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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

HR 875: Regulating Organic Farming-- Including Hunting Game and Home Gardens

Many silly bills circulate through the House in any Congress, and under any administration. Most of the time Americans simply trust that somebody in the House or Senate will see the nonsense for what it is and publicize the fact to influential parties, or the bill will be tacitly acknowledged as a bad idea and whither away on the vine.

However, the current political climate makes pretty much any bad bill a potential bad law. When the president's key political policies are encompassed in "the worst bill ever," and the prevailing attitude within the Congressional Democrats is the championing of a nanny-state government, no bill seems too ridiculous to take seriously.

Enter HR 875. Lydia Scott at Campaign for Liberty has a decent, although perhaps a bit alarmist, write up on the possible implications of the bill as it stands.

From the post:

"This legislation is so broad based that technically someone with a little backyard garden could get fined and have their property seized. It will affect anyone who produces food even if they do not sell but only consume it. It will literally put all independent farmers and food producers out of business due to the huge amounts of money it will take to conform to factory farming methods. If people choose to farm without industry standards such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers they will be subject to a variety of harassment from this completely new agency that has never before existed. That's right, a whole new government agency is being created just to police food, for our own protection of course.

[...]

"Red flags I found and I am sure there are more...........

"Legally binds state agriculture depts to enforcing federal guidelines effectively taking away the states power to do anything other than being food police for the federal dept.

"Effectively criminalizes organic farming but doesn't actually use the word organic.

"Affects anyone growing food even if they are not selling it but consuming it.

"Affects anyone producing meat of any kind including the processing wild game for personal consumption.

"Legislation is so broad based that every aspect of growing or producing food can be made illegal. There are no specifics which is bizarre considering how long the legislation is.

"Section 103 is almost entirely about the administrative aspect of the legislation. It will allow the appointing of officials from the factory farming corporations and lobbyists and classify them as experts and allow them to determine and interpret the legislation. Who do you think they are going to side with?

"Section 206 defines what will be considered a food production facility and what will be enforced up all food production facilities. The wording is so broad based that a backyard gardener could be fined and more.

"Section 207 requires that the state's agriculture dept act as the food police and enforce the federal requirements. This takes away the states power and is in violation of the 10th amendment."

Certainly this bill would seem to have few supporters (the Left loves their "organic" farmers), but, as I said before, these are odd political times and HR 875 deserves some attention. Would you have believed that so many House Dems would vote have voted for the Stupak Amendment, or that such an amendment would even become politically feasible and brought up in session before Saturday? Besides, the possibility that the basic idea of policing foods and extending industry regulations to non-industry providers could be made politically viable in this climate-- perhaps put into a more "organic farming friendly" bill.

This could be a bill to watch.

1 comment:

  1. The leftie law writing motto seems to be: "First of all do no good."

    ReplyDelete