Food Safety Modernization Act Controversy for Small Farms

| 8/19/2010 4:55:29 PM

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factory farm eggsWith a recent recall on eggs linked to a multi-state salmonella outbreak, the Senate hearings on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act could not come at a timelier juncture. The bill’s main goal is to increase the regulatory power of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to ensure a safer food supply. Small farmers and several advocacy organizations, however, have taken up arms against the bill, claiming the proposed regulations threaten to further strain small farmers’ ability to make ends meet.    


Upton Sinclair first exposed the dangerous truths hidden within our nation’s food processing industry in his novel The Jungle. Since the 1906 publication of Sinclair’s exposé, regulations imposed upon the food industry have been implemented to protect us from foods containing toxic chemicals or colored with heavy metals, including lead and mercury — although a strong argument could be made that several candy and soda companies missed that memo.

Over the past century, the increased centralization of our food production — accompanied by a growth in foreign food imports — has once again left our nation’s health at the hands of mostly unregulated food processors. Currently, the FDA has surprisingly little control over food safety: Our food industry is self-regulated, which means the FDA is not only incapable of demanding a recall of contaminated food products, but they also lack the power to punish the companies that produce such products. As a result, more than 350,000 Americans are hospitalized due to food-related illnesses each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The Food Safety Modernization Act 

In response to growing concerns over these issues, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), introduced in March 2009 by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), is currently being considered by the Senate. The main goal of the bill — to enhance the power of the FDA to monitor and prevent foodborne illness outbreaks — will be met through four main points of the bill, according to

·         test for dangerous pathogens

·         trace outbreaks back to their sources

shaman phoenix
1/28/2011 8:36:25 AM

The government agencies are bought and paid for by big business. "THEY" aren't looking out for our best interests, "THEY" are looking to put small farms and local food systems out of business with over-burdening costs and regulations. Big business is running scared, as mentioned above, and theY are stamping out thier competition under the smoke and mirrors of consumer protection and safety...B.S! Don't let them fool you. "THEY ARE JUST LOOKING OUT FOR THIER POWER AND PROFITS...NOT YOU! We must create a community based local food system again and grow our our foods, together. Then we'll put "them" out of business and we'll thrive.

Tom In PV
10/6/2010 8:39:12 AM

Look beneath the surface and it is almost certain the "The Food Safety & Modernization Act" was written by lobbyists for the major food producers, distributors and grocery chain. Their motive? Head off the Slow Food Movement while it is still in its infancy. Does this sound familiar? The so called Food Safety bill seems to a perfect example of Corporatism. "Corporatism is a system in which big business uses its political connections and ability to wring favors from politicians in order to cripple its smaller competitors and increase its profits. Business leaders who take advantage of the public in this way are usually careful to disguise their behavior. They do not announce that they are trying to win special benefits from government. They claim to be serving the public interest. Thus corporatism often takes the form of regulation, supposedly for the public good, that disproportionately harms smaller businesses that lack the political pull of larger firms. This is not just unconstitutional. It is immoral. And it will not cease until an enraged population decides enough is enough." Thomas Woods, NY Times Bestselling Author of Meltdown How did your Congressional representatives vote on this bill? If they voted for it, just who were they "representing"?

9/6/2010 5:20:47 AM

I think everyone knows what happens when governmental bureaucracy inserts itself into any situation. The unintented concequences reverberate for generations to come and hammers and toilet lids end up costing 5000% more than they used to. Hope your prepared for the inevitable sticker shock that will come with this bill, so, hows $275.00 for a dozen eggs sound to you?!!!

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