I just learned about H.R. 875, a disturbing bill that has been introduced in Congress, and I want to make sure everyone knows about it. This bill is called the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. I encourage everyone to go investigate this bill. As far as I can tell, it has very little to do with food safety and a lot to do with increasing the power and profit-making abilities of large agriculture corporations—at the expense of small farms. It seems to me that it would have devastating effects on sustainable agriculture, organic growing practices and smaller local farms in general.
Once again, the language of fear is being used as a weapon to scare people into accepting control by a government agency whose loyalties are questionable at best. Recent issues with food-borne illnesses and contamination are being cited as reasons to pass this bill, but when you look carefully at some of the elected officials who are sponsoring and supporting this bill and the connections they have to large agriculture corporations, glaring conflicts of interest reveal themselves and motivations come into question.
Don’t get me wrong: I am all for monitoring the handling and production methods used by the companies who stock our grocery shelves, to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their products. It just seems to me that the true desire here is not to create safer food, but to further consolidate control into the hands of a greedy few.
Please check this bill out for yourself, and if it makes you as nervous as it makes me, please contact Rep. Heath Shuler or your appropriate congressman and tell them you insist that they reject this legislation.
I can’t tell you how incredibly ironic and disappointing it is to see people associated with the administration of “Change we can believe in” using the same old scare tactics and fear-based propaganda to pass laws and take actions that seem only to benefit their friends in big business.
— Jarrett Leone