HR 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
I see nothing here that would "make it criminal to grow your own garden." Maybe I missed it. Well, if it's in there, and it becomes law, and the White House goes through with their plans to plant a garden on the South Lawn, Obama will have to take to the airwaves, a la Nixon, and affirm:
"People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook."Here are some facts put together by the nonprofit consumer group Food and Water Watch. (The author is given as Elissar Khalek. Nice job Elissar!)
- Pres. Richard M. Nixon, November 17, 1973, During a televised press conference in which he insisted he did not break any laws.
Here are a few things that HR 875 DOES do:More on Food and Water Watch's site:
Here are a few things that HR 875 does NOT do:
- It addresses the most critical flaw in the structure of FDA by splitting it into 2 new agencies –one devoted to food safety and the other devoted to drugs and medical devices.
- It increases inspection of food processing plants, basing the frequency of inspection on the risk of the product being produced – but it does NOT make plants pay any registration fees or user fees.
- It does extend food safety agency authority to food production on farms, requiring farms to write a food safety plan and consider the critical points on that farm where food safety problems are likely to occur.
- It requires imported food to meet the same standards as food produced in the U.S.
- It does not cover foods regulated by the USDA (beef, pork, poultry, lamb, catfish.)
- It does not establish a mandatory animal identification system.
- It does not regulate backyard gardens.
- It does not regulate seed.
- It does not call for new regulations for farmers markets or direct marketing arrangements.
- It does not apply to food that does not enter interstate commerce (food that is sold across state lines).
- It does not mandate any specific type of traceability for FDA-regulated foods (the bill does instruct a new food safety agency to improve traceability of foods, but specifically says that recordkeeping can be done electronically or on paper.)
Background on H.R. 875