Senate passes food-safety bill by unanimous consent

posted at 8:48 am on December 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Chalk one up for the Senate Republicans in the category of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”  They had Harry Reid on the hook for fouling up a food-safety bill that the Wall Street Journal called a bonanza for big producers.  Instead of forcing the issue to wait for a new Congress and an approach that didn’t impose new costs and regulatory burdens that puts small producers at a disadvantage, the GOP agreed to allow the bill to pass through the Senate last night without any objections:

The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by unanimous consent Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error.

The Senate passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Nov. 30 by a vote of 73-25. But the bill was later invalidated by a technical objection because it was a revenue-raising measure that did not originate in the House — Senate staff had failed to substitute the food safety language into a House-originated bill. …

Reid announced he would send the legislation — this time properly attached to a House-originated measure — back to the lower chamber for final approval.

Why would they agree to this?  Tom Coburn had the bill blocked until last night.  Perhaps another attempt to push this through gave Republicans a chance for something they wanted.  The Hill notes that Reid wanted to attach it to the continuing resolution that they will consider today:

Democrats first attempted to attach the food safety bill to the two-and-a-half-month spending measure but Republicans balked because they wanted to keep that measure clean, according to Senate aides.

From that sequence, it appears the GOP may have given up the food-safety bill for a clean CR.  They didn’t want the CR to become a “minibus,” a concern that had arisen when Congress passed a three-day CR on Friday night to fund the government through Tuesday.  Rumor had it that the Democrats wanted a blend of CR and omnibus that would set funding for the rest of the year on some key agencies, and the GOP want to go through a normal budget process instead.    It shouldn’t take three days to write a CR anyway, and the fact that they gave themselves that kind of breathing space indicated that Democrats intended to treat the CR like a Christmas tree.

If that’s the deal, then at least the unanimous consent on the food-safety bill would be explicable.  If the Senate produces a minibus anyway, then this gift to Reid is a strange collapse by the Senate GOP.


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Comments

Food Safety bill has nothing to do with Food or Safety. It has everything to do with keeping big Agribusiness in charge and squeezing the little guy out.

PatriotRider on December 20, 2010 at 9:19 AM

This is it. They get govt payments, too.

For many growers it’s the difference between being self sufficient and being on the government dole. This will not end well out here. Think prohibition and revenue agents. It will cost lives.

chemman on December 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Well news flash, if you did not know, just about EVERYONE who farms, small or large, receives government subsidies related to crop production. As I ahve said on here before, depending upon the land, crops grown, & harvest history, everyone owning land that had been, or is, in agricultural production of any sort has probably received a federal govt subsidy.
I.E, we have a few acres or so on our property somewhere (no one knows where it is, even USDA, that qualifies for a govt crop subsidy (I think it’s wheat) of about $80 per year. We do not choose to get it.

Because hiring 2000 new FDA inspectors makes government smaller???? WTF?

ctmom on December 20, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Considering USDA & the FDA had downsized & eliminated food inspectors at meat packing plants some time ago, I hardly think they’ll be hiring any news ones bcs they now let those slaughter houses & large packing companies test themselves: Fox, meet Henhouse.

You do realize that all these new food regulations don’t apply to the big food producers, right? They get to “self certify” they comply. It’s only people like me and those in my county that have to pay for all of these new regulations.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 10:44 AM

I don’t think the avg Joe realizes this. Stupid people think these regulations are to keep us safe when they do NO SUCH THING.
As one involved in agriculture, with many friends & acquaintences involved at so many levels, I can tell you this will do exactly as has been said: Get rid of the competition for Big Ag.
I don’t have a problem with Big Ag existing.
But there are disadvantages to having all of our food localized in a few locations etc.
For one, getting food to towns & cities across America.
Does anyone realize the possible food crisis that exists from all of this consolidation?
Towns & cities max only have maybe a week of food for the population, if that.
Bcs the locations are so few where food is processed, you are a captive audience to this distribution.
And if something were to go werong, i.e. delays bcs of weather, disaster, etc., there will be starving people bcs many who live in cities are too stupid to understand they need to stock food for emergencies.
And I’m not talking for a week.
More like a month or more.
Sheep. Nothing but sheep in this country.
So many people have no idea how modern agriculture & food processing work.
If you did, there would be a he!! of a lot more angry people talking publicly about this.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 11:03 AM

So, Proud Rino, you are perfectly fine with all of my friends going out of business.

We produce a significant chunk of the US turkey population each year; guess what: Turkey prices go up, now that we can’t make any more. Or if we can, our prices have to jump. And all the OTHER turkey co ops that aren’t named Tyson have the same problem we do. So turkey is getting more expensive.

My other friends, the cattlemen here, who own 800-1200 head: They aren’t “big cattle.” What, exactly, are they supposed to do now that they can’t afford to do cattle?

What is any of us supposed to do for jobs? There ARE no other jobs here, moron! We don’t have huge factories, or law firms or travel agencies or any of the other service jobs! Without agriculture, we die economically! You are okay with the death of rural America!

O, but you want “big business” to just come in and run everything. Guess what, punk: We Americans fought a revolution against things like “Big Tea.” And now you say that it’s time for me and all my family, friends, etc to sell out to Tyson foods or Archer Daniel Midlands or Montsano and move to a big city, because that’s the only jobs left is working for the big companies.

You know what the definition of fascism is, Proud Rino? Big government and Big corporations working hand in hand to run everything. You are saying that that is exactly what you want for your food: fascism, because you want all small food producers to be out of business.

So yes, you ARE a fascist for food. I can’t see how you are not.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Didn’t the NEUTERATI REPUBS vow no bills shall pass without filibuster until a budget bill was passed?

Vote the lyin sacks-o-S… OUT ALL OF EM!

They are playing games with our lives, livelyhoods and childrens futures.

This is an illegitimate congress ahving been rejected by the voters.

SHUT IT DOWN!
LOCK DOWN THE GOV”T AND DC UNTIL THE TEA PARTY PATRIOTS ARRIVE!

dhunter on December 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM

No, you didn’t get it. How is not waiting for five days to sign a bill he was going to sign anyway “ramming it through” congress? It’s already passed Congress at that point. Or are you just trying to come up with stuff to say because you realize you’ve kinda dug yourself a little hole here?

Let’s review PR:

Nothing gets “rammed through.” Pelosi cannot get bills passed without majority support anymore than anyone else can.

Give it a rest. “Rams through.” Quit whining.

Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 9:31 AM

I used Obama’s 5-day pledge to demonstrate that indeed some things do get rammed through, i.e., not allowing the public to read the bill before it becomes law. When Congress rushes to pass unknown bills like they’re Usain Bolt, the request to read legislation before a vote is minor. Having a reasonable amount of time to read the bill before the President signs it into law is asking oh so much.

The health care bill was debated for over a year.

Ha! You call that debate? If you want a picture perfect example of “ramming a bill,” there ya go! Some word pictures for you PR: Tea Parties, Town Hall meetings, Scott Brown, 9/12, Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase. Hey, how’s Blanche Lincoln doing these days?

The bulk of the bill, and all the stuff involving “health care reform” was available online since at least when it passed in December of 2009, and obviously well before that since it had been proposed in October or so. The only thing that changed was the “fixes” to it removing stuff like the Cornhusker kickback.

There was no hard copy for the public until right before the vote, and then we heard Pelosi’s infamous line. The Democrat controlled Congress and executive branch ignore the public’s wishes and rammed it through anyway. Hooray for debate and dialogue!

Didn’t say you did. I said that it seemed to me that the only legislation that gets “rammed through” is legislation you don’t like.

Reread your comments. Own it.

So there was legislation that you liked, that you thought was a good idea, but you opposed how it was “rammed through? Name the bill, friend.

Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Bush and Co. used crises to bring change. I don’t remember much debate on the DHS. I always had my reservations about that, especially when Bush rolled out Tom Ridge to lead it.

One difference between Ds and Rs–Republicans listen, even if remotely. Harriet Meiers, the Amnesty push by Bush, the Dubai port deal. They relented. The Democrats, on the other hand, give us the finger and surge forward.

Hey PR–it’s been real. But my vacay starts today and I can think of a hundred other things I’d rather be doing than sitting here tied to the computer. Merry Christmas.

conservative pilgrim on December 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Meanwhile the Duke boys pull the General Lee out of mothballs. They’re fixin’ to make some Arugula runs come spring.

Lily on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

What is any of us supposed to do for jobs? There ARE no other jobs here, moron! We don’t have huge factories, or law firms or travel agencies or any of the other service jobs! Without agriculture, we die economically! You are okay with the death of rural America!

I grew up in a similarly dying place, it was coal mining country, now there is still some good coal mining going on, but there’s mostly just people living on govt handouts – people fake injuries and “nerves” and they get SSI. That’s the other big industry, scamming the feds.

I don’t want your friends to go out of business but the fact of the matter is that if some big company can make food better and cheaper than your friends can, that’s just how business works. I don’t sob for the newspaper industry and I didn’t sob when the last typewriter factory closed either.

So yes, you ARE a fascist for food. I can’t see how you are not.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Actually, people like me are probably the one hope you guys have. I generally buy all my food (well my wife buys it, I pay for it) from local farmers from a CSA or the farmer’s market or whatever weird hippy thing my wife does on Saturdays when I’m working. But it’s a luxury item for us (although I think we actually end up saving a little money in the long run).

Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM

All the regulations pertaining to agriculture increase the costs of doing business by huge amounts.
Licensing, permitting, taxes, fees, complying with regs i.e. building special containment systems for poop, fuel storage, yadda yadda yadda.
These morons do not understand all of the huge expense being in agriculture entails.
It will force small producers out of business, unless they can get big (we tried being big & bcs of geography, for us did not work). Some in ag cannot grow bcs of land constraints etc.
But this has been happening to ALL samll businesses around the country.
Trying to comply wil onerous & costly rules & regs that do not add safety nor transparance to any of the process is what has made it easy for mega corporations to flourish.
Insurance compliance has also done this, which in turn, was affected by silly lawsuits.
I, for instance, must pay almost $5,000 per year for insurance on our ranch. We have never had a claim.
That is insane. It’s almost as much as our property taxes.
None of this crap helps anyone.
It hasnoyl allowed huge corporations to succeed bcs they have the assets to withstand all of this.
That’s why everything is merging into huge corporations.
Pretty soon, the only ones who can afford to start a business, bcs of rules & regs, insurance mandates etc are the ones who are so gigantic they are too big to fail.
And then we all will be working for this big corporation & no one will be able to work for themselves.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

the fact of the matter is that if some big company can make food better and cheaper than your friends can, that’s just how business works
Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Please read my response above.
You fail to understand that they can afford to lose $$ bcs in the long run they will make $$ bcs their competition gets squeezed out, not due to their higher efficiency (which I can tell you that many oftentimes huge agricultural processing centers, farms, etc are not any more efficient than small ones), but due to the fact that complying with rules & regs etc is what has made it impossible for the small guy to do business.
Large processing plants are allowed to inspect their own product. Inspectors do not go there.
They just get a self assessment report.
Meanwhile, inspectors are sent out to smaller processors.
You clearly do not understand the cause of the rise of big agriculture.
It is not always out of higher efficiency.
You have a lot to learn about farming & ranching.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Actually, people like me are probably the one hope you guys have.
Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

We are so frakked

darwin-t on December 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Ha! You call that debate? If you want a picture perfect example of “ramming a bill,” there ya go! Some word pictures for you PR: Tea Parties, Town Hall meetings, Scott Brown, 9/12, Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase. Hey, how’s Blanche Lincoln doing these days?

Town halls all summer, several rallies protesting the bill, several proposed laws being discussed, and compromises were had. The original plan was to have a public option, and that got dropped so that they had the mandate. I don’t like the health care bill either but we had ample time to discuss it, I don’t see how a year of debate is “ramming something through.”

There was no hard copy for the public until right before the vote, and then we heard Pelosi’s infamous line. The Democrat controlled Congress and executive branch ignore the public’s wishes and rammed it through anyway. Hooray for debate and dialogue!

What Pelosi said was stupid and obviously untrue. No hard copy, who cares? Thomas.loc.gov had the thing online since October of 2009. Congress doesn’t make it’s decision via polling, we don’t approve legislation by referendum, the fact that a bill is unpopular is not really relevant.

One difference between Ds and Rs–Republicans listen, even if remotely. Harriet Meiers, the Amnesty push by Bush, the Dubai port deal. They relented. The Democrats, on the other hand, give us the finger and surge forward.

They dropped the public option. Both parties will drop things when they become political liabilities for whatever reason. Obama didn’t close Gitmo either, Obama compromised with the GOP t extend upper class tax cuts too. Doesn’t sound like giving the finger to me.

Merry Christmas.

conservative pilgrim on December 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Same to you. Have a great vacation.

Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Does this mean we will have to have a prescription to buy herbs and vitamins now? So much for self-medicating…I have hundreds of dollars invested in my supplements to try to stay healthy…They want us completely under their control so they can determine whether we live or die….My arthritis is starting to bother me just thinking about it…

theaddora on December 20, 2010 at 11:22 AM

So I have been calling around to my representatives. Chaffetz’s office said they would vote against it, but the Dem in my state said this is a done deal and is going to the President’s desk–it is not going back to the House. Anyone know?

I called Coburn from Oklahoma, who said that his office would be releasing a statement explaining why he sold out. His office also said that there had been changes to the bill, but didn’t specify them.

Hatch’s office thought he’d voted against it. Seriously, they were surprised when I told them that Hatch had voted for it. And Bennett? Can’t reach him, he’s fired everyone.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Didn’t the NEUTERATI REPUBS vow no bills shall pass without filibuster until a budget bill was passed?

Vote the lyin sacks-o-S… OUT ALL OF EM!

dhunter on December 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM

I’m more convinced than ever that the ballot box simply isn’t the answer anymore.

Been patient, tried that, didn’t work – still being tyrranized from afar.

Solutions left available are thin.

Midas on December 20, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Do you understand large agricultural corporations receive federal subsidies for producing food?
The notion that they are more efficient is a lie in the face of this reality.
They are being subsidized by taxpayers.
Your food is SUBSIDIZED by the federal government.
In fact, most small producers of agricultural products receive very little in the form of direct payments.
Most subsidies received by small ag producers are in the form of federally backed loans, much like federally backed student loans.
It is a loan they get through a bank & they pay on it like every other loan, except that it is backed by the feds.
If big agriculture corporations are so efficient, why do they feel the need to take tax payer money?

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Hatch and Coburn both have said that there were a lot of last minute amendments made, or rather that the bill passed was the House version from like 2 weeks ago. They told me that they had addressed all the small farmer concerns, and that this is not the horrific monstrosity that it had been.

Anyone know the truth?

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I don’t want your friends to go out of business but the fact of the matter is that if some big company can make food better and cheaper than your friends can hire lobbyists to ensure competition-killing legislation is passed, that’s just how business works.
 
Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

 
FIFY.

rogerb on December 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Here is just one example of what this bill did: on seeds.

Let’s say you grow tomatoes for a living. You have, oh, 40 acres of tomatoes. Next year, you plan on growing tomatoes again. You have two choices: Buy brand new seed for maybe 5-6 thousand dollars (or some amount) or, you could save the seeds from a few of your current tomatoes and replant. Obviously, you choose the later.

Except now, seeds are considered “food” under this bill. In order to safely process them, you have to buy a whole bunch of sanitized, clean room technology to wash and store your seeds, at a ginormous cost. Or you can bite the bullet and pay Montsano for your seeds. Guess what? Montsano just got a large business, because you can’t have dirt on your seeds now.

After all, it’s not like seeds are meant to be dirty, right? That’s how idiotic and stacked against the small farmer this bill was. Your mega farm, that has 50,000 acres, probably can afford to drop 250 thousand for a seed cleaner that is now legal. I can’t.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:46 AM

FIFY.

rogerb on December 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM

That is exactly how it is.
Nice job.

Your mega farm, that has 50,000 acres, probably can afford to drop 250 thousand for a seed cleaner that is now legal. I can’t.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Exactly as I said above.
These megacorporations, many of whom actually receive food/crop subsidies, can afford to comply with onerous regulations bcs they’ve got the stash of capital set aside, plus their competitors are being forced out of business by all of this.
So naturally, they will end up with more customers.
This has been happening in ALL business.
In their desire to be ‘safe’, these moronic Americans who think this all is good are completely blind to the fact that large ag is not necessarily more efficient.
They just have bigger numbers, receive larger subsidies, & have the PADDING to be able to withstand bad times.
While I comply with fuel tank regulations, etc, I am being nickeled & dimed to death in order to comply with things that have NO BEARING ON SAFETY.
You & I know this bcs we are involved in agriculture.
The people who have no tie to the farm or ranch have often no clue how food is produced.
Shameful.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I don’t want your friends to go out of business but the fact of the matter is that if some big company can make food better and cheaper than your friends can, that’s just how business works. I don’t sob for the newspaper industry and I didn’t sob when the last typewriter factory closed either.

There’s a big difference between “better and cheaper” and simply having the scale to exploit government-imposed market distortions. Some of the others have gotten more specific about advantages of big operators in terms of government subsidies and government compliance. This is not market economy, it’s corporatism.

forest on December 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

forest on December 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

You are correct.
And in a lot of cases, food products can be less safe when produced on a huge scale.
I don’t want people to think their food is not generally safe, bcs it really is.
But it is much easier to lose sight of safety when you have huge numbers, compared to one with smaller numbers.
And for those of you who buy the massed processed food, you are not getting high quality.
That is why so many people have chosen to buy local.
The food is fresher, does not need to be pumped with nutrients that were lost, tastes a lot better, and you get to see the guy’s/family’s face most of the time when you are buying a local product.
Like for instance, if someone were to buy a beef from us, they would know who the critter was, how he was fed, & what chemicals or no chemicals went into his body.
Bcs I will tell them.
And I can stand by it.
I buy beef on occassion from the store to see what it tastes like.
I’m telling you folks, you are missing out.
Grass fed & corn fed are 2 different balls of wax.
I like my corn fed NY Strips, but I also enjoy my grass fed T-bones.
People should have right to those choices & more.
With legislation like this, your choices get narrowed down to large processors who produce but one thing.
Think about when you travel across the US & how many chain restaraunts there are vs local.
Do you really only want to have the choice of eating at Applebee’s or McDonald’s everywhere you go?

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 12:04 PM

“I’d be OK with that. Small farms are not economically efficient. I know we love the idea of small farmers but those resources could be used more efficiently in other ways. Industries rise and fall. Big firms tend to be better at what they do than small firms. Boo hoo.”

Fool. If the government allows FREE MARKETS to work then small farms can survive in an area that values locally grown food, especially if the quality is higher. They become “not economically efficient” only when the government doles out BILLIONS in BigAg subsidies AND hammers BigAg’s competition with expensive unnecessary regulations. Are you ok with the government destroying small family businesses like local Farmer’s Markets, small dairy farmers and small producers??

EasyEight on December 20, 2010 at 12:06 PM

You have a lot to learn about farming & ranching.

Badger40

He has a lot to learn about….well, pretty much everything.

xblade on December 20, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Once again, Republicans prove that they Still Don’t Get It.

Socratease on December 20, 2010 at 12:11 PM

EasyEight on December 20, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Notice how this would probably kill off all of the efforts that many schools have implemented to feed their children healthier meals by buying from local producers.
School children will be promised the bland, disgusting fare they have had ever since this ridiculous program has been implemented.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 12:12 PM

If the Senate produces a minibus anyway, then this gift to Reid is a strange totally predictable expected inevitable typical just another collapse by the Senate GOP.

deepdiver on December 20, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Rumor had it that the Democrats wanted a blend of CR and omnibus that would set funding for the rest of the year on some key agencies, and the GOP want to go through a normal budget process instead.

OMG, the Republican party is such a joke. They let this bill through to keep the Democrats from shutting down the government? The Democrats would have been fools to light a fire under spending after it had died down. There’s no way they would have done that. So that means the Republican party gave them the farm bill for free, without a fight for America that we would have won!

How pathetic, but typical.

FloatingRock on December 20, 2010 at 12:28 PM

We have to deal with Democrats the same way we have to deal with North Korea or any other bully. You have to call their bluff.

The Lame Duck Republican leadership are Chamberlainesque candyasses.

FloatingRock on December 20, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Didn’t I see a story last week that Soros had moved some investments in preparation regarding this law getting passed?

So of course it passed. I mean Soros could stand to lose large sums of money if his investments go south, buying some Congresspeople is cheaper than taking a loss like that.

gekkobear on December 20, 2010 at 12:35 PM

the fact of the matter is that if some big company can make food better and cheaper than your friends can, that’s just how business works
Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

If, on a level playing field, the big companies won out because they could produce everything “better and cheaper,” then I’d agree with you. However, the only reason that the big companies are going to succeed in this case is that Congress has tilted the playing field in their favor. It’s certainly not going to be because they produce a better and cheaper product.

It’s not because I long for the “good old days” that I find this “food safety” bill reprehensible. It’s because I like the variety and generally better quality produced by the independents. We’re going to lose much of that because of this misguided legislation.

What irks me more is that this legislation was a kneejerk reaction to a non-problem. Food has become more safe over the past two decades. It’s just the 24-hour/day media hype that amplifies any issue until it seems like Armageddon has befallen us.

RedinPDRM on December 20, 2010 at 12:41 PM

OMG, this is my second rant on this egregious power grab by our own American Politburo. This is unacceptable. Now comes the monumental task of unwinding another repressive Progressive policy that seeks to indenture the average citizen to a massive Agribusiness cabal. Hell, I would have rather had the “Nightmare Act” instead of this powerful foot on our throats. At least you can see the Nightmare act at work. This bill works in the shadows and envelops the fringes of our liberty.
These despots have effectively brought several pillars of human sustenance under direct control of the Federal Government, i.e Healthcare, Food, Water, Energy, and if that Communist Genachowski gets his way tomorrow, our last vestige of true Freedom of Speech, the internet.
While our attention is on social issues the malevolent maniacal Progressive jerks are plotting the theft of our individual liberty. I’m so damn mad I cannot speak without cursing.

OneCleverCookie on December 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

The GOP is nothing more than the SLOWER PROGRESSIVE PARTY.

It’s over for this country, we’ve lost the political will and the cultural will to “WIN” battles in the public square.

The majority of people in this country are more engaged in their kids schedules and day to day “who’s picking up Micala and Matthew” than they are our disappearing Republic.

The only thing left is how the end will be written, and who will write it.

PappyD61 on December 20, 2010 at 12:58 PM

DOTUS TO-DO-LIST:

Destroy the Food production of the worlds’ breadbasket. CHECK!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Neutralino/gm-salmon-fda-begins-proc_n_695300_58636644.html

We’ll get to that ideal population of one billion on Earth, just keep watching.

PappyD61 on December 20, 2010 at 1:02 PM

SB 510 – The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010

Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL]

Cosponsors:

Lamar Alexander [R-TN]

Jeff Bingaman [D-NM]

Richard Burr [R-NC]

Roland Burris [D-IL]

Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]

Christopher Dodd [D-CT]

Michael Enzi [R-WY]

Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]

Judd Gregg [R-NH]

Thomas Harkin [D-IA]

Orrin Hatch [R-UT]

John Isakson [R-GA]

Taken from AT article on Food Safety Bill.

journeyintothewhirlwind on December 20, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Sunday inserted language into a short-term continuing resolution ensuring that a handful of counties in Nevada and other states receive royalties from geothermal development projects.

Roll Call.

Harry is porking up the CR.

Wethal on December 20, 2010 at 1:16 PM

The majority of people in this country are more engaged in their kids schedules and day to day “who’s picking up Micala and Matthew” than they are our disappearing Republic.

The only thing left is how the end will be written, and who will write it.

PappyD61 on December 20, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Too true. Everytime I watch the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I get chills when Theoden is being dressed in his armor and asks, “How did it come to this?” And I think, by people living their lives and not giving any attention to the evil spreading and growing so close to their borders, until it is too strong and widespread… Just like us. We have been like the hobbits, obliviously fat, dumb, and happy…

Now, we are all slaves, having sold ourselves to big government (That includes the sorry GOP), and most people don’t even realise it, yet. My own family doesn’t want to hear about it when we get together, because it’s such a downer. Well, they ain’t seen nothing yet.

What’s going on with the internet regulation they’re supposed to be ramming through by the 21st that I’ve been getting emails about?

pannw on December 20, 2010 at 1:18 PM

People still think we live in a constitutional republic under rule of law?

How quaint.

Rebar on December 20, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Are we surprised by this. It’s the GOP the party of the spineless RINO’s who are the dumbest, most inept politicians in the world. PLEASE, PLEASE, throw them out of office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

flytier on December 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM

“without any obections.”

The new leadership banner of these insipid poltroons we call a Republican party.

rrpjr on December 20, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Seriously – WTF?

Didn’t we just have a big election, where we “won” big? Where we stated no more of this progressive agenda?

Now we have DADT repeal, and this food nonsense, and who knows what else, passed in the middle of the night on a Sunday by a lame duck congress – the very people we just fired.

If we won so big, why does it feel like we’re getting the crap beaten out of us? How did this happen?

Rebar on December 20, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Food has become more safe over the past two decades. It’s just the 24-hour/day media hype that amplifies any issue until it seems like Armageddon has befallen us.

RedinPDRM on December 20, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Food borne illnesses are actually very rare.
And a lot of it has to do with personal preparation & personal food storage techniques.
Illneses like BSE (aka Mad Cow) are also EXTREMELY rare & as of to date, all cows that ever ended up with it in the US were all from Canada/Canadian origin.
And if people would wise up about the process of food irradiation, we could avoid many of the few that do happen.
In the end, the consumer should be the one with the brain & personal responsibility to decide what goes into their bodies.
ALcohol is a poison to the body, & yet people can consume it.
If I want to drink raw milk, that should be MY business, not the govt’s.
, etc etc etc.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 2:14 PM

…That’s the other big industry, scamming the feds.

Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 11:16 AM

That’s the other big industry, scamming the feds SCREWING the producers and tax-payers.

FIFY!

belad on December 20, 2010 at 2:14 PM

If we won so big, why does it feel like we’re getting the crap beaten out of us? How did this happen?

Rebar on December 20, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Look at the leadership. What changed? Nothing. These people are too deeply conditioned to, too compulsively drawn toward, too profoundly stricken with political inferiority around, liberal cultural and political preeminence. The necessity of conciliation and compromise with it is unshakeable. It is quite beyond them to ever — and I mean EVER — understand the fullness and implications of a message like November 2nd.

Forget it. There is no hope with these people.

rrpjr on December 20, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Yeah, that reminds me of the Pinto – not the bean, the car. Ford had looked at the dangers of the Pinto and had their accountants estimate how much it would cost for them to recall the car and how much it would cost them to pay out settlements to all the people that died when their cars exploded, and they realized it would be more efficient to pay out the settlements.
Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Go educate yourself. The exploding Pinto is/was/and forever shall be a myth.

BierManVA on December 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

bastages!

sandspur on December 20, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Every last one of the members of the Senate should be taken out and horsewhipped, even the “good ones” They need to understand just how pissed off America is.

This is disastrous legislation.

People keep talking about repealing the 17th Amendment. Forget that. Crap like this is a strong case for term limits. If we don’t force the issue, and make sure these worthless fools can’t be forced to go do something else, we will never be able to fix government. To stop it from overreaching.

No career congresscritters. NONE.

gary4205 on December 20, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Didn’t I read that Soros recently bought a large stake in Monsanto? Why yes. Yes I did.

Soros also purchased 897,813 shares of Monsanto–his second-largest holding on a dollar basis–during the quarter. The position is now valued at $312.6 million.

Opinionator on December 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Please sign this petition to try to stop it in the House…unless it’s already too late… just sign it! Emphasis mine.

NaturalNews.com has asked its hundreds of thousands of supporters, including myself and other supporters in your district, to alert you to our concern that the Food Safety Modernization Act (now HR 2751) would severely harm many smaller, local farms and organic producer growers who operate above the $500,000 “exempt” level and yet are still small, family-farm operations that provide local jobs and local food.

To even qualify for exempt status under the Food Safety Modernization Act, small farms must provide three years of financial records and extensive food safety documentation to the FDA, creating an onerous documentation burden that could force many small, local farmers out of business. This would drive up the price of local, organic food by reducing the supply of food available through CSA operations and local farmers markets.

The Food Safety Modernization Act places small farmers in the position of needing to “apply” for permission to grow their own food. Farming and gardening has traditionally been viewed as a natural right of American citizens, but through the mere act of offering to share food with local neighbors and community members through a weekend farmer’s market booth, for example, a person must now give up their natural right to produce food and instead apply for permission from the federal government – even if they are only selling a few thousand dollars worth of jellies and jams each year.

While there is no question that food safety has been lacking at the large, multi-million-dollar corporate food producers, this Food Safety Modernization Act would threaten the livelihoods of tens of thousands of small family farmers who farm as little as ten acres of land and yet still exceed the $500,000 earnings level in food sales revenue, even without making much of a profit in the end. To place a large paperwork burden upon the backs and shoulders of these small, local farms — many of whom are organic farmers — will force many of them out of business and reduce the supply of fresh, local produce to the people in your district.

I urge you to oppose the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act as currently written. While the notion of food safety is obviously an important one, this Act could devastate small, local growers, forcing many of them out of business and causing more people to resort to eating processed, packaged “factory” foods that have been sterilized and pasteurized which, as you may know, greatly decreases their nutritional value.

For our own health, and for food sustainability and security, we must save our small, local farms from being regulated out of existence by the FDA.

Please oppose the Food Safety Modernization Act (HR 2751).

NTWR on December 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM

They get govt payments, too.

Make that coerced funds taken from taxpayers for subsidies.

Remove subsidy programs across the board.

maverick muse on December 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Oops here’s the link to that petition.

NTWR on December 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM

As Rush put it last Friday, Congress is raping the American voters whose election results resounded NO! NO MORE. STOP!

maverick muse on December 20, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Go educate yourself. The exploding Pinto is/was/and forever shall be a myth.

BierManVA on December 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Well he can go here for a start.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Remove subsidy programs across the board.

maverick muse on December 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM

And of course crippling onerous regulations at the same time.
Your food will jump in price.
I imagine that alone will cause many ‘conservatives’ to belly ache.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Also note certain food prices.
Notice how beef is very expensive.
Pure beef producers/feeders etc don’t receive direct ‘beef’ payments like wheat farmers, etc receive.
Kind of interesting to me.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 2:52 PM

who farm as little as ten acres of land and yet still exceed the $500,000 earnings level in food sales revenue, even without making much of a profit in the end
NTWR on December 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM

And see I don’t understand whether this $500K figure is gross sales or net, after expenses,
It’s easy to gross that much in agriculture if you have any size at all & make it your living.
But I’m not sure hobby farmers are making this knid of dough.
Expenses really eat up the bottom line tho in ag production.
Equipment, manpower (lack of it, rather: can’t find people who will work in ag for the wages it pays), chemical, fertilizers (they have SKYROCKETED) + FUEL costs.
A couple of years ago we spent over $14,000 in fuel on our ranch.
We quit making hay as a result & now buy it.
And you cannot believe what it costs to fix equipment, even old equipment.
And now with CAFE standards kicking in for off road/Ag vehicles, the price for old equipment (which will be exempt under those standards) is going to go up, I’m sure.
Farming & ranching are very thin margin businesses.
With govt intervening & meddling in another way, it could be the death knell for many who have been hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Why do the headlines seem really interesting when I am just too busy to read the story?

Urrrrggggg.

petunia on December 20, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Badger40

He has a lot to learn about….well, pretty much everything.

xblade on December 20, 2010 at 12:09 PM

LOL SO true!!!

right4life on December 20, 2010 at 3:36 PM

When government meddles in business, business gets to meddle back to its own benefit.

