September 10, 2010
The billion-or-so egg recall fiasco that took place this summer is a perfect example of the failures implicit in modern, industrialized agriculture. But rather than respond to the situation with concerted efforts to reform Big Agribusiness and return to clean, localized food production methods, some groups and regulatory agencies are calling on Congress to pass legislation that would shift total control of the nation's food supply to Monsanto and various international governing bodies.
According to a recent CNN article, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and several other groups allegedly representing "victims" of the recent salmonella outbreak, are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act--also known as S.510--as the solution to the broken food system. According to them, the bill will give the FDA the power it needs to properly regulate and prevent future illness outbreaks.
But in reality, the FDA already has the power it needs to properly regulate. It simply fails time and time again to actually do its job. While favoring the corporate offenders responsible for the outbreaks, the FDA continually goes after small producers that produce clean food, and even against food itself (which the agency has claimed is inherently dangerous and in need of pasteurization).
In a nutshell, the agency has utterly failed to address the real problems that cause food contamination and is in desperate need of major, fundamental reform that will limit its power and help restore real food freedom.
Instead of instigating this type of reform, however, S.510 will essentially give unconstitutional control of the U.S. food supply to multinational corporations and force the U.S. to relinquish its sovereignty to international governing bodies.
S.510, the Trojan horse ushering in world government
The roots of S.510 date back to the early 1990s when then-President Bill Clinton unveiled the Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) program. HACCP was hailed at the time as the solution to meat contamination problems. But in the same pattern as S.510, HACCP did nothing to actually address the problem and everything to make it worse.
Under the guise of addressing meat contamination, bureaucrats and multinational corporations pulled a fast one on the public by introducing a program that actually rewarded violators and eliminated a significant amount of food freedom. The corporate offenders responsible for meat contamination actually benefited from HACCP because it allowed them to "inspect" themselves, and shifted to their control a large segment of the meat industry. The program literally eliminated thousands of local food processors that had been producing clean meat all along.
Today, the same thing is happening with S.510. Last summer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the precursor to S.510--known as the Food Safety Enhancement Bill (H.R.2749)--and S.510 is now waiting in the wings.
Advocates of S.510 are hoping that when Congress reconvenes, it will pass S.510 right away in order to solve all our food problems. But just like HACCP did with meat, S.510 will actually make the problem worse, while at the same time steal the last remaining food freedoms we have left.
"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," explained Dr. Shiv Chopra, a microbiologist with Health Canada, concerning the bill.According to some reports, the bill contains language that would give Monsanto--in conjunction with the United Nations (UN), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)--total control over all food, food production systems, farms and even food and dietary supplements.
S.510 and the elimination of food freedom
S.510 will radically alter the way American food is produced and managed. If passed, it will dissolve U.S. sovereignty over its own food supply and force the nation to comply with WTO food mandates. This includes compliance with international Codex Alimentarius regulations that threaten to remove access to dietary supplements and organic food.
The very existence of local and organic farming--including even backyard gardens--is threatened by the contents of the bill. All food production systems will be required to register and comply with international mandates, and no such systems will be permitted to operate outside this bureaucratic framework. This means that any transactions involving food that are not under government control will be considered illegal smuggling.
With Monsanto at the helm, the right to own and plant unadulterated seeds will eventually no longer be permitted. All seeds and food materials will belong to a centralized authority that will dictate what can and cannot be grown, as well as how it will be grown. Governing bodies could require that all crops be treated with pesticides, as well as mandate that only genetically-modified (GM) crops be planted, for instance. Under this paradigm, every U.S. farm will become industrialized, and organic farming could be completely eliminated.
All animals will have to be registered and traced using National Animal Identification Standards (NAIS) under S.510. International governing bodies will have the power to declare that animal stocks be destroyed, even if there is no evidence that the animals are sick. They can then require that patented, genetically-modified animals take their place.
In the event that S.510's illegitimate "food czar" declares a food "emergency", all U.S. food facilities and farms will immediately be placed under the control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense.
S.510 abolishes the rule of law and fundamental constitutional protections
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect about S.510 is the fact that it does away with the rule of law that is foundational to the American republic. The U.S. Constitution guarantees certain fundamental protections for citizens, including the right to a fair trial by jury. But under S.510, violators of the food code will be subjected to corporate tribunals that have unlimited, unchecked power to do as they please.
The entire American system of government--a system that is supposed to be by the people and for the people--could literally be overthrown if S.510 is passed. As it stands, the bill is just one more piece of the deconstruction process designed to integrate the U.S. into a world system of government, and it threatens the very health freedoms millions of Americans are still able to enjoy.
The food system definitely needs a major overhaul, but not the kind offered in S.510. It is crucial that concerned citizens do everything possible to oppose this bill. If you value the freedom to choose healthy, clean foods and do not want governments telling you what you can and cannot eat, then you must take action.
The National Health Freedom Coalition has put together a helpful resource about S.510 that allows you to contact your Senators directly to oppose the bill. You can access the page at:
At the bottom, simply enter your zip code and you will be directed to a page containing a customizable form letter as well as the direct phone numbers for your Senators.
August 24, 2010
Reading this week’s headlines about the egg salmonella crisis may leave one with the impression that we need more government control and we need it now. The feeling one is left with after listening to mainstream pundits and FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg is eerily familiar - almost as if the same crisis template that was applied to the financial crisis is now being used to further progress centralized control of the country’s food production capacity:
We don’t know exactly how the contamination got into the chicken population, into the egg population, and we’re not yet fully sure of the extent of the recall that will be necessary to protect consumers.
We are very anxious to see a piece of important legislation currently being considered by Congress be passed. There is an opportunity through this legislation to extend our authority, resources and other important tools to do trace back of products, to make sure the companies have the appropriate preventative measures in place and to enable us to review records in a routine way.
In response to news anchor’s question: Someone’s in the kitchen this morning and they’re about to prepare breakfast, what do you say to them?
It’s very important to prepare your food properly. Then when you’re preparing food, wash your hands first, then wash your hands after handling eggs. And, cook the eggs thoroughly. That means that the egg yolks and the egg whites should be thoroughly cooked. No more mopping up egg yolks with toast.
source: ABC News (Video)
The statements of Ms. Hamburg do not require a close examination to understand how ridiculous this is and what the ultimate goal of the mainstream hysteria is for government regulators.
The commissioner admitted that the FDA does not know what caused the so-called contamination, nor how the FDA is going to handle the recall yet. But, as stated, they are very anxious to pass legislation that will give them more authority over the egg industry (and others - more on this below). As serious as this egg outbreak seems to be, it’s somewhat curious that Ms. Hamburg’s response to the question of what to do if you want to have eggs for breakfast is not “don’t eat eggs until we have more information!”, but rather, cooking tips.
Inquiring minds are asking exactly how many eggs were originally found to be contaminated, leading to this recall and media hysteria. Given the history of these events, we suspect it is not dissimilar to the Chilean grape scare of the 1980’s in which two grapes in Chile were found to be “tainted” with Cyanide, leading to a nationwide panic surrounding imported fruits.
It should be noted that the author had soft-boiled eggs, and mopped up his egg yolks with toast for the last two days. Symptoms to look for, as reported by the mainstream media, have yet to surface. Of course, this could be due to the fact that we prefer to eat eggs originating from free-range, vegetarian fed chickens that were bred on small farms.
As to the issue of increased regulation about which the commissioner, and undoubtedly larger food manufacturing plants, are anxiously interested, it is important to point out that the FDA does have authority to inspect the facilities, specifically the two main facilities where this salmonella crisis originated. But guess what? They never did:
The Food and Drug Administration, which has responsibility for the safety of whole eggs, had never inspected the two Iowa-based facilities at the heart of the massive recall that began 10 days ago. Nor had the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. In the case of Wright County Egg, the company had a history of labor and environmental infractions, including one that stemmed from workers handling manure and dead chickens with bare hands.
“It is shocking that nobody was in these facilities, but it also illustrates that egg-laying facilities have fallen into the crack between the government agencies that are responsible for food safety,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group.
This begs the question: How can the FDA demand more federal powers over the regulation of food production facilities when they have failed to enforce their existing powers?
For those following the economic crisis and the BP oil disaster, it should all make sense [see False Flag Operations]. Just as the SEC failed to enforce existing laws to stop market manipulation and prevent extreme leverage in the system, and as Minerals Management Service regulators failed to inspect the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the FDA failed at their job.
Yet, in all three cases, the bureaucrats in power, rather than admitting their own failures and turning in their resignations, hit the mainstream media news channels and tell us the problems could have been prevented with more legislation.
Though it wasn’t mentioned by Margaret Hamburg, one could guess that the legislation she is promoting is Senate Bill S510, which is designed to put more control of our U.S. food production facilities into the hands of government regulators and large international corporations like Monsanto:
“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.” ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.
Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create — without judicial review — if it passes. S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.
Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition points out the dangers of the bill in Federal Food Police Coming Soon To A Farm Near You:
If passed, this would give government agencies the power to tell the American public what they should eat, how they should care for produce and care for livestock. The facility owners will have no say in these matters. The government has made the decisions for them (as they like to do). They must adhere to guidelines or else there will be hell to pay. According to the website Rogue Government, “ The government even plans to set up a Food Safety Administration to authorize this agency to integrate state and local agencies as fully as possible into national food safety efforts by forcing them to enforce federal food safety regulations. This section completely ignores the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.”
Ms. Hamburg of the FDA and S510’s sponsors (democrats and republicans, alike) have kept the real story of what this bill is designed for from the public. The mainstream media is complicit in promoting this as a good thing for the American public, and the template, as it did with the economic crisis and the BP spill, is working extremely well, as evidenced by a 2009 poll suggesting that 90% of the public and the food industry overwhelming support the bill.
While touted as a quick win for both parties, it will be a serious loss for the American people. Small farmers, like the ones that provide free-range, vegetarian-fed fresh eggs, organic vegetables, fresh juice and other raw foods will be hard hit. They will either be put out of business or forced to accept government regulations developed by major agri-business firms that are interested in not the health and safety of the public, but lining their own pockets.
Small family farms, once these bills pass (and we assume they will, just like previous crisis legislation), will be annihilated as the government will force them to use only ‘approved’ seeds, feed, equipment and fertilizers. They will be mandated to follow specific regulatory procedures for production and distribution, for which they will pay additional fees. Eventually, the farmers will go out of business, in many cases losing their land to foreclosure. And, we suspect, that large farming corporations will quickly step in to snatch up their farms at significant discounts.
Prepare yourself for the War on Food. One day, food raids will be as common as a drug raid:
Those looking to one day produce their own food, perhaps even trade that food, will be met with resistance from government regulators, while two of the largest egg producers in the country responsible for delivering hundreds of millions of eggs to the public, operate facilities that have never been inspected.
It may sound ridiculous now, but so does outlawing rainwater collection. It’s becoming increasingly likely that simply giving your neighbor a basket of tomatoes you grew in your own garden will be an illegal act, punishable by fines and jail time for repeat offenders.Approximately 142,000 Americans are Infected Each Year With Salmonella
GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network
August 23, 2010
PositiveID Corporation and its development partner RECEPTORS LLC ("Receptors") announced today their plans to develop a product to capture salmonella for detection and diagnostics, and potentially other food-borne illnesses such as E.coli. PositiveID believes the Combinatorial Artificial Receptor Array (CARA(TM)) technology is able to optimize a faster, more efficient sample preparation procedure, which, in turn, translates to a more economical and accurate test and higher throughput for detecting salmonella and other bacteria.
The patented CARA(TM) platform is designed to be adaptable to a broad spectrum of applications in the medical, environmental and agricultural industries. Built on the foundation of its core CARA(TM) technology, Receptors' direct capture systems can provide more efficient capture of microbes for increased sanitation of sensitive environments, including food processing facilities.
A nationwide recall of eggs possibly contaminated with salmonella was initiated in mid-August. More than half a billion eggs have now been recalled. Many salmonella infections are due to ingestion of contaminated food. About 142,000 Americans are infected each year with salmonella enteritidis from chicken eggs. The shell of the egg may be contaminated by feces or environment, or its interior (yolk) may be contaminated from the shell or from an infected hen.
