- Two earlier articles addressed corporate friendly legislation
masquerading as pro-consumer. In fact, they'll destroy safe food, empower
agribusiness and drug giants, and harm small farmers and consumers. Access
them through the following links:
- This article is a brief follow-up on where things now
stand, as the Senate tries to circumvent growing public opposition.
- On July 29, 2009, the House passed HR 2749: Food Safety
Enhancement Act of 2009 "To amend the (1938 as amended) Federal Food,
Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve the safety of food in the global market,
and for other purposes."
- On March 3, 2009, S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization
Act was introduced, the Senate's version of the House bill. It stalled
after being assailed as anti-consumer and small farmer as well as failing
to help food safety. In fact, like the House bill, it's cover for greater
industry consolidation, destructive to consumer welfare.
- On July 29, 2010, S. 3669: Food Safety Enforcement Act
of 2010 was introduced "to increase criminal penalties for certain
knowing violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated."
Referred to committee, it's being considered before a full Senate vote.
- Then on September 13, S. 3767: Food Safety Accountability
Act of 2010 was introduced "to establish appropriate criminal penalties
for certain knowing violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated."
Also referred to committee, it's being debated before a full Senate vote
- likely soon before Congress adjourns to campaign for the November 2 elections.
- Despite their language, neither House or Senate bills
help food, drug or nutrient supplement safety. Both impair them by empowering
agribusiness and drug giants - why it's crucial to defeat the Senate measures
while there's time.
- So far, one senator (also a physician) remains outspoken
and opposed, Tom Coburn (R. OK), saying:
- "While some regulations are potentially onerous,
but perhaps reasonable - such as requiring every facility to have a scientifically-based,
but very flexible, food safety plan - others give FDA sweeping authority
with potentially significant consequences....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)." In fact, there's none.
- Dr. Rima Laibow, Medical Director of the Natural Solutions
Foundation alerts everyone to "2 health freedom emergencies,"
S. 510, and S. 3767, saying:
- After S. 510 stalled, S. 3767 was introduced. It's now
in the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration, an upcoming vote,
likely passage, then full Senate debate before adjourning to campaign.
Of major concern is that "S. 510 will be introduced into (S. 3767)
as an amendment, (along with) perhaps elements of the long-discredited
fake dietary supplement 'safety' bill, S. 3002."
- On September 23, she said the Judiciary Committee's Executive
Committee considered S. 3767, slightly amended it, but not enough to matter.
Passage of a combined S. 3767/S. 510 will "CRIMINALIZE THE DISTRIBUTION
OF FOOD," benefitting corporate giants by harming small farmers (including
organic ones) and consumers.
- Revised language won't stop the FDA, FTC, Department
of Agriculture, or other government agencies from deciding any time that
"some rule, regulation, guideline or standard had not been met,"
including "secret" S. 510 provisions.
- At issue is protecting small farmers and consumers as
well as safe organic and locally grown food and dietary supplements. These
bills will restrict or prevent them from being sold on the pretext of non-complaince
with regulations, or in some cases claiming they're unsafe.
- This is precisely what Ag and drug giants want, giving
them full control over the nation's food, drugs, and dietary supplements.
In other words, everything ingested for sustenance, nutrition, health and
welfare will be in their hands to dominate, process, industrialize, taint,
restrict, or prohibit for profit at the expense of consumers, small farmers,
and other producers who'll be harmed.
- One of many concerns is a provision calling for up to
10 years in prison for "misbranding," with no clear definition
provided. For example, the FDA defines misbranding as any food or supplement
claiming potential health benefits, even if scientifically proved. "Adulteration"
is another issue, by definition including minor or inadvertent administrative
or clerical errors, unrelated to food safety.
- With regard to vitamins, minerals, and other dietary
supplements, the Life Extension Foundation (lef.org) highlighted the problem,
headlining "Congress Seeks to put Dietary Supplement Makers in Jail
for Ten Years," saying:
- Drug giants want to prevent your right to freely choose
dietary supplement for health. S. 3767 masquerades as consumer friendly
by "punish(ing) anyone who knowingly contaminates food for sale. Since
there are already strong laws to punish anyone who commits this crime,
this bill (is just cover to enrich) pharmaceutical interests."
- "The sinister scheme behind (it) is to exploit the
public's concern (for) food safety. Drug companies want to convince your
Senators that an overreaching law needs to be enacted to grant the (corporate
run) FDA powers to define 'food contamination' any way it chooses."
- Besides empowering corporate giants, at issue "is
that the FDA will use this as a hammer to threaten and coerce small companies
into signing crippling consent decrees that will deny consumers access
to truthful non-misleading information about natural approaches to protect
against age-related disease." In addition, by so doing, they'll harm
their own interests, shutting down many businesses for not being able to
show why their products are beneficial.
- A Final Comment
- If passed, these House and Senate bills will empower
agribusiness, legitimize unhealthy industrial food, put small farmers and
producers out of business, and harm consumers by restricting their choices,
besides making them pay exorbitantly higher prices.
- In 1970, Henry Kissinger said: "Control oil and
you control nations; control food and you control people."
- Concentrating power in the hands of a few Ag/drug giants
places everyone at risk. They plan world dominance by patenting all life
forms to force-feed GMO foods and drugs on everyone, despite their harm
to human health. Safe organic and family farm food will be restricted or
disappear. So will beneficial dietary supplements.
- Demand Congress defeat these bills and enact "The
Food Freedom Amendment," saying:
- "No provision of Federal Law giving regulatory oversight
to any Federal department or agency shall be deemed to apply (a) to any
home, home business, homestead, home or community garden, small farm, organic
or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c)
to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements,
as protected under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994."
- The issue is clearly drawn - defeat Agbiz and Big Pharma
or (more than ever) they'll harm human health and welfare. It's our choice
if we act - quickly.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays
at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening.