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HR 875 Myths and Facts Update

by: Jill Richardson

Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:42:25 AM PDT


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I think it's time for a re-posting of H.R.875 (The Food Safety Modernization Act) myths and facts. These rumors just won't die!
Jill Richardson :: HR 875 Myths and Facts Update
  • MYTH: H.R. 875 "makes it illegal to grow your own garden" and would result in the "criminalization of the backyard gardener."
  • FACT: There is no language in the bill that would regulate, penalize, or shut down backyard gardens. The focus of the bill is to ensure the safety of food in interstate commerce.

  • MYTH: H.R. 875 would mean a "goodbye to farmers markets" because it would regulate and penalize "each farmer who wishes to sell locally."
  • FACT: There is no language in the bill that would result in farmers markets being regulated, penalized by any fines, or shut down. Farmers markets would be able to continue to flourish under the bill. In fact, the bill would insist that imported foods meet strict safety standards to ensure that unsafe imported foods are not competing with locally-grown foods.

  • MYTH: H.R. 875 would result in the "death of organic farming" or "mandate the use of chemicals or certain types of seeds on organic farms."
  • FACT: There is no language in the bill that would stop or interfere with organic farming. The National Organic Program (NOP) is under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Food Safety Modernization Act only addresses food safety issues under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • MYTH: H.R. 875 was written by Monsanto and other large agribusiness companies because Stan Greenberg, Rep. DeLauro's husband, is a consultant for Monsanto.
  • FACT: Monsanto and other large agribusiness companies did not write or express support for H.R. 875. Mr. Greenberg had no involvement in drafting the bill. Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner does no lobbying on any issue and its work is wholly independent. Mr. Greenberg never worked for Monsanto, and has not conducted surveys for Monsanto in the past decade. The bill is supported by several Members of Congress who have strong progressive records on issues involving farmers markets, organic farming, and locally-grown foods. Also, H.R. 875 is the only food safety legislation that has been supported by all of the major consumer food safety groups.
    - Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention
    - Center for Science in the Public Interest
    - Consumer Federation of America
    - Consumers Union
    - Food & Water Watch
    - The Pew Charitable Trusts
    - Safe Tables Our Priority
    - Trust for America's Health

  • MYTH: H.R. 875 would implement a national animal ID system (NAIS).
  • FACT: There is no language in the bill that would implement NAIS, which is under the jurisdiction of the USDA. H.R. 875 addresses issues under the jurisdiction of the FDA.

  • MYTH: H.R. 875 will pass the Congress next week without amendments or debate.
  • FACT: Food safety legislation has yet to be considered by any Congressional committee. As legislation moves forward, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider H.R. 759 as its base bill. The Senate HELP Commitee will consider S. 510 as its base bill.
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thanks for posting about this again (4.00 / 3)
I just got a panicky e-mail forward about this bill ("death of organics") from an acquaintance last night.

raatz said (4.00 / 1)
that now demi moore is twittering about it.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
But haven't you written against NAIS before (4.00 / 2)
or am I hallucinating again?

Vote for yourself at www.ni4d.us!

i am strongly against NAIS (4.00 / 2)
and I've written about it quite a bit - do a tag search on NAIS. However - this bill and NAIS are unrelated.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
The message or the messenger? (4.00 / 1)
This is text from HR 875. I think it is quite understandable that those who read this bill get the impression that this bill is trying to mandate NAIS.

1) CONSISTENCY WITH EXISTING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS- To the extent possible, the Administrator should establish the national traceability system under this section to be consistent with existing statutes and regulations that require recordkeeping or labeling for identifying the origin or history of food or food animals.

(2) EXISTING LAWS- For purposes of this subsection, the Administrator should review the following:

   (A) Country of origin labeling requirements of subtitle D of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1638 et seq.).

   (B) The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act of 1930 (7 U.S.C. 499a-t).

   (C) Country of origin labeling requirements of section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1340).

   (D) The National Animal Identification System as authorized by the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.).

The bill is incorrect that NAIS is an existing law. The bill is also incorrect in stating that NAIS was authorized; NAIS is not mentioned in the cited code.

Rep DeLauro could address the controversy of HR 875 by putting out a statement that acknowledges the concerns of the small producers and addresses the errors and misinformation in this bill. Why the silence on her part?

I believe Senator Brown did something like that for the senate companion bill.


[ Parent ]
she's working with organic farm groups (4.00 / 1)
right now to come up with a statement clarifying the bill's intent & proposing a list of amendments.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
This is very helpful (4.00 / 3)
The bill is creating hysteria in many places.

People are writing very weird things, like believing that this bill is so Michelle will have the only legal garden in the US..... ?

And the chicken people are especially up in arms, it seems. Chicken people are especially sensitive to/vulnerable to weird rule problems as it is. But because of the way the law is written, piggybacking on other regulations, people don't understand how many things in it have legal definitions elsewhere, like 'confined animal feeding operation.' They say, 'I have a fence, I have animals, I feed them, I guess this covers me', unaware that CAFO is a legally defined term and that those regulations are meant to apply to entities with 10,000 or more birds.

As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.


PS: love the new logo! (4.00 / 5)


As it was, he did a deal with a blancmange, and the blancmange ate his wife.

AAF made it :) (4.00 / 1)
I love it too! I'm already dreaming up ideas for organic cotton tote bags :)

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
It just goes on and on . . . (0.00 / 0)
http://search.twitter.com/sear...

I discovered that the loathsome Glenn Beck did an anti-HR 875 segment last week. That's apparently part of the reason that the mania has recently intensified, especially among the righties (wrongies would be more apt).


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