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Food Safety Bill Clears Cloture with 74-25 Vote

The Senate today approved a cloture motion for the long-awaited FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, or S. 510.  The cloture vote, which eliminates the threat of filibuster by limiting debate, is a key step forward for the beleaguered bill. 

Late last night staffers worked to iron out language and try to broker deals on the Tester and bisphenol A amendments.  Both have become controversial speed bumps for the slow-moving bipartisan bill, which among other things would give the FDA more authority in testing for food pathogens, tracing outbreaks, ordering recalls and penalizing companies that sell contaminated food.

The Tester provision, introduced by Jon Tester (D-MT) and supported by Kay Hagan (D-NC) aims to exempt small farmers and producers from major food safety regulation.  The BPA amendment is Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) attempt to place federal limits on the use of the chemical in food and beverage containers.  It focuses especially on products used by infants and small children.

Interest groups on all sides of the legislation and the amendments are working diligently behind the scenes.

Food Democracy Now!, an Iowa-based sustainable agriculture advocacy organization, told Food Safety News that more than 2,000 of its members have made phone calls on behalf of the Tester amendment.

“This is an important test to see if Democrats and Republican senators representing farm states will stand up for small farmers or cave to special interests and agribusiness,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of the organization.  “It could be the first lesson the food movement gets on how the new Congress will respond during the 2012 Farm Bill.”

“The behind-the-scenes efforts to kill any provisions that protect family farmers from burdensome regulations has been intense, but efforts by real farm groups and sustainable ag organizations may have turned the tide,” added Murphy.

As Food Safety News reported yesterday, large food and agriculture interest groups, including the American Meat Institute, the United Fresh Produce Association, and the United Egg Producers, sent a letter to committee staff Monday asking that the Tester amendment be excluded from the bill.

Popular authors and food policy gurus, Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan, issued a joint statement Tuesday, through Tester’s office, stating their support of the senator’s amendment and the food safety legislation. 

“S 510 is the most important food safety legislation in a generation,” they said. “The Tester amendment will make it even more effective, strengthening food safety rules while protecting small farmers and producers.  We both think this is the right thing to do.”

Sen. Tester has said in the past that he believes he has ample support for his amendment, but with the late-in-the game lobbying the outlook is less certain.

The BPA amendment is also in flux.  Ami Gadhia, policy counsel for Consumers Union, who has been working on the issue, said he remains optimistic that in the final stretch an agreement will be reached.   

“[Senator Feinstein] has tried really hard to meet industry halfway,” said Gadhia. “We’re still hopeful.”

© Food Safety News
  • The statement, “The Tester provision, introduced by Jon Tester (D-MT) and supported by Kay Hagan (D-NC) aims to exempt small farmers and producers from major food safety regulation” gives the impression that Tester-Hagan is attempting to exempt small farmers and producers from ANY major food safety regulation.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    ALL that Tester-Hagan aims to do is make certain that 2 sets of ADDITIONAL regulations mandated by Sections 103 and 105 of S 510 won’t be forced on them by the FDA because they are clearly inappropriate for small growers, packers, processors, storage facilities and distributors of local, healthy food, won’t materially improve the safety of the food they sell and put many of them out of business due to the new regs cost in time and money.
    The supporters of the S 510 INDUSTRIAL-SIZE-ONLY approach to food safety regulation regularly mislead everyone by saying, as Jean Halloran did this week in “Grist” (http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-11-15-food-fight-safety-modernization-act-harm-small-farms/P3), “To my reading, the amendment [of Sec. 103 Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC plans) for facilities] says that whatever food safety law there is in a state, county or locality-the “applicable” law– the exempt facility has to show compliance. But if those applicable laws are weak to non-existent, it doesn’t matter. There is nothing here that says they have to be as good as federal law. It says ONLY that whatever the state and local law is, the facility must show compliance.” [The emphasis on “only” is mine.]
    No, Ms. Halloran it doesn’t. Tester-Hagan ONLY exempts these small food packers, processors, storage facilities and distributors (i.e., food facilities) from having to have HARPC plans. They still have to CONTINUE to do ALL their processing in FDA inspected work spaces, to meet ALL of the new safe handling and transportation regulations, to meet ALL of the regulations in the over 600 page 2009 Food Code as adopted by their states, to comply with ALL of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance if a grade A dairy, to meet ALL of their state’s grade B dairy requirements, etc. Some of these are state and local requirements, many are federal but ALL must continue to be followed.
    Finally, lots of supporters of S 510 like to say, as S 510 apologist, Mike Bulger did on p. 2 of the previously cited article, that “the Tester amendment is Congress doing FDA’s job.” Well if that is so, why does S 510 have Sections 103 HARPC and 105 Standards for Produce safety. Neither of those sections grants any new “authorities,” as Commissioner Hamburg says. They ONLY RATIFY the FDA’s interpretation of its EXISTING authority. As Mike Bulger, et al, would say if they were consistent, Sections 103 and 105 are “Congress doing FDA’s job.”
    Insidiously, these sections are also the CYA the FDA will need when the requirements under those sections don’t materially reduce the food safety outbreaks and do force lots of small growers, packers, processors, storage facilities and food distributors to join Pug’s Leap Farm of Healdsburg, CA by closing because of their financial and time costs. When that happens, their defense will be “We were only doing what Congress directed us to do.”

