Sunday, March 22, 2009

Globalization of Food Safety Isn't Safe for Farms or Foods!

While we support the concept of Divesting the FDA of Food Authority and have blogged about this issue for a couple years, the bills before Congress, promising "change" in food regulation merely further centralize all food regulation and impose a "one size fits all" industrial agriculture model that will threaten the viability of family farms and ranches, natural and organic products, including dietary supplements. Here is a comparison of two of the pending bills, together with our recommended Natural and Family Food and Farming Exclusion Amendment.

[Comparison from www.Thomas.gov]

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H.R. 759

Increases FDA power over foods

Title: Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2009 - Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to set forth provisions governing food safety, including requiring for each food facility: (1) a hazard analysis of facilities that manufacture, process, pack, transport, or hold food for consumption in the United States; (2) identification and implementation of preventive controls; and (3) a written food safety plan.

Latest Major Action: 1/28/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) issue science-based performance standards to significantly minimize, prevent, or eliminate the occurrence of such hazards; (2) establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables as necessary; (3) establish a risk-based inspection schedule; and (4) establish a program to expedite the movement of certified food through the importation process.

Provides for: (1) an accreditation system for food facilities; and (2) certification of laboratories to conduct sampling and testing of food.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish an active surveillance system for food.

Sets forth provisions governing drug and device safety, including: (1) providing for risk-based inspection schedules; (2) requiring quality risk management plans for establishments; (3) requiring country of origin labeling; and (4) providing for the recall of drugs.

Sets forth provisions governing cosmetic safety, including requiring cosmetic establishments to: (1) submit to the Secretary a cosmetic and ingredient statement for each cosmetic; (2) report any serious and unexpected adverse event in the United States associated with the use of the cosmetic; and (3) conform with good manufacturing practices.

Sets forth provisions governing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including provisions: (1) regarding the reorganization of FDA; and (2) authorizing the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to issue subpoenas for any proceeding regarding a violation of the FFDCA.

Sponsor: Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] (introduced 1/28/2009)

Cosponsors (8)

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H.R. 875

Establishes new food safety agency in HHS with new powers

Title: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 -To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes.

Latest Major Action: 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Establishes in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the Food Safety Administration. Assigns all the authorities and responsibilities of the Secretary of Health and Human Services related to food safety to the Administrator of Food Safety.

Transfers to the Administration all functions of specified federal agencies that relate to the administration or enforcement of food safety laws. Renames the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the Federal Drug and Device Administration.

Directs the Administrator to: (1) administer a national food safety program; and (2) ensure that persons who produce, process, or distribute food prevent or minimize food safety hazards. Sets forth requirements for the Administrator to carry out such duties, including: (1) requiring food establishments to adopt preventive process controls; (2) enforcing performance standards for food safety; (3) establishing an inspection program; (4) strengthening and expanding foodborne illness surveillance systems; (5) requiring imported food to meet the same standards as U.S. food; and (devil) establishing a national traceability system for food.

Requires the Administrator to: (1) identify priorities for food safety research and data collection; (2) maintain a DNA matching system and epidemiological system for foodborne illness identification, outbreaks, and containment; (3) establish guidelines for a sampling system; (4) establish a national public education program on food safety; (5) conduct research on food safety; and (devil) establish a working group on foodborne illness surveillance.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to develop the Food-Borne Illness Health Registry.

Directs the Comptroller General to report on the federal resources being dedicated to foodborne illness and food safety research.

Sets forth provisions regarding prohibited acts, recalls, penalties for violations of food safety laws, whistleblower protections, and civil actions.

Sponsor: Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] (introduced 2/4/2009)

Cosponsors (41)

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Natural Solutions Foundation’s Proposed Natural and Family Food and Farming Exclusion Amendment:

“Rule of Interpretation: No provision of this act shall be deemed to apply (a) to any home, home-business or homestead, small farm organic or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.”


See: Congress Fast-Tracks "Food Safety" Bills - link to send messages to Congress; copy of Petition to Congress:

http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=2246


If, as we believe, "Health Freedom is our First Freedom" and pure, wholesome food is the prerequisite for heath, then the globalization of food control is... or as the General says, "Food is a powerful weapon in the war against your freedom."

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