereby the FDA would have carte blanche to analyze all of their private records to verify not only appropriate tracking, but allegedly appropriate growing practices, too. 

That’s because the FDA thinks that it knows farming better than the farmers do.

The act will allow the agency to regulate how crops and animals are raised and harvested. Those standards and controls have not been finalized; the public comment period ends this month. Be sure that farmers will be forced to abandon practices that have been safely used to feed people for generations.

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