  • Carol M Kelley

    Control healthcare, control vitamins and supplements, control food and YOU CONTROL MY LIFE!!

  • dangermaus

    I’ve already written my senator (Dick Durbin, unfortunately, and the other one isn’t in office, yet) and told him to vote against it. If he does, people are going to pound it over his head for the rest of his term

  • Carol M Kelley

    To quote better minds than mine……..
    S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.
    1. It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency. It resembles the Kissinger Plan.
    2. It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security. It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection. Instead, S 510 says:

  • anya

    give your complaints to the people killed by the salmonella outbreak

  • Harry, you do an excellent job proving my point. The Sections you refer to do not feature Congress doing the FDA’s job. These Sections clearly give the FDA authority to write the regulations and exemptions after lengthy public comments and reviews. It is peculiar that you seem to know that these regulations will be overly burdensome, know that small farms will not be exempt, and know they will be forced out of business. They haven’t even been written and hardly any of the opponents of the bill have talked publicly about what they might entail. Fear of the unknown, my friend.
    By stirring up unreasonable predictions with your crystal ball, you will probably spur some of the less dedicated and less informed of the small ag community to “head for the hills.” Pug’s Leap Farm might very well be a good example of this by “folding before the cards are dealt.”

  • Big D

    Dangermaus- Durbin SPONSORED THE BILL! – so good luck.
    Another assault on our liberties forges ahead.

  • RMeyer

    The Russians took over the food industry in the Ukraine in 1939. They murdered whole families if caught growing their own food. Millions died of starvation. And to the person that said file your complaints to the people of Salmonella breakout…I say know your history. These things have been done in the past with devastating effect. If you know anyone in the food industry, the rules are very strict already. Keep giving more power to the communist that are currently in office and see what happens

