Speaking of Fascism...

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Posted: Aug 14, 2009 3:05 PM
A friend of mine from the Midwest alerted me today to a bill steamrolling its way through Congress that is raising some alarms among farming communities.  The Food Safety Enhancement Act by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) passed the House before it recessed for the month of August and is awaiting Senate action upon their return.  Critics of the food safety bill charge that it "could hurt small famers, conflict with organic growing methods and trump efforts to boost wildlife habitat and water and air quality."

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
...The bill is part of a broad effort backed by the Obama administration and consumer groups to tighten food-safety rules...[the bill] would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate all farms. It has provoked uproar among small farmers.

"There's been a battle cry in North Carolina, that the FDA is coming onto the farm," said Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees most farms, but regulates only meat, poultry and egg safety. FDA oversees other food but generally has not extended its reach to farms.

Some provisions in the bill worrying farmers include

--annual registration fees of $500 on any facility that holds, processes or manufactures food;

--empowering the FDA to regulate how crops are raised and harvested;
giving the FDA the authority to quarantine geographic areas, including "prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being use or that has been used to transport or hold such food";

--granting the FDA the authority to perform warrantless searches of business records; and

--establishing a "tracing system" on food for anyone who "produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports or holds such food."

Sounds like whoooooole lotta regulation to me.  Have any TH readers been following this bill?  Any farmers out there care to comment on how this bill might affect you?