With the recent peanut-processing scares, the government is looking to ensure our safety. Consumer safety needs to be considered, but is the government going too far in protecting us?
The proposed bill HR 2479 gives the FDA the power to quarantine a geographic area. The FDA also could halt all movement of all food in a geographic area. If imposed, this approach would have adverse effects on small farms, including hindering their ability to deliver goods to individuals. It most likely would bankrupt them.
HR 2479 goes on to give the FDA power to regulate how crops are raised and harvested. This has the potential to eliminate organic food production. It also presents the possibility that producers will be forced to diverge from profitable farming methods and adopt expensive government-approved methods of production.
If the government were worried about food safety, the USDA would have allowed Creekstone Farms to test all their animals for Mad Cow disease (USA Today, Aug. 29, 2008). The only reason I can think of for the ban on testing is that the large corporate processing plants cannot do so.
HR 2749 will do nothing to ensure food safety and will only serve to place a large burden, with the potential for prison terms and large fines, on small farms.
Please contact U.S. Rep. John Salazar and Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, and urge them to oppose this bill.