  • The irrational fear hurts my head. “they are going to take our seeds?” “the most dangerous bill in us history?” “the bill will outlaw backyard gardens and farmer’s markets?” Good Gawd. Be rational. We can argue details, but being stupid does not help.
    Here were my thoughts – much calmer on my blog yesterday:
    This is from Food Safety News this morning:
    The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and several other sustainable ag groups have been issuing a last round of action alerts to rally support for the Tester amendment.
    “The bill takes important steps to improve corporate food safety rules but it is not appropriate for small farms and processors that sell to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools, wholesalers and at farm stands and farmers markets,” said NSAC in its alert late last week.
    NSAC asked its supporters to call Senators in support of the Tester provision to prevent “one-size-fits-all” regulations from being created.
    The Senate is supposed to take up S 510 Wednesday morning (supported by a number of consumer groups, “Big ag” and grocery interests – arguably problematic). My bet is that if S 510 passes it is not going to pass without the Tester Amendment. However, with the Tester Amendment, the House is never going to take it up before the end of the year because of how broad the exclusion are and because S 510 does not have funding in it either. The House version does not have the former, but does have the later.
    I supported the Tester Amendment (see link – October 1, The Tester – Hagen Amendment to S. 510 protects food safety and small farmers) as a mechanism to get the bill moved forward before the election when there actually was a real chance for passage by both Houses and a signature by the President. However, I have very strong reservations about the Amendment on food safety grounds.
    Both the House and Senate bills already exclude sales “to restaurants, food coops, groceries, … and at farm stand and farmers markets” from most of the provisions of the bills that primarily relate to large manufacturers. Excluding sales to schools and wholesalers really makes no sense at all. Setting schools aside for a moment (although I think we all should care about the safety of the food our kid’s get), excluding sales to wholesalers is a huge food safety loophole.
    It was selling spinach wholesale from a small, organic farm that caused the 2006 spinach outbreak. Twenty-five acres of an organic spinach farm sold to a wholesaler, who sold to a manufacturer. The fecal contamination with E. coli O157:H7 was introduced at the spinach farm and amplified at manufacturer.
    My feeling is that if a farm seller (small or large) puts his or her product into the wholesale market, they have to play by the same food safety rules as the large players. When it comes to food safety – “one size should fit all.”
    We missed a once in a decade opportunity. Once the Republicans take control of the House in January, food safety legislation is, well, toast.

  • Jim Schmidt

    Hmmm, I would say most of the people I regulate are glad to see me. They think of me as resource. Not someone there to shut them down. Of course if need be I could shut them down, but the goal is to have safe food and shutting an establishment down is only done as a last resort.
    I don’t sit around my desk thinking of ways to change regulations to gain power contrary to the beliefs of some people. I do my work because I believe in the concept of public and environmental health. This is true for the majority of people in my field. The sooner the conspiracy theorist realize this the better off we all shall be.

  • Carol M Kelley

    Dear Anya:
    People will continue to die from Salmonella etc. – No Nanny state will prevent deaths but may darn well prevent life!
    So the bill passed. So we’re all Kulacks now!
    Anya, do you read history? Those who don’t are doomed to repeat it………

  • dangermaus

    I’m still completely unconvinced that it will make any kind of a difference. It does nothing to address the real problems with food in this country, like the fact that we’re getting diabetic, obese, and allergic to our food and environment from eating more and more pre-processed, over-salted, sweetened, artificially flavored grain derivatives (and way too much of them). Here’s an experiment – go to your pharmacist right now and ask him/her if they think the FDA has demonstrated that they are reliable enough for broad, sweeping authority over virtually all food production in the country. You’ll certainly still see food poisoning scares in the news, because it makes such good press, and contact with some amount of these bugs is inevitable.
    If, in five years, studies don’t show that food-borne illnesses have declined, will the people who sponsored this introduce legislation to repeal it? Hell no, of course not. The same idiots will insist we need MORE regulation on top of this foolishness. Cook your food, and wash your vegetables, and try to buy as much of your food as possible locally (to avoid the cross-contamination that happens at large processing facilities).
    At least the Tester Amendment would make it slightly more difficult for the FDA to use the powers it gets from this bill to shut down the small-scale, artisan producers under pressure from big agribusiness to pressure and from their own unwillingness to take on big companies with legal staffs. I’m sure the germophobes out there will soon label local agriculture production as a “loophole” in food safety and start lobbying for them to be forced under crippling regulation.
    It’s nice that you changed your position on Tester, St. Marler. It’ll make you look better when (I’m sure) you eventually run for office.
    Big D, I knew that, but I guess I might have made it clearer. I’ve been b*tching at him continuously for several months. I wanted to keep it short and hoped others would call their own senators.

