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Political Corruption Run Amok

Here is an article that was written last year, but clearly points out more of the same political corruption that is coming to light today. All of the sponsors of this bill received campaign contributions from the two companies who would profit from this legislation. Oh wait, my mistake, one didn’t, but he never ran for office because he was appointed to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. The part I like the most is the part about the lobbying expenses which miraculously doubled just prior to the introduction to this legislation. The bill I’m referring to is Senate bill S.510 which eventually passed in the form of H.R. 2751. Read the article and decide for yourself – was this in the interest of consumer safety or was this in the interest of lining pockets?

Senate Bill S.510 – DC Declares War on Grandma!

Do you remember going to Grandma’s house and sitting down to her magnificent home cooked meals with the whole family and reaching across the table to get a slice of those fresh home-grown garden tomatoes? What about going out to the garden with Grandma and picking fresh okra from her famous okra “trees” that were so tall you had to reach up and bend them over in order to pick the okra? These and other memories just like them would be exactly that, memories, if S.510 is passed by Congress. Senate Bill S.510 would make it illegal to grow, share, trade, or sell home-grown food. World renowned microbiologist, human rights activist, and Canada Health whistle blower, Dr. Shiv Chopra said of the bill, “If accepted [S.510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.”

The primary sponsor of the bill is Illinois Senator, “Dick” Durban (D), along with 17 co-sponsors including 8 Republicans. According to the official summary of Senate Bill S.510 posted on opencongress.org, section 101 is summarized as follows:

Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to inspect records related to food, including to:
(1) allow the inspection of records of food that the Secretary reasonably believes is likely to be affected in a similar manner as an adulterated food; and
(2) require that each person (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufactures, processes, packs, distributes, receives, holds, or imports an article of food permit inspection of his or her records if the Secretary believes that there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

The two key phrases that stand out in my mind are “expand the authority” and “each person.”  Under the current Congress, when I hear the term “expand the authority”, I immediately translate that to mean “to take over.” Apparently, the federal government is not satisfied with controlling the banking industry, the automobile industry, the health-care industry, the energy industry (Cap & Trade), and the financial industry; now the feds want to control the entire food supply of the United States including Grandma’s garden because of the use of the nonspecific term “each person.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, renowned Food Safety News interviewer Helena Bottemiller sat down to interview a staunch proponent of S.510, Dr. David Acheson. During this interview Ms. Bottemiller suggested, “There is a lot of small farmer opposition to the food safety legislation, the small producer and small farmers are afraid of what they see as burdensome regulations…” In response, Dr. Acheson stated, “I think the small guys are looking at this and thinking ‘we can’t do this…we’re not sophisticated enough to do it.’ That might apply to some really small people, in which case they shouldn’t be selling food. The bar we have to set is that if you want to sell food to the public, there is a minimum standard to which you need to be held. Nobody is exempt from that, I feel very strongly about that. There is the naiveté that local equals safer and I just so don’t subscribe to that. Even if you’re growing stuff in your own backyard you don’t, frankly, know what the local rabbit has done on the produce the night before you ate it. I think exemptions will get us into trouble. They will undermine food safety, and they will be incredibly difficult to implement because everyone is going to want an exemption. Now that sounds a little bit hard, and maybe somebody reading this might interpret what I said as that I don’t have a heart with regards to small business but that’s not true at all. I think small businesses have a critical role to play and we should be encouraging them through federally sponsored education programs so that they can continue in their small business and they can do it right. That’s the solution here.” Let me translate for you – America, you are not smart enough to wash your produce before eating it and only government run farms will be equipped with the technology to keep Thumper from urinating on the vegetables.

The only reason to pass legislation like this is power and money. The power aspect of this is simple; an unelected government official will have the power to make the rules and penalties regarding the entire food supply of the United States including Grandma’s garden (Michelle Obama will probably get to keep her garden). Look at history – control the food supply, control the people. Next, who stands to profit from this legislation? With the disappearance and eventual extinction of small farms, local produce stands, and Grandma’s garden, I would look at who is left – companies like Monsanto and DuPont. I find it interesting that between 2000 and 2010, 17 of the 18 sponsors of S.510 received campaign contributions from Monsanto’s PAC or DuPont’s PAC or both [Senator Roland Burris (D, IL) being the only exception, BUT Burris never campaigned for Senator; he was appointed to replace Obama’s vacant seat]. I find it interesting that between 2008 and 2009, Monsanto spent over $17 million lobbying legislators, which is more than double any other two year period on record for Monsanto outside of those years. I find it interesting that DuPont’s expenditures for lobbying during that same period was almost $9 million, which is almost double any other period on record for DuPont outside of those years. Inflation? I find it extremely interesting that S.510 was introduced in 2009.

Of course I would never suggest impropriety here, but what I would definitely suggest is this – follow the money and you will find the motive. The government is clearly launching another assault on personal freedom under the guise of “ensuring public safety.” The next step in the juggernaut of “comprehensive reforms” is for the government to control the food supply of America – control the food, control the people. America, it’s your move.

Sources:

  • ·         OpenCongress.org
  • ·         ppjg.wordpress.com (Lynn Swearingen)
  • ·         hiddensoy.com
  • ·         govtrack.us
  • ·         opensecrets.org

Full Article: S.510 – DC Declares War on Grandma

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