Archive for December, 2010
LAST CHANCE on FOOD FREEDOM and CHOICE – 24 hours to go – call your Congressional Representatives the last vote was 212 to 206 with 17 not voting – educate them – NO on the Food Safety Bill – see numbers of your representatives –http://clerk.house.gov/member_
The Food Safety Modernization Act looks like it’s headed to become law. It’s being hailed as a “breakthrough” achievement in food safety, and it would hand vast new powers and funding to the FDA so that it can clean up the food supply and protect all Americans from food-borne pathogens. The Food Safety Modernization Act looks like it’s headed to become law. It’s being hailed as a “breakthrough” achievement in food safety, and it would hand vast new powers and funding to the FDA so that it can clean up the food supply and protect all Americans from food-borne pathogens.
There’s just one problem with all this: It’s all a big lie.
Here are the ten biggest lies that have been promoted about S.510 by the U.S. Congress, the food industry giants and the mainstream media:
Lie #1 – Most deaths from food poisoning are caused by fresh produce
Here’s a whopper the mainstream media won’t dare report: Out of the 1,809 people who die in America every year from food-borne pathogens (CDC estimate), only a fraction die from the manufacturer’s contamination of fresh produce.By far the majority of food poisoning is caused by the consumption of spoiled processed foods, dead foods and animal-human transmission of pathogens.
For example, one of the largest food-borne killers according to the CDCisToxoplasma gondii, adiseasethat people acquire from cat feces coming into contact with their food, which can happen right in their own homes (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/Vol5n…). Salmonella poisoning accounts for553 deaths a year. As a reference for relative risk, over 42,000 people die each year from road accidents in the USA, meaning driving acarhas a roughly7600% higher chanceof killing you than eating fresh produce. (http://www.driveandstayalive.com/in…)
In terms of food-borne illness, many of the deaths come from things like spoiled tomato sauce, spoiled canned foods and spoiled pasteurized milk. S 510, of course, does absolutely nothing to address these food contamination deaths, since those foods are considered “sterilized” at the time of sale.
Lie #2 – Under S.510, the FDA would only recall products it knows to be contaminated
Not true. S.510 merely requires the FDA to have “reason to believe” a food is contaminated. So right there, that meansall raw milk will be targeted by the FDAbecause even without conducting any scientific tests at all, the FDA can say it has “reason to believe” the milk is contaminatedmerely because it is raw.
In other words, the FDA no longer needs science to outlaw a food product. It merely needsan opinion.
Is this “reason to believe” section really true? Yep, and here’s how it was amended:
SEC. 208. ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION OF FOOD.
23 (a) IN GENERAL. – Section 304(h)(1)(A) (21 U.S.C.24 334(h)(1)(A)) is amended by
(1) striking ”credible evidence or information indicating” and inserting ”reason to believe”;
In other words, in negotiating this bill, the U.S. Senate removed the requirement that the FDA needed “credible evidence” in order torecalla product and, instead, replaced that with the FDA only needing “reason to believe.”
It is utterly amazing that the U.S. Congress would give the FDA to conduct large-scale product recalls and evenimprison peoplebased entirely on what the agency “has reason to believe.”
Last time I checked, the FDA held some pretty bizarre (if not downright moronic) beliefs, including this jaw-dropping whopper: The FDA literally believes that there is no food, no herb, no vitamin or supplement thathas any ability to prevent disease of any kind. They don’t even believe limes can prevent scurvy, and you’d have to nutritionally illiterate to believe that.
The FDA believes foods are inert and that all the amazing phytonutrients in those foods (carotenoids, antioxidants, therapeutic fats like omega-3 and so on) are utterly useless for human biology.
This belief, held by the FDA that has now been put in charge of the food supply, isthe belief system of an insane government agencythat has completely lost touch with reality while abandoning nutritional science.
Yep, it’s true: Amid all the fear-mongering over salmonella, everybody forgot to notice that the vast majority of fresh chickens sold at grocery stores every single day are widely contaminated with salmonella. Yet S 510 does absolutely nothing to address this. It’s not even mentioned in the bill.