Can we please stop supporting big business with welfare from the government and regulations set to help it and stop up and coming small businesses from challenging them? This is not about ‘food safety’ but securing the position of large businesses in the agricultural sector by government regulatory fiat so that they cannot be challenged by smaller firms. Smaller farmers cannot bear the regulatory burden that larger ones can and, once they are out of the picture, large businesses then have an oligopoly position guaranteed by government intervention on their behalf.

Hey, if these big businesses are so efficient they don’t NEED any protection or ‘help’ from government: they can just outcompete smaller competitors. This is the insanity of regulation by government and it must end.

The Dept. of Agriculture must go, along with the FDA… amongst many, many other tentacles of government. This insanity must end and government must get out of the business of ‘helping’ businesses that stifles the small and start-up businesses to the benefit of the big businesses that really should need no help at all.

ajacksonian on December 20, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Well, looking at the state’s budget crises and this post and our current debt limit, I don’t know that I have to worry about it. Who’s gonna stop me from growing food once the riots start after the power goes out? I will have to hire a couple of people with guns to protect my land, but paying them a good “3 hots and a cot” will do wonders.

Is it just me or is it starting to rapidly look like the end of the country? We can’t afford any of this nonsense, so the government is going to collapse soon (next few years), along with the dollar and the rest of the economy. The only ones left standing will be the producers.

Vanceone on December 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Yeah, that reminds me of the Pinto…
 
Proud Rino on December 20, 2010 at 10:17 AM

 
Wait, the Pinto that met all the federal automotive safety regulations that were in place at the time?

rogerb on December 20, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Does this mean we will have to have a prescription to buy herbs and vitamins now?

theaddora on December 20, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Nobody addressed this, so I’ll give it a shot.

Part of the problem is they snuck in a lot of amendments, so no one (but the legilators) is sur what it will do. Prescriptions for vitamins? No. Reduced availability and potency of supplements? Probably.

The act doesn’t directly do that, it’s the enhanced power for the FDA and connection to things like the Codex Alimentarius that could do that. If the FDA starts using Codex standards for food safety, I’m personally screwed because one that affects me is set too high in the Codex, so suddenly a product that’s marked as safe for me (I have a particular condition) could be unsafe.

Those behind the Codex have also been trying to go after vitamin, mineral and herb supplements, so this could be a backdoor to regulating those. One example is the “official” Enzyme CoQ10 dose of 35mg, which is USELESS. Significant clinical results occur at 200mg and up, I’m on 400mg/day because I have a relevant condition. I’d go from spending $2/day on it to probably $6/day if they “banned” the high dose pills. OR you could pay through the nose through your insurance for a prescription version.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to make sure everything, everywhere in the entire universe has a bureaucrat of sufficient rank to monitor or control it. So think in those terms.

Merovign on December 20, 2010 at 4:27 PM

this proves yet again, that to the gays their agenda is more important than national security or anything else. if the gays were so ‘patriotic’ they could continue to serve as they do now. but the forced acceptance of their lifestyle is the most important thing to them.

right4life on December 20, 2010 at 4:34 PM

ooops wrong thread…sorry

right4life on December 20, 2010 at 4:35 PM

Same GOP half-measures.
Only solution is a Third Party.

joshlbetts on December 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Those whose gross sales are less than $500,000 annually and sell direct to the public are exempt.

The bill is bad enough as it is, so PLEASE don’t start telling me that the Federalies are coming to take your neighborhood garden and nationalize it, or that a poor widow woman cannot sell a few eggs at the county farmers market.

Kermit on December 20, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Meaning nobody got their fingerprints on it. Great. Way to push the transparency, guys.

mojo on December 20, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Same GOP half-measures.
Only solution is a Third Party.

joshlbetts on December 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM

At least wait until the next congress comes in. These are all the same old people. What do you expect from a Senate that repealed DADT?
They are burning down as much of America as they can before they leave. They’re like the Clintons leaving the White House, taking as much as they can with them.
I never consider anything dead anymore. This bill was suppose to have been dead. Repealing DADT was supposedly had failed. You read a bill dies and then the next day you wake up and it was passed.
I’m still expecting the Dream Act to pass before they leave.

JellyToast on December 20, 2010 at 5:07 PM

They had Harry Reid on the hook for fouling up a food-safety bill that the Wall Street Journal called a bonanza for big producers.

Why would they agree to this?

Answered your own question you have.

I’m sure this will make Monsanto and other big companies very happy with their bought and paid for Republicrats.

Benaiah on December 20, 2010 at 5:16 PM

ajacksonian on December 20, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Well & and simply said.
Too bad many people have no common sense.

Badger40 on December 20, 2010 at 5:17 PM

This is not the “free market”. It is rigged, engineered if you will, to the advantage of Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto Company, Cargill, etc. It is anti-freedom, anti-liberty, and anti-free markets. It is “Crony Capitalism”, better known as Fascism.

I am not engaging in hyperbole. Look up the economic philosophy of Fascism. It is almost always described as, I am paraphrasing, large government favored corporate entities working in tandem with a corrupt government to control the proletariat.

I am outraged at the Republican Leadership. These people are fascist enablers, if not outright fascist themselves.