  • Christine Kinsman

    There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about this amendment.
    Big Ag practices introduce dangerous pathogens into the food system via the way they farm and grow food. (It is necessary to put chickens into a bleach bath b/c they are grown largely in the dark in their own feces for example.) If they choose to continue operating in this way it is important to have food safety measures in place to control outbreaks. Small family farms would be severely damaged if they were forced to follow the same regulations, however, largely b/c of economies of scale. A small chicken farmer who pastures his birds and slaughters in open air actually has a cleaner operation. But if he is forced to follow stringent standards put in place to manage the large companies, like Tyson, he will be put out of business b/c of the expenses related to the regulations. Big Ag companies know this and the failure of this amendment guarantees a larger portion of market for them b/c it would wipe out the small farmers. That is why they are against the amendment.
    Failure of this amendment actually takes away our liberties, not vice versa b/c it puts all the power in the hands of a few–the big companies. It will virtually eliminate small farms in favor of large factory farming. It is a shame that our government has to be involved in any way, but in this day and age we need more small farms serving their local communities. The Tester amendment will insure the future of small farms. Know your farmer know your food source–stay informed!

  • @Jim
    In the restaurant industry, I never had a problem with the health inspectors. Food safety training came with the lesson that a good relationship with your inspector helps both parties. In my experience in a number of kitchens, the cooks that complained the most and cursed the inspectors behind their backs were the dirtiest cooks in the dirtiest kitchens.

  • The statement, “The Tester provision, introduced by Jon Tester (D-MT) and supported by Kay Hagan (D-NC) aims to exempt small farmers and producers from major food safety regulation” gives the impression that Tester-Hagan is attempting to exempt small farmers and producers from ANY major food safety regulation.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    ALL that Tester-Hagan aims to do is make certain that 2 sets of ADDITIONAL regulations mandated by Sections 103 and 105 of S 510 won’t be forced on them by the FDA because they are clearly inappropriate for small growers, packers, processors, storage facilities and distributors of local, healthy food, won’t materially improve the safety of the food they sell and put many of them out of business due to the new regs cost in time and money.
    The supporters of the S 510 INDUSTRIAL-SIZE-ONLY approach to food safety regulation regularly mislead everyone by saying, as Jean Halloran did this week in “Grist” (http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-11-15-food-fight-safety-modernization-act-harm-small-farms/P3), “To my reading, the amendment [of Sec. 103 Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC plans) for facilities] says that whatever food safety law there is in a state, county or locality-the “applicable” law– the exempt facility has to show compliance. But if those applicable laws are weak to non-existent, it doesn’t matter. There is nothing here that says they have to be as good as federal law. It says ONLY that whatever the state and local law is, the facility must show compliance.” [The emphasis on “only” is mine.]
    No, Ms. Halloran it doesn’t. Tester-Hagan ONLY exempts these small food packers, processors, storage facilities and distributors (i.e., food facilities) from having to have HARPC plans. They still have to CONTINUE to do ALL their processing in FDA inspected work spaces, to meet ALL of the new safe handling and transportation regulations, to meet ALL of the regulations in the over 600 page 2009 Food Code as adopted by their states, to comply with ALL of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance if a grade A dairy, to meet ALL of their state’s grade B dairy requirements, etc. Some of these are state and local requirements, many are federal but ALL must continue to be followed.
    Finally, lots of supporters of S 510 like to say, as S 510 apologist, Mike Bulger did on p. 2 of the previously cited article, that “the Tester amendment is Congress doing FDA’s job.” Well if that is so, why does S 510 have Sections 103 HARPC and 105 Standards for Produce safety. Neither of those sections grants any new “authorities,” as Commissioner Hamburg says. They ONLY RATIFY the FDA’s interpretation of its EXISTING authority. As Mike Bulger, et al, would say if they were consistent, Sections 103 and 105 are “Congress doing FDA’s job.”
    Insidiously, these sections are also the CYA the FDA will need when the requirements under those sections don’t materially reduce the food safety outbreaks and do force lots of small growers, packers, processors, storage facilities and food distributors to join Pug’s Leap Farm of Healdsburg, CA by closing because of their financial and time costs. When that happens, their defense will be “We were only doing what Congress directed us to do.”

