Food safety legislation that came close to a vote in the Senate last week, before stalling over a political debate about earmarks, has another enemy: the Tea Party movement.

Tea Party Patriots, a major organizational component of the Tea Party movement, sent an action alert to its followers late last week asking them to call members of Congress to “melt their phones and tell them (yet again) why this is a bad bill and why we don’t want it.”

The alert credits Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) with giving activists time to stop the bill.  Coburn tried to force a Senate vote on an unrelated amendment to ban legislative earmarks through 2013, a move that punted a vote on the food safety bill until after Thanksgiving recess, at the earliest.

Coburn has also expressed concern about the legislation, which moved forward in the Senate with 74 votes last week, for not systemically addressing the overlaps and gaps in the food safety system, and for the bill’s price tag of $1.4 billion over four years.

Last week, on his radio show, political commentator Glenn Beck also spoke up about the pending legislation, which he repeatedly calls the “farm bill.”

“I come to you to apologize that I did not pay attention enough to this farm bill and get this research done fast enough, and last night I had our researchers working through the night and got a briefing about, what, 6:30 this morning on it and because last night cloture happened in the Senate,” said Beck, to his audience of millions.

“This is an extraordinarily, extraordinarily innocuous thousand page bill,” Beck said sarcastically. (Note: the bill is 250 pages).

“It is all full of things that just have to happen just to keep your food safe,” he continued. “In order to keep you safe, we just have to have a few more regulations, but that’s it. Oh, this Death Star is fully operational.”

Beck goes on to compare the “rush” to pass the food safety bill in the 111th Congress to the “rush” to get the health care bill passed last Christmas.  He also slams the Pew Charitable Trusts for their efforts in support of the bill, calling them an “uber left radical group.”

Beck even weighs in on the Tester-Hagan amendment, a provision added to the Senate legislation late last week that aims to exempt small farms from the bill under certain circumstances.

“Because small farmers just can’t handle all of this money. So don’t worry about that. They have written in there that, okay, small farms and houses aren’t going to be affected,” says Beck. “Oh, well, I feel so much better.”

“Show me the country that has a safer food supply than us, can you, please?  Who has a safer food supply?  Is it Sweden?  You know what?  When we reduce the population of America down to the size of Sweden, we’ll get a band of really hot blonds, call them Abba and we can emulate their food supply as well,” said Beck, adding that he believes the “farm bill” will make food more expensive.

  • Bill Kaye

    Whoa, This Tea Party member says the S510 and HR2749 food safety bills are needed to cut down on food illnesses so that the OBaMoa health care bill can be repealed. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)needs to be run out of office at the next election for working with the AMI meat packers to use every way possible to defeat these bills. The senate bill is so watered down that it needs to be revaled to the HR2749 bill.

  • Bix

    60% of fresh fruits and vegetables are imported … that according to the 2007 FDA Food Protection Plan that was never implemented.
    80% of our seafood is imported … wasn’t that a New York Times exclusive report? The one accompanied by fish swimming in atrocious filth in farms in China and other import-from locales?
    We currently inspect about 1% of food imports. Melamine gets through, unacceptable levels of antibiotics and pesticides get through. This bill increases inspections of imports. Why isn’t this a good idea?
    Beck doesn’t get that the food economy is now global. Or maybe he does and he’s saying food safety is equally risky where ever you go in the world.

  • Bix

    Speaking of the 2007 Food Protection Plan … it was initiated by President Bush in a Republican Administration. President Bush himself signed the Executive Order from which much of the food safety legislation back then, and in today’s bills, derived.
    Back then, in a Republican administration, it was:
    – “A risk-based farm-to-table approach that coordinates food safety and food defense efforts and focuses on prevention, intervention, and response.”
    – It empowered the FDA with mandatory recall authority.
    Today, in a Democratic administration, it is the same thing (risk-based, preventative, FDA recall authority). In fact, whole sections of the Bush administration’s 2007 Plan are incorporated into S510.
    I don’t get it.

