Senate Gives FDA Sweeping New Powers Via The Food Safety Modernization Act

Just after an election where voters cried out for less spending, combined with smaller, less controlling government, the Senate passes S.510 – The Food Safety Modernization Act.

All the usual suspects were on-board, as 15 GOP Senators crossed the aisle to help pass S.510 with a vote of 73 to 25. A “lame duck” House is expected to quickly reconcile this bill with a similar bill they passed last year, before sending it to the President for signing.

Who Crossed The Aisle?

15 GOP Senators helped Democrats pass the bill, which gives the FDA and the Agricultural Secretary powers the Constitution does not allow.

Not a single Democrat voted against the ominous measure, which was first submitted by ‘Little Dick’ Durbin, D-Illinois.

While the vast majority of Republicans voted against this assault on the Constitution, 15 broke ranks and helped Obama and the Leftwing Democrats that presently run Congress seize control over the food supply.

The GOP Senators who voted in favor of S.510 are: Alexander (R-TN), Brown (R-MA), Burr (R-NC), Collins (R-ME), Enzi (R-WI), Grassley (R-IA), Gregg (R-NH), Johanns (R-NE), Kirk (R-IL), LeMieau (R-FL), Lugar (R-IN), Murkowski (R-AK), Snowe (R-ME), Vitter (R-LA), and Voinovich (R-OH). link

As pointed out by Michael Geer, reporting in the American Thinker, the FDA has disturbing new power to regulate every aspect of food production within the United States.

There are 225 pages of new regulations, many of which are problematic.

While it is hard to pull out just 1 or 2 regulations in the bill that make the entire thing unpalatable, on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer).

…. the ambiguity of language in S.510 provides a giant opportunity for empowered authorities to make up both the intent and meaning of these proposed regulations and interpret this law as they see fit when they should be constrained by specifics. Legislators can be amazingly specific when they want to be. But a law that is couched in terms and phrases open to interpretation is exactly what leads to cascading unintended consequences. And many believe that’s exactly why ambiguous language is used. Along the lines of “better to ask forgiveness than permission.” Or, more bluntly, we’ll do as we please, see you in court, and we’ll let a judge sort it out.

What is all this going to cost? According to the Congressional Budget Office, billions over the next 5 years.

In addition to the inevitable costs to consumers, expanding the agency’s regulatory reach would require additional spending of $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The costs to the private sector have not been calculated but would likely reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually link

Heritage sums it up quite nicely, referring to this this bill as “The wrong remedy for a phony crisis”. This is clearly another federal takeover of a very important sector of the economy, the food supply.

Spanning some 150 pages, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to dictate how farmers grow fruits and vegetables, including rules governing soil, water, hygiene, packing, temperatures, and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It would also increase inspections of food “facilities” and tax them to do so. And, fulfilling the dream of a long line of agency officials, the bill grants the FDA unilateral authority to order recalls. link

Many small to mid-size farmers are voicing concern over this new legislation.

Daren Rozell, a local peach farmer, owns a store that sells farming chemicals. He says, the bill essentially puts all food sold here in the U.S. under government control. “They (government) can control your whole farming operation,” he says.

Local farmers say the bill would create more regulations and paperwork for small farmers, which would switch food supply power from small farms to large corporations.

Rozell says that all the farmers that are retired or hobby farmers are just going quit, and it’s going to force the big guys to downsize. link

The Monsanto Connection

To find out who is really behind The Food Safety Modernization Act, we will need to dig deeper and follow the money. Who stands to profit most from this legislation? The Federal Government gets what it wants, much more control with a large centralized bureaucracy and Agra-biz gets what it wants, putting the squeeze on smaller producers and centralizing control of food production in the hands of a few global Agra-biz conglomerates.

Who designed the “food safety” bills which are now in Congress? The same man whom Clinton put at the FDA in the 1990s, the same man at the FDA now – Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP.

Who is likely to be appointed as “the Administrator” of the powerful, centralized agency the bill would set up? Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP.

Who is backing the “food safety” bills? Winrock International [which] receives financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the DOE, USAID, the US Department of State, the USDA, the World Bank, the FAO, SYSCO and the Tides Foundation. Winrock International also has long-standing ties with Monsanto. link

This is just one piece of progressive legislation being jammed though during the “Lame Duck” session of congress, and we should expect to see much more.

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