Scott Silverman, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID, said,
"We believe Receptors' CARA(TM) technology platform is broadly adaptable to a variety of applications, yielding faster and more accurate results. Food safety in our country is a top priority and we plan to broaden our existing development relationship with Receptors to utilize their innovative technology to improve food safety, specifically salmonella detection."PositiveID and Receptors are currently working to develop an in vivo glucose-sensing microchip, the GlucoChip(TM), for diabetics, and a point-of-care rapid virus detection system for influenza and other pandemic viruses. PositiveID has exclusively licensed Receptors' CARA(TM) platform for these applications.
Receptors' has demonstrated its CARA(TM) SMART MATERIALS technology in a variety of sample processing applications, including the efficient capture of bacteria from urine samples for urinary tract infection diagnostics, facile capture of intact bacteria versus free DNA for PCR-based analysis of infectious agent antibiotic sensitivity, efficient capture of influenza virus as the basis for a flu strain diagnostic, as well as broad spectrum microbe capture including salmonella for both sample preparation and sanitation applications.
About PositiveID Corporation
PositiveID Corporation develops and markets healthcare and information management products through its RFID-based diagnostic devices and identification technologies, and its proprietary disease management tools. PositiveID operates in two main divisions: HealthID and ID Security. For more information on PositiveID, please visit www.PositiveIDCorp.com.
About RECEPTORS LLC
RECEPTORS LLC develops Smart Materials products for laboratory, clinical, industrial hygiene and healthcare use that selectively capture and measure chemical, biochemical and cellular targets from complex biological, environmental or industrial samples. The Company's patented Affinity by Design(TM) platform has broad applicability, ranging from the isolation of disease pathway proteins for drug discovery and production of therapeutic antibodies, to the capture of bacteria and viruses for disinfection and diagnostic purposes. Receptors LLC is a private company based in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. For further information please visit http://www.receptorsllc.com.
SOURCE: PositiveID Corporation
FDA Chief says enforcement of food safety too limited
August 23, 2010
Farms like the two involved in a massive recall of more than a half-billion eggs are rarely inspected by the federal government, officials say, as the Food and Drug Administration has traditionally reacted to outbreaks instead of working to prevent them.
Food and Drug Administration chief Margaret Hamburg said Monday her agency hasn't had enough authority to help prevent outbreaks like the more than 1,000 cases of salmonella poisoning linked to the eggs from two Iowa farms.
Giving a series of network interviews, Hamburg said the FDA is taking the issue "very, very seriously." At the same time, she said Congress should pass legislation stalled in the Senate that would increase the frequency of inspections and give the agency authority to order a recall. Companies now have to issue such recalls voluntarily.
"We need better abilities and authorities to put in place these preventive controls and hold companies accountable," Hamburg said.Food safety advocates have pushed for such improvements for more than a decade, as there have been few rules on the books that require companies to make eggs, along with many other foods, safer. The FDA's authority on the farm is questionable as the agency is often limited to gathering information about a contamination outbreak after people have already been sickened. Investigations into what went wrong come well after the crucial evidence is gone.
Dr. Jeff Farrar, FDA's associate commissioner for food protection, says the agency has traditionally focused on food manufacturing facilities instead of farms as the agency's authority is muddled and there are few standards in place.
"The farm is just a different environment," he said. "Without those standards we don't have the specific information to say you are in compliance in this area and out of compliance here."The Obama administration has tried to remedy that with new rules that went into effect in July, just after the current egg outbreak began. The rules, which require producers to do more testing for salmonella and take other precautions, had languished for more than a decade after President Bill Clinton first proposed that egg standards be toughened. The FDA said in July that the new safeguards could reduce the number of salmonella cases by nearly 60 percent.
Those rules would be bolstered by the legislation, which the House passed more than a year ago but the Senate has not yet taken up. The bill would provide more money to the FDA for inspections and enforcement.
The lack of oversight has become a bigger problem as the egg industry, like many other food industries, has consolidated over recent years, placing fewer, larger businesses in control of much of the nation's egg supply to consumers.
