The new food safety bill aims to help people by having stiffer regulations on food growing and selling. According to National Public Radio, the bill known as S-510 is designed to help reduce the number of food-related outbreaks of illness. The bill would provide the Food and Drug Administration with more power to regulate food and food producers. However, there are some sticking points, like an amendment that would exempt small farmers who sell directly to consumers within a 400-mile radius and who make less than $500,000 a year.
Let me say this first: I hate “Big Brother.” I’m not saying I hate our government or making reference to either or any political party; I just dislike the whole idea of being controlled and monitored. Granted, this is nowhere near a mandatory identification chip implanted under the skin, but the thought of government regulation keeping me from gardening and saving seeds is ludicrous.
According to Natural News, that could very well be a reality, as this law would also give the U.S. government the power to arrest any backyard food producer as a felon (a “smuggler”) for merely growing lettuce and selling it at a local farmers market. Even saving seeds would be a criminal offense.
Now, I like my garden’ I grew a lot of potatoes this year, and I’m saving some great blue potatoes for Thanksgiving. The thought of a government inspector stamping through my garden in search of something illegal is probably about as likely as me winning the lottery. It should be noted that there are no illegal plants in my garden — well, any plants in my garden, as it is now winter. However, I would not grow such a thing, as a family member of mine died of a drug overdose, and I know full well the dangers of such a thing. I neither advocate it nor do it myself. I just felt that needed to be said, given my statements about disliking “Big Brother.”
I also love visiting the farmers market in the summer; one can find amazing deals on produce much fresher than any you can pick up in the supermarket.
This also could be the nail in the coffin for many small farmers. I’ve lived in a rural area most of my life and I’ve seen numerous small farms slowly shut down while the larger farms just get bigger and bigger. Nothing says yum like industrial farming.
With some modifications, perhaps this bill would be okay. For example, an amendment to give small farmers and backyard gardeners an exemption. Forgive my paranoia — sometimes it serves me well, other times it gets in the way of reality. I feel this is not a good idea, though I do understand the motive. I would like to keep people safe and healthy. My question is will this do it or just get in the way? I’m leaning toward get in the way.
Senate Lurches Ahead On Food Safety Bill, But Hurdles remain
National Public Radio,
Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act vote imminent: Would outlaw gardening and saving seeds