In fact, it is these contaminated chickens that end up cross-contaminating the fresh produce in many kitchens across America. So the so-called “food poisoning” that’s often blamed on spinach or onions often originates with the contaminated chicken meat people bring home and slice on their kitchen cutting boards.
Lie #4 – S.510 will exclude and protect small farmers
TheTester Amendment, which was finally included in S.510, excludes farmers who sell less than $500,000 worth of food each year from the more onerous paperwork and compliance burdens described in the bill. But this dollar amountis not indexed to inflation, meaning that as the U.S. dollar continues to lose value due to the Federal Reserve counterfeiting machine running at full speed (more “quantitative easing,” anyone?), food prices will continue to skyrocket — and this will shift even small family farms into the $500,000 sales range within just a few years.
In fact, a single-family farm with just four people could easily sell $500,000 worth of fresh produce a year right now, even before inflation. Remember, $500,000 is not their profit, but rather the gross sales amount. The profits on that might be only $50,000 or even less.
Furthermore, this $500,000 threshold means that small, successful farms that are doing well and would like to expand willrefuse to hire more peopleor expand their operations. To avoid the tyranny of S 510, small farms will try to stay small, and that means avoiding the kind of business expansion that would create new jobs.
Lie #5 – The FDA needs more power to enforce food safety
The FDA already has thepowerto effectively recall foods by publicly announcing a product has been found to be contaminated. The FDA already has the power to confiscate “misbranded” products, too, and it could easily use this power to halt the sale of contaminated food items.
But the FDA simply refuses to enforce the laws already on the books and, instead, has sought to expand its power by hyping up the e.coli food scares. The ploy apparently worked: Now in areactionto the food scare-mongering, the FDA is being handed not just new powers, but more funding, too! And you can bet it will find creative new ways to put this power to work suppressing the health freedoms and food freedoms of the American people.
Lie #6 – Fresh produce is contaminated because of a lack of paperwork
There is no evidence that requiring farms to fill out more paperwork will make their food safer. The real cause of producecontaminationis the existence of factory animal farms whose effluent output (huge rivers of cow feces, basically), end up in the water supply, soils and equipment that comes into contact with fresh produce.
The food contamination problem is an UPSTREAM problem where you’ve got to reform the factory animal operations that now dominate the American meat industry. S.510, however, does absolutely nothing to address this. Factory animal farms aren’t even addressed in the bill!
Lie #7 – The American people are dying in droves from unsafe fresh food
The truth is that Americans are dying fromprocessed foodlaced with toxic chemical additives, not from fresh, raw produce. Partially-hydrogenated oils, white sugar, aspartame, MSG and artificial food colors almost certainly kill far more people than bacterial contaminations.
The American public is also dying from pharmaceuticals — anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 people a year are killed by FDA-approved drugs, most of which have been approved under the guise of blatantly fraudulent science and drug company trickery. The FDA doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, it has been a willful co-conspirator in the scientific fraud carried out by Big Pharmain the name of “medicine.”
To think that the FDA — the very same agency responsible for the Big Pharma death machine — is now going to “save us” by controlling food safety is highly irrational.
Lie #8 – The FDA just wants to make food “safer”
Actually, the FDA wants to make the food more DEAD. Both the FDA and the USDA are vocal opponents of live food. They think thatthe only safe food is sterilized food, which is why they’ve supported the fumigation, pasteurization and irradiation efforts that have been pushed over the last few years.
California almond growers, for example, must now either chemically fumigate or pasteurize theiralmondsbefore selling them. This has destroyed the incomes of U.S. almond farmers and forced U.S. food companies to buy raw almonds from Spain and other countries.
Lie #9 – Food smuggling is a huge problem in America
One of the main sections of S.510 addresses “food smuggling.” Yep — people smuggling food across the country. If you’ve never heard of this problem that’s because it’s not actually a problem.
Not yet anyway.
But there’s a reason why they put this into the bill: Because they’re probably planning oncriminalizing fresh produceand then arresting people for transporting broccoli with the “intent to distribute.”
Yep, farmers bringing fresh produce to sell at the weekend farmer’s market could soon be arrested and imprisoned as if they were drug smugglers. Hence the need for the “food smuggling” provisions of S.510.