"These are high risk facilities so you need FDA checking on them regularly, at least once a year, to make sure they are complying with the regulations," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "You can't produce food at that level without a food safety cop on the beat."The two Iowa farms linked to the disease outbreak — Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms — share suppliers of chickens and feed as well as ties to an Iowa business with a long history of violating state and federal laws. FDA officials said last week they had "no inspectional history" with Wright County Egg ...
Hamburg appeared Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today" show.
August 23, 2010
Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the Food and Drug Administration is limited by law to a mostly reactive stance on food safety and argued that it needs a more "preventive approach." She said Congress should pass pending legislation that would expand the FDA's reach.
Giving a series of network interviews in the wake of the egg and salmonella breakout, Hamburg said the FDA is taking the issue "very, very seriously." At the same time, she said Congress should pass pending legislation that would provide her agency with greater enforcement power, including new authority over imported food.
"We need better abilities and authorities to put in place these preventive controls and hold companies accountable," Hamburg said as she discussed the approximately 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning and the recall of roughly a half-billion eggs from two Iowa egg distributors.
August 19, 2010
With a recent recall on eggs linked to a multi-state salmonella outbreak, the Senate hearings on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) 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 [Click Here for the Factual Story on This 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 ...
No one can argue against improving the safety and quality of our food system — but why then are small farm owners, farmers market advocates and other organizations speaking out against this act, and its companion House measure?
The vague language of the bill has caused many to object to S.510, fearing that increased power for the FDA and the HHS will also mean increased costs, paperwork and strict regulations that could bring down the axe on the already dwindling numbers of small farms. In a recent action alert, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) summarizes,
“The new regulations could erect new barriers to these important markets for small and mid-scale farmers unable to bear the expense of compliance.”Consumers Union points out that S.510 contains language that directs the FDA to ensure the regulations don’t conflict with organic requirements and to consider what impacts any new regulations will have on small and diversified farms. In addition, the language of the bill is not yet set in stone — the addition of protections and exemptions for small farms and direct-consumer transactions, including farmers markets, can still be included.
To ease the concerns of small farmers and organizations such as the NSAC, a “manager’s amendment” set forth by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has been released and is supported by all four sponsors of the bill. The key differences between this amended bill and the companion House bill include exemptions of farms engaged in low or no-risk processing from new regulations, reduction of unnecessary paperwork and grants for food safety training for small-scale farmers.
The main concern with any such food safety legislation is whether or not it actually solves the real problems inherent within our food system. Will giving an already overloaded government agency the power to create and enforce new food regulations make our industrial, centralized food production system safer and healthier?
Consumers Union Poll: 80 Percent of Americans Want Congress to Pass Food Safety Legislation ImmediatelyConsumers Union
July 12, 2010
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, today released new poll data showing that 80 percent of Americans want Congress to immediately give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to recall food when it poses a danger to health and safety. FDA food safety reform legislation that would give FDA that power, as well as require it to inspect all high-risk food processors at least once a year, passed the House of Representatives a year ago but is now stalled awaiting Senate action. The poll can be found online at http://www.consumersunion.org/pdf/Food-Safety-Poll-0610.pdf.
“The overwhelming majority of Americans want Congress to make our food safe now,” said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union. “Most people are shocked to find out that FDA can’t even order a recall—it must request companies to voluntarily retrieve contaminated food. It is essential that the Senate pass S. 510, the bi-partisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, before it adjourns in early August.”President Obama last week also asked the Senate to pass the bill, noting it,
“[a]ddresses longstanding challenges in the food safety and defense system by promoting a prevention-oriented approach to the safety of our food supply and provides the Federal Government with the appropriate tools to accomplish its core food safety goals.”According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year, 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 hospitalized, and 5,000 die from consuming contaminated food. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General has reported that FDA inspects less than a quarter of all food facilities each year, and that more than half of all food facilities have gone five or more years without an FDA inspection.
A recent report on food safety by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council also notes the many gaps in the FDA’s current performance in food safety, and recommends that Congress increase the agency’s authority to act. The report urges that Congress require all food processors to register with the FDA (which is not required under current law), to act proactively to prevent foodborne illness, and tell the FDA when they discover adulterated products. S. 510 accomplishes all of these things.
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey using a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,007 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+. Interviewing took place from June 24-27, 2010. The margin of error is 3.2 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.
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