  • steven Cox

    What part of smaller government don’t they understand. Audit the Fed not the farmers. Anymore power taken from the people is power given to the BANK. Granted the BANK owns a lot of farms so it is the honest competition that is the target of new laws.
    Dr. Atkins was going to sue the FDA but “slipped” and his head was caved in. Do not give these villains more power.

  • Cameron

    This is wayyyyyy too Simple. Don’t address “their” concerns if they get effected by any contaminated food from any source what so ever. Ask them first in a friendly manner, do you support the federal food safety bill, and if they answer no, tell them kindly you can not help them. Tell them to get Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, John Mc Cain, John Boehner or some other “main-stream” all american, flag waving, i-want-my-country-back, blue-blood, anti-negro-in-the-white-house, self-privilaged, elitist, ivy-league educated, right-wing, republican jacka** to handle they’re case…….and then simply walk away…… I do.

  • lynn

    I guess I’m trying to catch up. Is it or is it not true that sb510 has the government and other world entities put in control of ALL food sources? Do I need to be worried about not being able to grow my heirloom veggies and not being to drink my raw milk or giving to my needy neighbor? Are farmers responsible for the miniscule few people who become sick from product, not through fault of their own, but quite more possibly because all immune systems are not created equal?

  • I can’t say that the cost outweighs the benefits. I can say I don’t believe these costs are necessary to have adequate food safety.
    It seems that it would also give corporation backed entities another tool to push around the little guy.

  • audchild

    The question is, do you want the FDA to have the authority to dictate what food is grown where and by whom? If I understand the reports correctly, this bill, if passed, would not only give the FDA authority to tell farmers and ranchers what they can grow, but also where they can grow it, what their livestock can be fed, and even what fields livestock can be grazed on. Not to mention significantly increased inspections that the producer must pay for, fees and taxes on transport of foodstuffs, as well as dictates on where certain goods can and cannot be distributed to. I’d say that’s a fine recipe for significantly higher food prices at the grocery store and the farmer’s market. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • awakened

    This bill is currently stalled and may be blue-slipped. Some are happy, however I fear that the bill will become even more onerous for small farmers/growers, while some are reporting that heirloom seeds may be very difficult to purchase after this bill is passed. Additionally, this bill has nothing to do with the safety of eggs.
    I have a huge problem with this section of the bill and am still reading further into the bill:
    (a) In General- Section 304(h)(1)(A) (21 U.S.C. 334(h)(1)(A)) is amended by–
    (1) striking ‘credible evidence or information indicating’ and inserting ‘reason to believe’; and
    (2) striking ‘presents a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals’ and inserting ‘is adulterated or misbranded’.
    (b) Regulations- Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue an interim final rule amending subpart K of part 1 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, to implement the amendment made by this section.
    (c) Effective Date- The amendment made by this section shall take effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
    We don’t know what is meant by “misbranding.” This is an opening to widespread interpretation and abuse. Additionally some “medicinal food” will have to be labeled as only food and may not be able to advertise its medicinal (health giving, nourishing) qualities. This gives the FDA rights of seizure that they should not have. To give our Congress the benefit of the doubt, there are just so many unintended consequences to this bill. Although one could argue that they are not unintended at all, and are written in there for reasons that are not in the best interest of the general public. There is also the issue of the Codex Alimentarius following a different legal system, Napoleonic rather than Common Law.
    This amendment to the bill is an overreach. Meanwhile Big Food’s crappy and adulterated GMO’s are given the full benefit of being nourishing food when we have NO indication through testing of nutrients in the “finished manufactured products.” Furthermore GMO substances; Nutrasweet (this is not a food), and foods not even GRAS (generally recognized as safe); Soya, are allowed to be produced and distributed ad naseum. Now we get to have GMO beet-sugared sodas. Yipee, gee that’s swell Kathy.
    What an outrage!

