Take peanuts. To be safe, I want them tested as they leave the fields. I want them processed at temperatures high enough to kill salmonella. I want to store them covered so birds cant contaminate them with their droppings. I want them tested before they are released to stores. These sorts of things will now be law.
Dr. Richard Besser, chief health and medical editor, ABC News, on the Friday evening national news describing new rules issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, passed in January 2011.
I don’t know much about producing peanuts, and it could be that the procedures Besser has long lusted for (he spent 13 years with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control before arriving at ABC News) are good ones for mass producing roasted peanuts. But the underlying message of his report on the new FDA rules is unfortunate–closely regulating farms in the fields is a good thing, and processing the hell out of foods to kill any possible pathogens is a good thing.
Nearly three years ago, I asked in a blog post on the then-proposed new national food safety regulations a question I thought sounded provocative, but was likely far-fetched: How does the idea of consulting a technician sound in connection with producing your own compost?
That technician will likely be stopping by many farms much sooner than even I might have imagined. The FDA in its summary of the new rules (published yesterday) it plans for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act for produce says one of five highlights is this, affecting biological soil amendments (bet you didnt know the new name for compost is a biological soil amendment): Biological soil amendments of animal origin, such as composted manure, may contain pathogens of public health concern. To address this, the rule proposes reasonable time intervals between the application of a biological soil amendment of animal original and crop harvest. The proposed rule also has provisions pertaining to the handling and storage of biological soil amendments of animal origin.
Very small farms will have three or four years to comply, depending on their sales, and there are no exemptions. In the meantime, the FDA is seeking additional funding to hire all those inspectors and technicians who will be coming around, looking over things, helping make sure your farms compost conforms with government regulations. Havent you been wondering when your government would send friendly helpers around, give you something of substance on all those taxes you pay? Maybe you want to welcome them with a glass of raw milk and cookies.
Food activists in Flagstaff, AZ, must have seen the new FDA rules coming. In the days before the issuance yesterday of the proposed new FDA rules, they had expressed fears about the Food Safety Modernization Act as the basis for their proposed food-sovereignty ordinance. The proposed ordinance would exempt Flagstaff (town of 69,000) farms and other food producers that sell directly to individuals from state and federal rules, like the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Similar ordinances have been passed from Maine (where seven towns have adopted) to Santa Cruz, CA. The Maine ordinance has been challenged by the state in a legal suit against farmer Dan Brown of Blue Hill.
According to one supporter of the Flagstaff proposal, The wording in the Food Safety Modernization Act is often vague and open to interpretation. To what extreme it will be enforced is anybodys guess. Many cities and towns across the country (from Utah to Maine) have already decided it best to take preemptive action and pass Food Freedom Ordinances. The goal is to send a strong message to the FDA and other agencies that they value food freedom and organic farming. If a Food Freedom Ordinance is passed in Flagstaff, it will let the FDA and other agencies know that Flagstaff believes its citizens have the very basic right to grow, sell and consume the food of their choice.
Now that the Food Safety Modernization Act is taking shape, will other towns feel a sense of urgency to similarly act to fend off those friendly FDA compost technicians?
A Wisconsin judge yesterday set May 20 as the new trial date for raw milk farmer Vernon Hershberger. The trial had been scheduled to begin this Monday, but fierce pre-trial wrangling between the Wisconsin Attorney General and Hershberger’s lawyers forced the judge to put the trial off. He said he needs time to decide various issues, most notably, a contention by Hershberger that denying an expert witness on behalf of raw milk represents an interference with his religious freedom; Hershberger has argued he was constrained from legally challenging the state’s 2010 shutdown of his food distribution, and its assertion as part of the shutdown that raw milk is a health hazard, by his religious principles.
There is an important test that should be done on the compost before it is applied to the soil.
” Herbicide analysis of soils can be done, but is often expensive and may not reveal whether your crop will be injured. An inexpensive and effective way to measure whether herbicide carry-over may affect your crop is a bioassay.
Biological assays, using test plants similar to the field crop to be grown, are practical and can be done with simple equipment available in most homes or offices. The bioassay does not provide an exact measure of the amount of herbicide present in the soil, but it can show you whether enough remains to harm sensitive crops. ”
Plant material like straw that is used in compost may contain enough herbicide carry-over to be detected in a bioassay.
The author of the above article writes, The take-home message is this: Manure is a valuable resource, not a waste product. And its time we start demanding that its treated as such. He argues that we should not be trying to get rid of manure we should be harvesting it, doing our best to maintain its nutritive value, and using it wisely on our farms and gardens. It is, in fact, not possible to have the kind of garden farm society that is now developing without comprehensive knowledge about managing manure, Logsdon writes.