Soon, we will all have to meet in secret locations just to trade carrots for cash.
Lie #10 – S.510 will make America’s food supply the safest in the world
Actually, even with S.510 in place, America’s food supply is among the most chemically contaminated in the world, second only to China. You can find mercury in the seafood, BPA in the canned soup, yeast extract (MSG) in the “natural” potato chips, and artificial petrochemical coloring agents in children’s foods.
Eating the “Standard American Diet” is probably the single most harmful thing a person can do for their health. It’s the fastest way to get cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Every nation in the world that begins to consume the American diet starts to showrecord rates of degenerative disease within one generation. This is the “safe food” that the U.S. Senate is now pushing on everyone.
Remember, with S.510, SAFE = DEAD. And the FDA says it wants to keep everybody safe.
Thanks to Mike Adams, Health Ranger – editor of Natural News
Just connected with our DC night owls – the Senate deal has got to be finalized – we are close – must stay actively engaged until the last moment -what is that phrase: never give up until it is over. IT HAS BEEN A WILD RIDE – Tonight, the Senate dropped the 2000 page $1.3 Trillion Earmark filled, Pork laden Omnibus bill from consideration (good for vegans:))- keep the pressure on – possibly the Food Safety Bill will die here – stay tuned – stay active -expect miracles.
Senator Party Telephone Fax How Voted Ag State
Mark Begich D 202-224-3004 (f) 202-224-2354 Yes
Lisa Murkowski R 202-224-6665 (f) 202-224-5301 Did Not Vote
Jeff Sessions R 202-224-4124 (f) 202-224-3149 No Yes
Richard Shelby R 202-224-5744 (f) 202-224-2316 No Yes
Blanche Lincoln D 202-224-4843 (f) 202-228-1371 No Yes
Mark Pryor D 202-224-2353 (f) 202-228-0908 Yes Yes
Jon Kyl R 202-224-4521 (f) 202-224-2207 No Yes
John McCain R 202-224-2235 (f) 202-228-2862 No Yes
Barbara Boxer D 202-224-3553 (f) 202-224-0454 Yes Yes
Dianne Feinstein D 202-224-3841 (f) 202-228-3954 Yes Yes
Michael Bennett D 202-224-5852 (f) 202-224-6471 Yes Yes
Mark Udall D 202-224-5941 (f) 202-224-6471 Yes Yes
Christopher Dodd D 202-224-2823 (f) 202-224-1083 Yes
Joseph Lieberman I 202-224-4041 (f) 202-224-9750 Yes
Thomas Carper D 202-224-2441 (f) 202-228-2190 Yes
Chris Coons D 202-224-5042 (f) 202-228-3075 Yes
George LeMieux R 202-224-3041 (f) 202-228-5171 Yes*
Bill Nelson D 202-224-5274 (f) 202-228-2183 Yes
Saxby Chambliss R 202-224-3521 (f) 202-224-0103 No Yes
Johnny Isakson R 202-224-3643 (f) 202-228-0724 No Yes
Daniel Akaka D 202-224-6361 (f) 202-224-2126 Yes
Daniel Inouye D 202-224-3934 (f) 202-224-6747 Yes
Charles Grassley R 202-224-3744 (f) 202-224-6020 Yes*
Tom Harkin D 202-224-3254 (f) 202-224-6020 Yes
Michael Crapo R 202-224-6142 (f) 202-228-1375 No Yes
Jim Risch R 202-224-2752 (f) 202-224-2573 No Yes
Roland Burris D 202-224-2854 (f) 202-228-3333 Yes
Richard Durbin D 202-224-2152 (f) 202-228-0400 Yes
Evan Bayh D 202-224-5623 (f) 202-228-1377 Yes Yes
Richard Lugar R 202-224-4814 (f) 202-228-0360 Yes* Yes
Sam Brownback R 202-224-6521 (f) 202-228-1373 No
Pat Roberts R 202-224-4774 (f) 202-224-3514 No
Jim Bunning R 202-224-4343 (f) 202-228-1373 No
Mitch McConnell R 202-224-2541 (f) 202-224-2499 No
Vitter David R 202-224-4623 (f) 202-228-5061 Yes* Yes
Mary Landrieu D 202-224-5824 (f) 202-224-9735 Yes Yes
Scott Brown R 202-224-4543 (f) 202-228-2646 Yes *
John Kerry D 202-224-2742 (f) 202-224-8525 Yes
Benjamin Cardin D 202-224-4524 (f) 202-224-1651 Yes
Barbara Mikulski D 202-224-4654 (f) 202-224-8858 Yes