  • roy uzzle

    under the health care bill,if i purchase more than $600 in gold i must report it to the feds.think

  • Leah

    The first thing I find funny about this whole thing, is that the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for this gaffe. This has happened not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES already where major legislation has gone through the Senate, that it’s been “blue slipped.” This tells me two things: The first thing it tells me is that some of the Senators do not know the Constitution very well, and the second thing it tells me is that 73 Senators that voted on this bill, obviously, didn’t read it too closely, if at all.
    The FDA has the power to stop foodborne illnesses already, and what are we doing with this bill? We’re giving them MORE power (because they haven’t used the power they already have to take care of these things) to reward them. Why are we doing this? Because people want to “feel” safe. Well, when someone is groping me at the airport, I don’t feel safe, I feel VIOLATED. The “measures included to protect small farms” in this bill, still force them to come to compliance with the rules, which will cost an astronomical amount of money, and force many small farms out of business. In short, what we’re asking for is MORE corporate farms…. right?
    The next disturbing thing about this legislation, and probably the LEAST discussed, is the part about getting us HARMonized with Codex Alementarius. What? You’ve never heard of that? Well, I think it’s about time you go look it up, if you don’t know what that is. Codex intends to make organics an “invasive species,” and in order to make sure your food is “safe” they want to make sure the plants that you consume contain juuust the right amount of pesticide and chemicals.
    What else does it do? Well, Codex wants to make all vitamin and mineral supplements “drugs.” So you like your mega dose of Vitamin C when you’re sick? Kiss that goodbye and say hello to your measly 15mg dose. And we want the FDA in charge of vitamins because….?
    You want your stuff labeled if it’s genetically modified? No worries, because everything will be genetically modified. Isn’t that GREAT?
    You want a foreign body to make rules for what you eat? Don’t we have enough babysitting?
    There are BETTER SOLUTIONS! This bill is a disaster!
    Everyone can see, now, after 10 years of MFN with China, what has happened to the jobs in this country and how they moved over there, and we have all these unemployed people, and “nothing is made here anymore,” et cetera. We were told that we would get “better jobs” here, and if we didn’t like it, or fought it (like I did) we were “isolationists.” Well, now, think of whatever happened (in my case) coming true, and then all hell breaks loose. Now think of that on the scale of your FOOD. All in the name of “food safety modernization.”
    Would one of you that is for the food safety legislation please explain why Cargill gave more than $1 mil to the Senate in lobbying money supporting this bill? Would you tell me why Monsanto gave more than $1 mil to the Senate in lobbying money supporting this bill? I’ll answer that. Because the bill is C-R-A-P. It’s not going to save one life, and if anything, will cause tremendous harm in the future.
    Do you want your local farmer’s market to be there anymore? Not if Codex is implemented. Do you want to be able to heal yourself through vitamins? Not if Codex is implemented, and this bill gets us in line with their standards.
    Please, folks, don’t be like those Senators who didn’t even bother reading the bill, and let that blunder pass them by. Read it, and FIND OTHER bills to support that don’t take our food freedom away.
    Crediting the stopping of this bill to “Tea Partiers” doesn’t do the people that are NOT “Tea Partiers” any justice. The Natural Solutions Foundation has been working on stopping this bill for a very long time, and has made it their crusade, and they’re OLDER than the “Tea Party” movement.
    A great man (and agrarian) once said:
    ‎”The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”
    –GK Chesterton
    From: A distributist mother of five.

  • Rudy Alen

    GK is absolutely right about Codex Alimentarius. Do your homework and do it quick!
    Codex, Swine Flu vaccines (remember that EPIDEMIC we had before Swine Flu DISSAPEARED?),
    energy saving lightbulbs contaminated with Mercury, and the proliferation of chem trails are all ways the government is attempting DEPOPULATION.
    The plan is to totally destroy the middle class, and all small businesses, the survivors being the elite and the slaves. They already have a huge natural seed bank in Antarctica. Why?
    Because they will replace all natural seeds once this bill is passed.

  • Great Post!! I do appreciate this post.