  • stasia

    Food, Inc. people…food inc. For the record, FDA approves how the food is processed in that movie and in real life, and if you haven’t seen it, watch it. Watch how the large food corporations do food. Lets just pass this thing and give them more say in how to en masse destroy our choice to be healthy!
    Large excess costs for little organic farms that cannot afford the new safety rules will put them out of business, period, it’s not “predictions with a crystal ball”, its cause and effect…and learning from history when it comes to gov’t controlling personal choices in such basic needs like food.
    Regardless, where people buy their food is a choice, and the food they buy is a choice. If little farmers are put out of business due to these costs, our choices will shrink leading to the larger corporations growing because as much as someone might hate eating large corporation food, if it’s the only choice, we still have to eat. This only then leading to more (really rich CEOs of General Mills and the like) unheathy, corn-fed, hormone injected cows, pesticide-rich veggies and chickens grown in disgusting coups in the dark, with no muscles hardly able to walk becoming our white meat and producing eggs. Not to mention most and I repeat “MOST” not all, of these diseases are coming out of these large food producing facilities.
    My dad wants to start a small lettuce aquaponics farm and sell to possibly local stores, farmers markets, etc. on a small scale, because he loves growing food and would love to produce fresh organic produce for some of the people on our small little island on Kauai. If small farmers aren’t excluded from this bill, NOT being an overly rich man able to pay whatever the new safety costs or fees or taxes this bill requires, he won’t be able to fulfill his hobby and retirement dream that would actually benefit our community.
    It’s basic, sure, but on an island in the middle of the pacific, where large quantities of food are shipped in, if for some reason shipments were to cease (for any reason) very quickly, without local farms actively producing, many would starve. If these farms go out of business and we are fully dependent on these large corporations and then shipments cease or even skip a few days for ?? reasons….we’re seriously bummed, or screwed altogether.
    No matter which way you look at it, even if the rules in s 510 are for the greater good, and I agree safety is important!… But if smaller farms die out, and we’re all forced to eat large corp food and a disease does break out from one of them, the repercussions of that will be much larger because more people will be eating from the same chicken coup. Choices are good. choices are a human right. even God lets us make our own choices. Don’t limit our choices by driving out smaller producers with costs they cannot afford.

  • My feeling is that if a farm seller (small or large) puts his or her product into the wholesale market, they have to play by the same food safety rules as the large players. When it comes to food safety – “one size should fit all.”

  • @ Michael Bulger. Rather, your continued insistence that Sections 103 and 105 “clearly give the FDA authority to write the regulations and exemptions after lengthy public comments and reviews” shows either your inability to understand legislation or that you are a fairly talented troll.
    Instead of telling everyone that these sections grant authority, Michael, quote for us the portions that grant NEW authority.
    For the rest of you, Sec. 103 Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls creates a new similarly named section in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) containing the new paragraph 418(m)(1)which begins, “Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to…” “Shall promulgate regulations” is clearly a directive to use exactly the same current authority that enabled the FDA to write the Shell Egg Rule.
    Sec. 105 Standards for Produce Safety also creates a similarly named new section in the FFDCA that contains sub-paragraph 419(a)(1)(A) which begins, “Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Secretary,…, shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of…fruits and vegetables…” “Shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking” is, also, clearly a directive to write a rule using exactly the same current power that enabled the FDA to write the Shell Egg Rule. Once again, no new grant of authority.
    Unfortunately, Michael Bulger follows the pattern of almost all of the apologists for S 510. He completely ignores most of my points. Then, in the one he addresses, he asserts I’m wrong and provides ZERO support for his assertion. And, as I’ve just shown, it is a clearly false assertion about what S 510 actually does.
    Finally, one doesn’t have to have a crystal ball to know what type of rule the FDA will almost certainly write. One need only look at similar documents the FDA has already published. Take for example the 3 guides to minimize microbial food safety hazards (tomatoes, melons and leafy greens) published in July 2009. Links to each are at http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/ProduceandPlanProducts/default.htm.
    The one for leafy greens is 15,294 words and takes 35 pages as a Word document. The others are similarly long and the FDA has already stated its inclination is use that technique. How does a small farming growing 40 different crops keep up with that? Contrast the effort with that of a mono cropping industrial ag grower.
    As for the rules for the HARPC plans, Silliker (one of the top consultants in food safety) did a full feasibility study in late 2009 for Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) in western MA entitled “HACCP for Salad Greens.” Except for 2 proprietary parts of the study, everything else is at http://buylocalfood.org/page.php?id=285. The requirements and cost estimates are well beyond EVERY grower I know.
    Finally, for over 3 months, I have tried to give thoughtful responses to Michael Bulger misleading and false statements in the hope that readers would have a genuine chance to understand the reality of S 510 and see what I can see. Thankfully, the need for that will be over shortly and there will no more need for me to try to show his dissembling.