Although he may agree with some of the recommendation for biological soil amendments, I dont think that consulting a technician who is obsessed with regulating microorganisms is what Gene Logsdon had in mind when he wrote his book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind .
I would add to that, the fact they also have severely distorted priorities for many reasons ranging from personal vendettas to industry pressures. How they can justify spending our tax dollars in these difficult economic times on massive, disproportionate campaigns against little guys that have never been proven to cause anyone to be sick, is beyond me.
Maybe we should avoid food from India though I love their flavors?
“Research concluded that 51 per cent of all food items have pesticide residues” … “And these poisons have consequences for our health.”
I also wonder what the percentage of American food?? I would bet it’s above the global average.
I just finished reading a FDA website that is dedicated to the attempted re-education of consumers. Yes…the FDA is in the business of trying to educate consumers about how horrible raw milk is. I am the only name and OPDC is the only dairy that is named in the entire 20 page anti raw milk treatis. I guess I should feel honored by being singled out. The FDA even acknowledges that OPDC has a food safety plan…..that is a break through!! This all shows progress. Before…they just ignorred me and denied our existance. We are making serious progress!!
My favorite quote said that “PARSIFAL did not study raw milk”…and that PARSIFAL is misquoted by the raw milk establishment as supportive science behind raw milk. The FDA says….PARSIFAL is about farm fresh milk and not raw milk….do they think we are idiots!!!
This is such an extreme abuse of respected science and truth….it just makes me chuckle. When lies are this big, it clearly shows how desparate and how close to the Dead Milk Cliff….that the FDA is.
Massey University has just begun a $1.2-million study into the potential health benefits.
What we are going to do in this study is to assess whether raw milk exposure in an urban sample of children also protects against allergies and asthma, says Professor Jeroen Douwes”
Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-new-insights.html
Human beings need those little beasts.
People are working at the local level all across the country, revitalizing granges and rediscovering powerful latent mechanisms to ensure that local farms and good food will prosper. In Maine, we are hearing from several counties in CA, townships in PA, individuals in VA, university researchers and classes looking to set up these boundaries around our communities. I think readers of this blog might be interested in reading Wendell Berry’s Conserving Communities, which lays out much of what many farmers and food eaters are doing to rebuild rural communities. He lays out the importance of coming together in a community to help ourselves and that the ‘party of local community’ will supplant the very partisan party system we have now.
We can move much more quickly and effectively on the local level than in the state houses and federal levels that have been clogged with corporate influence.
Three cheers for Flagstaff!
In addition, organic N (manure N tied to organic compounds) is more stable than N applied as commercial fertilizer. A significant fraction of manure N is stored in an organic form that is slowly released as soils warm and as crops require N. Commercial fertilizer N is applied as either nitrate or an ammonium (easily converted to nitrate). Nitrate-N is soluble in water and mobile. These forms contribute to leaching during excess precipitation (e.g., spring rains prior to or early in growing season) or irrigation. Manure Ns slow transformation to nitrate is better timed to crop N needs, resulting in less leaching potential. In fact, manure N is a natural slow-release form of N.
They received a bunch of money, they want more money, but no one there even understands food safety, at all. [quote]: “Basically, if making the food safe is too difficult, the FDA does not bother enforcing their safety policies.” [end of quote] Read about it here: http://occupycorporatism.com/fda-finally-implements-2011-food-safety-standards-for-farms-manufacturers/
What a joke. No wonder their brains don’t process the difference between food safety and food rights.
If the infant has dairy allergies, then this crap won’t help. Ingredients have milk derivatives.
Corn Maltodextrin is a sugar so it has 35% of this plus 15% sugar leaving a total of 50% sugar? Lets start the babies off with altered weight status… idiots who allow this crap. And I haven’t even touched on the other additives.
It is my personal belief that the “fish oils” (DHA, ARA, etc.) added to these formulas are rancid and do nothing for a child’s health. But the formula companies were touting it as being good for babies eyes and brain development. Uh-huh. Well, I don’t believe that but young parents sure do. I don’t see that advertising on the front of the formula containers anymore, imagine that. There was a study done and reported on about the Alpina Oil and how bad it is. I think Mercola or WAPF or someone like that reported the study because you won’t see it in mainstream media, for sure. Nevertheless, young parents still believe it’s something useful and good. Arg.