Susan Collins R 202-224-2523 (f) 202-224-2693 Yes*
Olympia Snowe R 202-224-5344 (f) 202-224-1946 Yes*
Carl Levin D 202-224-6221 (f) 202-224-1388 Yes
Debbie Stabenow D 202-224-4822 (f) 202-228-0325 Yes
Al Franken D 202-224-5641 (f) 202-224-0044 Yes Yes
Amy Klobuchar D 202-224-3244 (f) 202-228-2186 Yes Yes
Christopher Bond R 202-224-5721 (f) 202-224-8149 No
Claire McCaskill D 202-224-6154 (f) 202-228-6326 Yes
Thad Cochran R 202-224-5054 (f) 202-224-9450 No
Roger Wicker R 202-224-6253 (f) 202-228-0378 No
Max Baucus D 202-224-2651 (f) 202-224-9412 Yes Yes
Jon Tester D 202-224-2644 (f) 202-224-8594 Yes Yes
Richard Burr R 202-224-3154 (f) 202-228-2981 Yes*
Kay Hagan D 202-224-6342 (f) 202-228-2563 Yes
Kent Conrad D 202-224-2043 (f) 202-224-7776 Yes Yes
Byron Dorgan D 202-224-2551 (f) 202-224-1193 Yes
Mike Johanns R 202-224-4224 (f) 202-228-0436 Yes* Yes
Ben Nelson D 202-224-6551 (f) 202-228-0012 No Yes
Judd Gregg R 202-224-3324 (f) 202-224-4952 Yes*
Jeanne Shaheen D 202-224-2841 (f) 202-228-3194 Yes
Frank Lautenberg D 202-224-3224 (f) 202-228-4054 Yes
Robert Menendez D 202-224-4744 (f) 202-228-2197 Yes
Jeff Bingaman D 202-224-5521 (f) 202-224-2852 Yes Yes
Tom Udall D 202-224-6621 (f) 202-228-3261 Yes Yes
John Ensign R 202-224-6244 (f) 202-228-2193 Yes* Yes
Harry Reid D 202-224-3542 (f) 202-224-7327 Yes Yes
Kirsten Gillibrand D 202-224-4451 (f) 202-228-0282 Yes Yes
Charles Schumer D 202-224-6542 (f) 202-228-3027 Yes Yes
Sherrod Brown D 202-224-2315 (f) 202-228-6321 Yes
George Voinovich R 202-224-3353 (f) 202-228-1382 Yes*
Thomas Coburn R 202-224-5754 (f) 202-224-6008 No Yes
James Inhofe R 202-224-4721 (f) 202-228-0380 No Yes
Jeff Merkley D 202-224-3753 (f) 202-228-3997 Yes
Ron Wyden D 202-224-5244 (f) 202-228-2717 Yes
Robert Casey D 202-224-6324 (f) 202-228-2717 Yes Yes
Arlen Specter D 202-224-4254 (f) 202-2281229 Yes Yes
Jack Reed D 202-224-4642 (f) 202-24-4680 Yes
Sheldon Whitehouse D 202-224-2921 (f) 202-228-6362 Yes
Jim DeMint R 202-224-6121 (f) 202-228-5143 No Yes
Lindsey Graham R 202-224-5972 (f) 202-224-3808 No Yes
Thune John R 202-224-2321 (f) 202-228-5429 Yes* Yes
Tim Johnson D 202-224-5842 (f) 202-228-5765 Yes Yes
Lamar Alexander R 202-224-4944 (f) 202-228-3398 Yes*
Bob Corker R 202-224-3344 (f) 202-228-0566 Yes*
John Cornyn R 202-224-2934 (f) 202-228-2856 No Yes
Kay Bailey Hutchison R 202-224-5922 (f) 202-224-0776 No Yes
Robert Bennett R 202-224-5444 (f) 202-228-1168 No Yes
Orrin Hatch R 202-224-5251 (f) 202-224-6331 No Yes
Mark Warner D 202-224-2023 (f) 202-224-6295 Yes
Jim Webb D 202-224-4024 (f) 202-228-6363 Yes
Patrick Leahy D 202-224-4242 (f) 202-224-3479 Yes Yes
Bernard Sanders I 202-224-5141 (f) 202-228-0776 Yes
Maria Cantwell D 202-224-3441 (f) 202-228-0514 Yes
Patty Murray D 202-224-2621 (f) 202-224-0238 Yes
Russ Feingold D 202-224-5323 (f) 202-224-2725 Yes Yes
Herbert Kohl D 202-224-5653 (f) 202-224-9787 Yes Yes
Joe Manchin D 202-224-3954 (f) 202-228-0002 Yes Yes
John Rockefeller D 202-224-6472 (f) 202-224-7665 Yes Yes
John Barrasso R 202-224-6441 (f) 202-221724 Yes* Yes
Michael Enzi R 202-224-3424 (f) 202-228-0359 Yes Yes
The House attached the Food Safety Bill on to the Continuing Resolution allowing the government to be funded. The Senate is expected to vote quickly on Thursday or Friday – let’s give this one more push – most Senators who voted before probably will not change their mind but this is worth a call -please see the numbers below.