  • Why, they keep up with it with the Small Entity Compliance Guide that S.510 dictates FDA must publish.
    For the past three months, we’ve watched opponents never really make a solid point. Some merely lash out at others. They offer vague fears as to the basic fact that there might be standards for some of what goes into commerce. No speculation as to what the rules might be, no none at all. Having lengthy regulations doesn’t necessarily run people out of business, Harry. Especially if the standards are easily met and already widely in practice, and especially if small growers are exempted for low-risk. It consistently escapes you that the intent of S.510 is to be adoptable by small businesses.
    The Silliker, Inc. report has no numbers. Neither does S.510. Chances are the folks you know won’t be covered by the new regulations. If they are, you don’t know what will be required of them because the regulations have not even been written. I might also mention that harvesting produce does not require owners to come up with a HACCP plan under S.510.
    Harry seems eager for this to all be over. In reality, passage of this bill is just the beginning. The rule-making period is where the exemptions, flexibility, and regulations will be written. Some people fail to see that. That, my friends, was my original point which was so characteristically overlooked.
    This is just a step along the path. If you want to listen to the fear-mongers, and their doomsday predictions, you might end up selling your farms before any rules are even in place. Why don’t you stick around and see what happens.

  • David Jarvis

    When you overregulate any industry, you kill competition and free enterprise opportunities. Taxation works the same way. Over tax and you price yourself out of the market. Over regulate and you eliminate competition, namely the small business person. Small business should be given exemption using the Tester Amendment. Read the amendment then judge. This is a moral battle and an economic battle for freedom in America.

  • @ Michael Bulger. Rather, your continued insistence that Sections 103 and 105 “clearly give the FDA authority to write the regulations and exemptions after lengthy public comments and reviews” shows either your inability to understand legislation or that you are a fairly talented troll.
    Instead of telling everyone that these sections grant authority, Michael, quote for us the portions that grant NEW authority.
    For the rest of you, Sec. 103 Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls creates a new similarly named section in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) containing the new paragraph 418(m)(1)which begins, “Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to…” “Shall promulgate regulations” is clearly a directive to use exactly the same current authority that enabled the FDA to write the Shell Egg Rule.
    Sec. 105 Standards for Produce Safety also creates a similarly named new section in the FFDCA that contains sub-paragraph 419(a)(1)(A) which begins, “Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Secretary,…, shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of…fruits and vegetables…” “Shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking” is, also, clearly a directive to write a rule using exactly the same current power that enabled the FDA to write the Shell Egg Rule. Once again, no new grant of authority.
    Unfortunately, Michael Bulger follows the pattern of almost all of the apologists for S 510. He completely ignores most of my points. Then, in the one he addresses, he asserts I’m wrong and provides ZERO support for his assertion. And, as I’ve just shown, it is a clearly false assertion about what S 510 actually does.
    Finally, one doesn’t have to have a crystal ball to know what type of rule the FDA will almost certainly write. One need only look at similar documents the FDA has already published. Take for example the 3 guides to minimize microbial food safety hazards (tomatoes, melons and leafy greens) published in July 2009. Links to each are at http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/ProduceandPlanProducts/default.htm.
    The one for leafy greens is 15,294 words and takes 35 pages as a Word document. The others are similarly long and the FDA has already stated its inclination is use that technique. How does a small farming growing 40 different crops keep up with that? Contrast the effort with that of a mono cropping industrial ag grower.
    As for the rules for the HARPC plans, Silliker (one of the top consultants in food safety) did a full feasibility study in late 2009 for Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) in western MA entitled “HACCP for Salad Greens.” Except for 2 proprietary parts of the study, everything else is at http://buylocalfood.org/page.php?id=285. The requirements and cost estimates are well beyond EVERY grower I know.
    Finally, for over 3 months, I have tried to give thoughtful responses to Michael Bulger misleading and false statements in the hope that readers would have a genuine chance to understand the reality of S 510 and see what I can see. Thankfully, the need for that will be over shortly and there will no more need for me to try to show his dissembling.

