Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Food Safety Legislation and The Grand Conspiracy

There has been a lot of chatter on the net about H.R 875, H.R. 759, H.R. 814, and Senate Bills 425 and 510. Doom and gloom. Apocalyptic ranting and raving. The END OF EVERYTHING. I understand the feelings being expressed, but most of these tirades tend to get labeled as the ranting of the lunatic fringe and discounted. That doesn't mean there is no truth in these posts, or that the accusations they make have no validity. It just means they wont be taken seriously by the politicians or the main stream public.

The truth is these bills, H.R 875, H.R. 759, H.R. 814, and Senate Bills 425 and 510, consolidate power in a single bureaucracy, increase safety requirements and regulation of small, diversified producers (with many requirements that would put small producers out of business), and do very little to improve food safety. Large producers are already regulated and the tracking systems are already there for most of the things they produce. The failure has been in the bureaucratic administration of the existing regulations, not in the lack of regulations. Creating a larger bureaucracy with more regulations will not increase food safety. Having a more localized, diverse food system will. These bills deliberately or inadvertently eliminate such diversity from the system. That is why they should be opposed. If the government is truly looking for ways to ensure safer food it would be developing ways to support smaller, more localized, more diverse food production. The "redundancy" and "inefficiencies" in this kind of system make it less susceptible to threat from disease or terrorists.

We need to stop ranting about Monsanto and start calmly expressing our concerns as voters to our representatives in the government. Money may be powerful, but so are voters.

3 comments:

Silverheron said...

Thank You for your thoughtful approach to this. I think that the more we support local sustainable food production the less likely there is to be a problem concerning food saftey.

Sheria said...

Well presented, I don't know all of the issues but what you have to say is persuasive and catches my attention. I do believe in buying locally as much as possible and I would hate to see the vendors at my local farmers market negatively impacted by this proposed legislation.

Alan said...

Thanks Sheria! Your endorsement of my thoughts means I am not TOO far out there. I do find it odd to be writing about politics and responding to your comments rather than the reverse. Not sure where this is going. At last count there were around 75 bills related to food safety in play. Some of them have to get eaten by those that are better funded. Then the fight starts. I'll keep watching.

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