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corporate dominance | sustainability

Gastro-Terrorism: The Green Peril

(also posted at the Free Speech Zone Blog)

According to some sources, some of which are rather politically "conservative," a new "struggle" against this Green Peril is being waged in both Congress, and by President Obama. It seems at least conceivable that this nascent legislation could bring $1 million fines per day to family farmers, or even to people with home gardens (unless they can afford $10,000 dollar inspections, etc.). Now there is an idea who's time has come!

(This could all be about a corporate media Clintonization of Obama and the Dems, however.)
The apparently conservative Silver Bear Cafe (an economics blog) has this:
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The Silver Bear Cafe

<a href=" http://silverbearcafe.com/private/03.09/growing.html">Lose your property for growing food?</a>

House Resolution 875, or the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., in February. DeLauro's husband, Stanley Greenburg, works for Monsanto - the world's leading producer of herbicides and genetically engineered seed.

DeLauro's act has 39 co-sponsors and was referred to the House Agriculture Committee on Feb. 4. It calls for the creation of a Food Safety Administration to allow the government to regulate food production at all levels - and even mandates property seizure, fines of up to $1 million per offense and criminal prosecution for producers, manufacturers and distributors who fail to comply with regulations. [...]

[....] Under the act, every food producer must have a written food safety plan describing likely hazards and preventative controls they have implemented and must abide by "minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, and water."

"That opens a whole can of worms," Olson said. "I think that's where people are starting to freak out about losing organic agriculture. Who is going to decide what the minimum standards are for fertilization or anything else? The government is going to bring in big industry and say we are setting up these protocols, so what do you think we should do? Who is it going to bring in to ask? The government will bring in people who have economies of scale who have that kind of influence."

DeLauro's act calls for the Food Safety Administration to create a "national traceability system" to retrieve history, use and location of each food product through all stages of production, processing and distribution.

Olson believes the regulations could create unjustifiable financial hardships for small farmers and run them out of business.

"That is often the purpose of rules and regulations: to get rid of your competition," he said. "Only people who are very, very large can afford to comply. They can hire one person to do paperwork. There's a specialization of labor there, and when you are very small, you can't afford to do all of these things."

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Also, The Washington Post has an article about Obama's response to the Green Peril:
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The Washington Post

<a href=" link to www.washingtonpost.com Targets Food Safety</a>
March 15, 2009

[....] In his weekly address to the nation, Obama said he is forming a Food Safety Working Group to "upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century," and he formally named former New York City health chief Margaret A. Hamburg as his new Food and Drug Administration commissioner. Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein will be Hamburg's deputy, he said. [...]

[....] Obama noted in his address that many of the nation's food-safety laws "have not been updated since they were written in the time of Teddy Roosevelt," and said the FDA was "underfunded and understaffed" during Bush's tenure. Obama said that outbreaks of illness from contaminated food have risen from 100 a year in the 1990s to 350 a year now and that only 5 percent of the nation's 150,000 food processing plants are inspected each year. "That is a hazard to public health," he said. "It is unacceptable."

The president also invoked his status as a parent, saying that his 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, "has peanut butter sandwiches for lunch probably three times a week."

"No parent should have to worry that their child is going to get sick from their lunch, just as no family should have to worry that the medicines they are buying will cause them harm," he said. "Protecting the safety of our food and drugs is one of the most fundamental responsibilities government has."

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So. We shall soon be liberated from the horrors of the Green Peril, home gardening, and gastro-terrorism!

Some Further Considerations 24.Mar.2009 11:51

blues

This issue in not getting much interest from the left side. Some neocons and libertarians have had a little to say about it.

Many left siders initially presume that new regulations will make us safer. But food is not a significant hazard in USian life. Lack of food is there are millions of hungry kids. Also, it really is nothing compared to the 110 people who perish daily on the road. I would favor a law that simply required food to be tagged with the map coordinates of the place where it was produced.

The banks and their "friends"in government have ruined most small farmers, and enriched megafarms, and this is something nobody should want. So there is reason to be concerned that new food-related legislation will further harm, or even wipe out the little guys.

A bit of Googling turned up the fact that the term "Green Peril" has been used to describe unfair discrimination against Muslims (green seems to be their color). So I guess it has to be the Green Terror, or Green Menace, perhaps.

Dumbing down 24.Mar.2009 18:59

JFK

Pathetic that folks should be taken in by Democrats in sheeps' clothing.