  • Roy wr

    Cloture is not consisting of passing the bill, but it protects it from filibuster.
    The bill is too big, too long to really understand the ramifications. Who wrote it? Who is going to pay for all the extra administration it will require?
    Would it have prevented the salmonella outbreak or the peanut problem? I don’t think so.
    When they write these bills, they decrease liberty, and increase the size of governent. We survived over 200 years without it. It is another hit on the economy. More non productive parisites running around interfering in our pursuit of happiness. One step closer to having us all in padded cells to protect us from hurting ourselves.
    Besides, the Feds are over reaching. They have no juisdiction over in state activity.
    Once they pass this, they will probably then, offer money to the state if they will obey a mandate to adopt the law on a state level.
    I hate expansion of government. Very few of the federal laws actually do some good.
    They are all wasteful, inefficient and cost way too much.
    Americans are survivors! We can figure out if food is good for us or not. If viatamins are good for us or not. If our garden produce is healthy.
    Stay the &*^% out of my business!!!!
    Pay some attention to Obama, by executive order, loaning or guaranteeing loans of billiions to a private Brazilian company for offshore drilling, the oil of which will go to China!! Of course, the corruption is that George Soros owns a chunk, and is getting his payback for contributing to Osama Obama. They better vote through a bill that says executive orders have to be approved by congress. Pay attention to that!! Leave my roadside food stand alone!

  • TIRED OF LIES

    WHERE can we find a simple LIST of the things this bill will do, instead of a lot of innuendo, denial, hysteria, rumor, etc.?
    Will it take away our right to grow our own food?
    Will it take away our right to use our own SEEDS from prior harvests?
    Will it make “stockpiling” or “hoarding” food illegal?
    WHAT exactly will it do?

  • 20/20

    No surprise, it’s all part of the Obama plan to “cut America down to size,” starting with massive intrusion in every key industry including medical care, vast expansion of Federal employment rolls at unconscionably swollen salaries, deliberately onerous and costly barriers to American econonic growth, the destruction of the Dollar’s value, pandering to our very real international enemies and assault on our overseas friends like Israel. This is the first time in our history that the Oval Office is occupied by someone who seems bent on crippling America. Makes you wonder if the Birthers are right.

  • Gail C

    If you want to know what the actual law will eventually look like check out (google) “A solemn walk through HR 875” by Linn Cohen-Cole. It is a compilation of research by several people. The HR 875 bill shows the REAL goal.
    Remember Paul Warburg’s famous lines.
    “Warburg’s associates said, “Paul, what are you doing? We don’t want those in there this is our bill.” And his response was this, he said, “Relax fellas, don’t you get it? Our object is to get the bill passed. We can fix it up later.” Those were his exact words. “We can fix it up later.” [A Talk by G. Edward Griffin]
    He was correct. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 has been amended over 100 times. Every one of the provisions designed to protect the public were removed long ago. Now the banks are operating with out a reserve, making loans out of thin air and requiring you to pay back their counterfeit money with your labor.[Market Skeptics: *****US Banks Operating Without Reserve]
    No wonder the world economy tanked with banking vampires sucking up our wealth and giving absolutely nothing in return!
    The food saftey bills are just a repeat of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act but this time instead of a goal of private interest grabbing control of the money machine the goal is grabbing complete control of food production.
    The third goal of course is grabbing complete control of energy. That is what the Cap and Trade bill is all about.
    As Henry Kissinger said in 1970:
    “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people; control money and you control the world.”
    It is really simple when you match actions to words.

  • Rosco1776

    Well said Gail!