Monday, March 30, 2009

The Calluses On My Freckled Hands

HR875 includes roadside fruit & vegetable stands, the basil growing in your kitchen window, and the garden I FULLY INTEND TO PLANT this year:

Basically, the Obama administration is going to put every single garden, from herb gardens in your apartment windowsill to farmers markets to big corporate farms, under government control. You have to track all of your crops and plantings, you have to comply with whatever healthy and safety codes the government institutes, and you have to submit to random surprise inspections of your property. There are no exceptions. If you have a kitchen garden or an apple tree and you're the only one who eats the fruit, you still are under federal government control.

Of course, corporate farms already have all of this tracking and compliance stuff in place, so really this is just a way of preventing individuals and small farmers from growing their own food, with the stick of a million dollar fine per day, per infraction (which the new agency gets to keep for itself), up to 10 years in federal prison — and there is no judicial review or process necessary to seize and condemn food and (presumably) farmlands.

another take:

Basically, HR 875 sets up a MASSIVE new government bureaucracy called the Food Safety Administration, and compels anything known as a "food establishment" to register with the federal government (paying registration fees of course) and to submit to inspections that are at different intervals depending on the type of "food establishment" you are.

The (formerly) ubiquitous summer roadside vegetable stand appears to be both Category 3 and 5 "food establishments" since they sells "fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form" and "stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale".

The explicit exclusions in Section 3 (13)(B) do not exclude roadside vegetable stands.

Section 3 (14) explicitly declares "any farm" (no matter what the size) to be a "FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY".

Section 406 is a real doozy which places the burden of proof on the small farmer or roadside stand operator to demonstrate that none of their goods were participants in interstate commerce (the basis for this whole thing appears to be the Commerce Clause)

Call your congress-creeps, email the White House, fax your state representatives. Food production cannot be left solely to the discretion of the Federal gov't. - and your backyard garden/co-op/roadside produce vendor is none of their freakin' business.



Anonymous teh Plague Fairy said...

We're gonna have underground praties. Oh, wait.

This is too absurd for words. And I will fight it to my last zucchini.

4/01/2009 4:56 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home