December 6, 2010: While the Senate voted to pass the newer version of S. 510, the Bill may not actually make it to the President’s desk for signing into law this year after all. We are now learning that Senate staff were informed from the outset that the ‘reinspection fees’ provision of S. 510 violated the Constitutional provision that states that all tax provisions (any provision in legislation that levy’s fees) must begin in the House of Representatives.
Typically there would be a Conference process where members of the House and Senate of both parties would sit down and work through the differences in the two Bills. However, because the Congress is running out of time, (the 111th session of Congress ends at the end of 2010), the leadership determined they would side step this process and simply send S. 510 to the President. This is not a new or unusual sidestepping, but typically only happens when there is no controversy attached to legislation. The rules that govern the parliamentary procedures allow for such an action, but with the Constitutional violation, this is not possible.
Keep in mind, the conference process would have been arduous and filled with opportunities to make the Bill unpassable in either the House or the Senate because the House food safety bill passed earlier this year is completely different than the Senate version. As one staffer said, “they are similar in name only”.
The issue is not dead however; there is much negotiating going on between the House and Senate Leadership. One discussion is to introduce S-510 with a House number and to pass it quickly. There is not, as yet, an agreement to do this because with the fee provision, both the Energy and Commerce and the Ways and Means Committees have to vote it out of Committee. So far, the Ways and Means Committee is rejecting the Senate created language. Keep in mind that this Committee sees more than just this Bill being affected. Such a move would, in the minds of some, undermine their Constitutional authorities and lessen their power.
Congress will remain in session probably right up until Christmas and is entrenched in other matters related to the Bush era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year, the unemployment benefits extension issue, and the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy.
While the Bill that passed was much better than what we started with in 2009, the core issues of expanding FDA’s authorities remains problematic at the core. We cannot assume that S. 510 is dead. We will keep you posted.
After the Senate vote on the Food Safety Bill, the House was expected to vote quickly – pro-forma.
It appears that Section 107 of the Senate bill contains a revenue-raising (i.e., taxing) provision which appears unconstitutional according to Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Because of the Senate violation, the House has implemented a procedure known as “blue slipping” to keep the bill out of consideration and send it back to the Senate to clean it up.
The only possible “quick fix” would be a unanimous consent agreement in the Senate to strike that revenue-raising provision from the bill—and, after speaking with staff in Sen. Tom Coburn’s office, there are efforts to oppose this so that a unanimous consent will be impossible.
Stay tuned – what will be done with the Bill – spend more time in a a Lame Duck Congress, opening everything up for controversy again, or do nothing and allow the bill to die.
If this happens and the bill dies, a new bill would be introduced next year with a much better opportunity to craft something that really works for all of us in the health and wellness industry. This stall is what is needed. Stay Tuned.