I’ve been referring to S 510 as the so-called food safety bill. I’ve done that because, while some of it has to do with food safety, much more of it has to do with repression. So in looking over the comments over the last week, I was inspired to come up with a name that seems more accurate in describing the legislation: The Food Terrorism and Sedition Act.
We are great in this country at marketing, and in recent years, even totally clueless functionaries like those at the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have gotten in on the act of packaging things that are threatening to us with euphemistic names, as if they are something good for us.
So when the Fed goes and prints up $600 billion of new money, it’s called “quantitative easing”–a term no one outside the Fed or academia can explain. The media don’t understand it, but rather than call it what it is, dub it “QE2”, as if it’s a cruise ship.
In reality, it’s what Germany did in the 1920s, to ruinous effect. Eventually, you had people taking wheel barrels full of paper money to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread. You don’t think that could happen here? Over just the last ten years, our currency has depreciated by more than 80% if you calculate how many dollars it takes to buy an ounce of gold, which is a timeless store of value. With ongoing “quantitative easing,” expect the depreciation of our currency to accelerate.
But back to the Food Terrorism and Sedition Act. Concerned Person correctly points out that many people (myself included) spent a lot of time jumping up and down about the need for SB 201 in California. But remember, that was mainly about one rule concerning the quantity of a harmless bacteria in raw milk. One more hoop for producers to jump through, but that’s about it.
Bigger picture, S 510 has been used to pile a bunch of repressive measures affecting control of our food, and eventually, control of our health–authority to quarantine parts of the country, do warrantless searches of food producers, establish “Good Agricultural Practices”, implement “scientific standards” of its choice, and gain more control of intrastate food commerce. Amazingly, some high-profile foodies trust the FDA with all this added authority, even writers Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, as they state in a new op-ed.
Yes, the Tester-Hagan amendment will provide some protection for some producers, but as Dave Milano put it aptly, “The hidden reality here is that rules such as these are a form of death by a thousand cuts. Undoubtedly it will be incumbent upon producers, for example, in classic bureaucratic guilty-until-proven-innocent manner, to demonstrate that they have not strayed off the prison yard by documenting that they have not sold their wares beyond a 275-mile limit, that half or more of their sales are “direct” (a term which simply cries for a thoughtful definition), and that they have not exceeded a certain dollar amount of sales. (Just wait, by the way, until the fed is finished inflating our currency.) And when those rules have been met there will surely be, as history instructs, even more daggers invented to jab into us.”
And if you have thoughts of resisting the new law, like Violet Willis expressed following my previous post? Not so simple. Violations carry prison sentences of up to ten years in prison. Yes, that’s ten years in prison for something that, in most cases under current state law, might be worth a citation, punishable by a $50 fine. And don’t think the FDA wouldn’t mind exercising its authority, just to make sure very few hold onto the idea of resisting.
As I suggested in my heading, food producers will be treated as potential terrorists, and violators as if they were guilty of sedition. You may want to call your senator tomorrow, and push him or her to vote against cloture. ?
Aajonus Vonderplanitz, one of the founders of Rawesome Food Club, is opening a new food club in Los Angeles, with the name Ra Healthy Foods. Prospective members can get signup information, and vote on the their favorite logo, at the club’s new web site. How’s that for a productive raid June 30 by a half dozen federal, state, and local agencies. They’ve boosted the membership at Rawesome by something approaching 50%, and now have a second club to boot.