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March 30, 2009

Congress Democrats attack small farms and roadside produce stands

Meet HR 875. Its a "small" bill, not nearly as voluminous as the Spendulus, and it can easily be read in one sitting if you just want to get the gist of the nightmare it will create.

Basically, HR 875 sets up a MASSIVE new government bureaucracy called the Food Safety Administration, and compels anything known as a "food establishment" to register with the federal government (paying registration fees of course) and to submit to inspections that are at different intervals depending on the type of "food establishment" you are.

The (formerly) ubiquitous summer roadside vegetable stand appears to be both Category 3 and 5 "food establishments" since they sells "fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form" and "stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale".

The explicit exclusions in Section 3 (13)(B) do not exclude roadside vegetable stands.

Section 3 (14) explicitly declares "any farm" (no matter what the size) to be a "FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY".

Section 406 is a real doozy which places the burden of proof on the small farmer or roadside stand operator to demonstrate that none of their goods were participants in interstate commerce (the basis for this whole thing appears to be the Commerce Clause)

SEC. 406. PRESUMPTION. 1 In any action to enforce the requirements of the food safety law, the connection with interstate commerce required for jurisdiction shall be presumed to exist
As a practical matter, a stand operator or small farmer can't guarantee where the stuff they're selling will be used once the customer drives away...so that basket of cherries that winds up in aunt Millie's pie two states away can throw you in hot water. I suppose the vendor could require each customer to sign a release guaranteeing the goods won't ever cross state lines, and simply refuse to sell to anyone with out of state plates and that might get them off the hook of this odious legislation.

But then again, who operating a micro-business like this would risk the potential $1,000,000 fine? (Sec 405(a)(1)(A)

There's all sorts of other turd brained stuff in this bill relating to farm animals and imported stuff as well. Much of it completely impractical and probably unenforcable beyond our own shores.

The small "organic" type farms are all up in arms over this shit sandwich, so all you fucking hippies and O-bots that voted for the retards pushing this disaster - good luck with those "buy local" efforts of yours. Enjoy it while it lasts, which ain't going to be for long if this passes.

UPDATE: More here, here, here, and here.

From the Protein Wisdom link:

...The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), with 39 co-sponsor, all Democrats...

Shelly's vid added below the fold.


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posted by Purp at 07:15 PM

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