But as you say, corn maltodextrin?? I mean really, there are about four different forms of sugar added to this particular formula, the fake fish oils, soy oil, safflower oil – all rancid most likely. It’s disgusting. It literally smells like a chemical bomb went off in my sink when I pour leftover formula down there. I’ve gotten so I don’t do that because it stinks up my whole kitchen. I pour it outdoors. Can’t wait until spring to see what DOESN’T grow there!
= = = = = = = = = = = = =
“Executive Director Baylen Linnekin Discusses FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Regulations in National TV Appearance”
It will be interesting to see what doesn’t grow where you’ve been dumping that junk.
This would be something to keep in mind when dealing with doctors too, or most any situation in life. Expertise can be a dangerous thing, especially for those who don’t know better.
To me it just seems like such a shame that today’s physicians don’t undertake to study at least SOME nutritionally oriented things. They certainly must know that it plays a huge part in our development, from birth (and even before) to grave. But they treat it as a second-class idea, or they tend to treat those of us who are concerned about nutrition as if we’re still a bunch of hippies from the 60’s. What needs to happen is doctors need to start thinking outside the box and take it upon themselves to learn a little about the past and how things were handled before all the pills came on the scene. Native Americans survived pretty well, considering; early doctors knew how to connect the dots because they HAD to, but today that kind of thinking is treated like hocus-pocus. If those folks hadn’t learned how to survive the best they could, none of us would be here. And they managed to do it without insurance companies, MRI’s (and all the rest of the tests relied on so heavily), or any other *nanny* type interference. Wouldn’t it be nice . . .
The paperwork alone in today’s world is enough to choke a horse, and it’s just plain ridiculous. There’s a reason for all that “keeping track”, and it’s not a good one for you and me.
Also just discovered some things about the legal charges.:
Vernon Hershberger is a dedicated family farmer who is farming on his own private land in Wisconsin (known as the Dairy State). Thirteen months ago Vernon was charged with four misdemeanor counts for alleged violations of the Wisconsin food and dairy code. “On December 5, 2011, the state of Wisconsin filed criminal charges against … Vernon Hershberger on four misdemeanor counts for violations of the state food and dairy code. Hershberger was charged with operating a retail food establishment without a license, operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license, operating a dairy plant without a license and violating a holding order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).”:
I just discovered this evening that these “criminal charges” are a “legal impossibility”.:
Black’s (Fifth) shows:
“legal impossibility. As defense to criminal charge, this defense occurs when actions which defendant performs … would not constitute crime.”
Crimes are categorized in numerous ways. I think anyone who has the most basic understanding of this would agree that the legal charges (that have been presented against Vernon by the above State agency) are for “statutory crimes”. According to the Bouvier Law Dictionary: “The statutes of a state define crimes in that state.” If it is not defined in the state statutes as a crime then it is not a crime in that state. Again from Bouvier’s – “Statutes declaring certain behavior criminal must accord with the constitution governing their enacting legislature.” Is there a Wisconsin statute in accord with it’s constitution that essentially criminalizes farming on one’s own private land? If so I very much would like to see that statute!
Another critical consideration is that the full understanding of the (apparently simple) sentence concerning “that state” (quoted form Bouvier) requires certain knowledge of the Law that reveals exactly what “that state” consists of. Does the State of Wisconsin consist of land that includes that which is privately owned by Vernon Hershberger? There should be no assumptions ever made about what a state is, what a state has jurisdiction over and what the tangible reality is upon which a state’s jurisdiction is based on and especially when we read the above line quoted from Bouvier’s!
If a state DE CLAREs in it’s state constitution that the officers of that state are required to subscribe an oath or declaration in support of the Constitution of The United States (as the supreme law of the land in that state) then that is the most significant clue as to what the state consists of. The only way to have the United States Constitution as “the supreme law of the land” within a state is for that state to have land that is owed by or under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States. Is all of Wisconsin land owned by the United States or subject to the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States? All the people living in Wisconsin need to know this! (Article IX in the Wisconsin Constitution addresses Property of the State.) It will be people who are living in Wisconsin who will make up the jury, if there is a trail against Vernon.
I was inspired to search the term: “impossibility” in two of my law dictionaries and glad I did! After reading both Black’s and Bouvier’s I am convinced that the charges against Vernon Hershberger are a legal impossibility and that on that basis alone they should be dismissed.
This defense appears to be the most directly pertinent to the charges. IMO this defense squarely responds to the charge (without any evasion) and tells the truth about the impossible nature of the charge against the accused. In Vernon’s case there is also the issue of the fact that there is no contract with the state to perform anything at all! The lack of a contract also makes the charge a legal impossibility, IMO.:
Can you send me a link to that article?
I have a professor friend who does field studies focused on children with allergies and asthma and I believe she will be interested in seeing this.