Bill HR 875: The Patriot Act of Food


While it may seem that my arguement below is skewed to the left and based simply upon liberalist banter, I must stress that my conclusions are based off of what I read in the actual text of the Bill.

To be more specific, I suggest you read over the following sections:

  • Section 201: Administration of National Program
  • Section 401: Prohibited Acts
  • Section 403: Notification and Recall
  • Section 405: Civil and Criminal Penalties
  • Section 506: Regulations

In my humble opinion, after reading over this bill, the establishment of Food Safety Administration seems like a small death to civil liberties. The administrationwill have the power to determine what food passes regulation standards based on very broad (and some arbitrary) guidelines left up to the determination of the the ADMINISTRATOR (dun dun dunnnnnnnnn)

The motivation behind this bill is to keep our food safe and out of the hands of contamination and bioterrorists. Though (if passed) this might prevent the occasional tomato and peanut scare, it seems like more wasted funding for another one of our government’s anti-terrorist moves that will do nothing more than infringe on our rights as citizens.

Anyone remember the Patriot Act? Well, more than anything else this seems like the beginning of government intervention into multiple realms of domestic life, a change none of us were hoping for.

Obama, you might want to get your wife’s organic garden at the White House approved. Those veggies could be lethal.

An Email I Received from Slow Food

“In these final days before President-Elect Obama makes his selection for Secretary of Agriculture, Slow Food Los Angeles urges you to express your support for dynamic and sustainable choices for the post.

An online petition available at http://www.fooddemocracynow.org is accepting signatures. The petition lists six suggestions including Gus Schumacher, former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Slow Food leader Neil Hamilton, the Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University.

Josh Viertel, Erika Lesser, Slow Food USA board members, and Slow Food leaders from around the country have signed the petition and are spreading the word. SFUSA is encouraging members and friends to add their names in support of the suggested candidates: Even if the new administration doesn’t pick one of the listed candidates, signing the petition sends a strong message that we want a good, clean, and fair food system and that we expect our new administration to make choices that support that vision.

For more information on the nominees and the role of the Secretary of Agriculture, check out Kim Severson’s piece in last week’s Diner’s Journal on the New York Times’ website:
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/foodies-make-a-pitch-to-obama/

as well as Steph Larson’s comments, posted on one of our perennial favorites, The Ethicurean:
http://www.ethicurean.com/2008/11/15/ag-sec/

For more about the mission of Food Democracy Now!, read their mission an description at:
http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/about-us/

Please sign the petition! This could dictate the future of how we understand and experience the not only the food we eat, but also the environment we live in!