Protect Small Farmers and Non-irradiated Organic Food

As if Dick Durbin isn’t enough to contend with … here comes the FDA recycling an old, sneaky attempt to do away with small farms, fresh foods, raw foods and anything non-irradiated. Not for actual public safety, not with proof of danger … just a rogue “suspicion” is enough to shut down small farmers. Sounds like the equivalent of NDAA indefinite detention for farmers! Can you say “Codex Alimentarius?!” How obvious can they be?

In all seriousness, though, this same attempt was previously thwarted through petitions and phone calls. If you in any way value Farmer’s Markets, organic food, healthy DNA, and the last shreds of food sovereignty, please read below and take action. Again.

I’m all for a brand, spankin’ new paradigm, but as long as we’re quasi-functioning in this one, let’s protect real food and real farmers. The life you save may be your own, and no, that is not an exaggeration. Access to real food and clean water are way more important than the DOW or some silly bipartisan “initiative.” As George Carlin said, “Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”

To the FDA: you wouldn’t know real food if you slipped on an organic banana peel. Until you can stop pandering to Monsanto and the chemical companies, stop persecuting Amish farmers and start protecting organic family farmers, kindly remove your stinky a$$ from my plate. My local farmers and I feed ourselves much better than you and the phood fascists ever would.

OK, rant temporarily over. Important information and petition link below, and please act as you feel led:

What Does the Government Have Against Organic Farmers?

August 6, 2013
ANH Action Alert

Three years ago you won major concessions for small farmers. Now it’s all in danger. Action Alert!

When the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was originally proposed in 2010, we and many other organizations were troubled. Small-farm and organic food advocates warned that the legislation would destroy their industry under a mountain of paperwork and other requirements.

Working with the natural health community, ANH-USA helped win the inclusion of an amendment from Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), which exempted producers making less than $500,000 a year in sales who also sold most of their food locally. This wasn’t easy. Big farms and processed food companies and their allies at the USDA and FDA did not like it, because they feel threatened by competition from natural food producers.

Now, through the rulemaking process, the FDA is trying to change the law in such a way that the hard-won exceptions provided by the Tester-Hagan Amendment are endangered.

In January we reported that the FDA had proposed two troubling FSMA rules:

The first one concerned standards for the growing and harvesting of raw agricultural produce, and exempts foods that are sterilized by irradiation, even though “nuking” it harms the food’s nutritional value, can cause a wide range of health problems, and masks filthy conditions in slaughterhouses and food processing plants. Obviously, organic foods cannot be irradiated, so they will never be exempted.

The second amended the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) guidelines by creating hazards analysis requirements and risk-based protections with lots of detailed recordkeeping. Most farmers will likely need a team of lawyers to make sure they’re complying with the new rule properly.

Farmers who make less than $500,000 should be off the hook because of the Tester-Hagan Amendment, right? No! At the last minute, a provision was added to the FSMA allowing the FDA to revoke the exemption for small farms or facilities under specific conditions.

And now, new FDA rules interpret those conditions in a way that completely undermines the intent of the Tester-Hagan amendment. The FDA now gets to revoke the exemption if a foodborne illness outbreak might possibly be linked to the farm, even if there is no proof that the farm is the cause of the outbreak, and even though there may not be an immediate threat to public health!

Laura again: Much more information here. Please do take action on this one. The proposed restrictions to farmers and the fascist powers granted to the FDA are truly absurd and terrifying if we cower to them. Personally, I prefer a swift boot to the butt. “Oh, now go. Walk out the door. Just turn around now. You’re not welcome anymore.”

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