DeathB4Tyranny on December 20, 2010 at 6:38 PM

And see I don’t understand whether this $500K figure is gross sales or net, after expenses, Badger40

It doesn’t really matter since soon we’ll all be “making” upwards of $500k and not have any additional buying power thanks to Congress, Bernanke and the ensuing hyperinflation headed our way.

NTWR on December 20, 2010 at 7:36 PM

DeathB4Tyranny on December 20, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Exactly right. Sad but true.

NTWR on December 20, 2010 at 7:41 PM

I seriously think that this bill is more dangerous in the long term than ObamaCare. ObamaCare on it’s face cannot survive without major overhaul as it is, it’s simply unsustainable on almost every level. It’s already being exposed as unconstitutional and as more points are examined, the pile-on will begin.

This on the other hand is largely a stealth bill. Most everyday Americans won’t see the results of the bill and the results that are seen will be easily disguised by other factors.

I called Sessions office this AM at 8 (guess what, nobody there yet) to ask why A) They would pass this by unanimous consent and B) why he would allow this to go in like this at 8 PM on a Saturday (the time news media reported the event).

The only retort from Sessions staffer was that I was seriously uninformed because it passed at 6PM on a Sunday and not 8 and that it wasn’t U.C. but a voice vote. When I asked if those insignificant points changed the reasoning for passage and she said “YES”. Needless to say I was dumbfounded.

Further, I inquired if staffers were getting extra pay for lame duck weekend sessions, the answer. . . YES. . . overtime AND holiday pay. Let’s also not forget, that the “reason” she was so adamant that the bill didn’t pass at 8PM and rather 6PM, was that Sessions and his staff was attending a “holiday” party at 8 PM . . . .WONDERFUL FOR THEM!

This S*IT cannot continue to stand. . .end lame ducks. . . end bills passing without open floor debate and without being read and . . . .STOP PASSING LEGISLATION ON WEEKEND NIGHTS.

If we can’t go get our drivers license renewed or buy a business license on Sunday evening, nation changing legislation shouldn’t be allowed either!!!!

Jason Coleman on December 20, 2010 at 7:54 PM

You guys don’t get it. ProudRino isn’t ignorant of the facts. PR doesn’t give a rat’s ass. People like PR do not believe that the sole legitimacy of a State is founded upon a mandate to preserve and protect individual liberty.

They’re sick puppies that hold that classic progressive belief that the ends justify the means. If fascism is our destiny, its because communism is too difficult to achieve. Either way, the two socialist concepts are built upon the construct that free people left to their own ambitions cause social disorder with unpredictable results. Instead, human energy needs to be harnessed to conform to the visions of a select few.

Fundamentally, they believe the greater good is embodied in the State, which necessarily subordinates the individual to the needs of the State. If fascist mechanisms expedite the desired results, then so be it. They’ll deny it all day long, because they don’t like the word “fascist”, but it is what it is.

If I were you, I wouldn’t waste my time with ProudRino. You’re dealing with someone that is proud of fraud. Is there any doubt that the shoe fits?

Saltysam on December 20, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Jason Coleman on December 20, 2010 at 7:54 PM

The only thing I can add to what he said is, “The 111th stinks.”

itsacookbook on December 20, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Whattheheck is WRONG with the GOP?

I mean, whattheheck is WRONG with them?

Lourdes on December 20, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Talk about “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…”

It’s not just this foolish, fascist latest thing from Harry and Nancy and Barry, it’s the overall defeatism by the GOP in rolling over for this bunch without so much as an explanation to every single voter who was ready and willing to vote for the GOP ticket whoever runs.

And now look. IN just a few short weeks, the Lame Duckers have made the GOP look like idiots and I’m starting to think they are idiots. Food Safety Bill, DADT repeal, now likely START.

So now any liklihood the GOP assumed they had for any victory in 2012, they’re going to have to rethink. Which does not mean I’d ever vote for Obama or any Democrat, but the support willingness for the GOP has just slid off the plate.

Lourdes on December 20, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Small businesses take it in the ass again. Thanks, idiot Senate Republicans — for nothing worse than nothing.

hillbillyjim on December 20, 2010 at 11:45 PM

I remember when all the pundits, including Charles K., were saying that this, like all other lame duck sessions, will produce nothing! “it is tradition to avoid controversial bills” they said….The congress will just name a few post offices. Lets see:
DATD
Tax Extension
Food Control
Land Omnibus
START
….I’ve lost count.

IT IS TIME TO END THE LAME DUCK SESSIONS FOREVER!

JeffVader on December 21, 2010 at 5:21 AM

This is sickening, just sickening… Small farms are going to be bogged down in paperwork.

Fallon on December 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

DeathB4Tyranny on December 20, 2010 at 6:38 PM

It is exactly why when you go anywhere that there are fewer & fewer & fewer choices in the marketplace.
Think about the very few companies that process & grow/sell food here in America.
Think about all of the products that are made & sold here in America.
Take a look at how companies have been constantly merging.
They do it to survive, yes.
But consolidating to survive as a business in this country is not really bcs of higher efficiency.
As many of us have said here, & you yourself, they do it bcs only the gigantic can survive this myriad of brick walls placed in the paths of small businesses BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

Saltysam on December 20, 2010 at 8:41 PM

I believe your summation of PR is correct.
He seems very willing to advocate the suspension or confiscation of liberty under the guise of making things ‘better’ somehow.
While it’s true that there needs to be some referee regarding interstate commerce, hence its inclusion in the Const as an enumerated power to the Feds, big business etc has long lobbied Congress in order to eliminate their mom & pop competition.
Many towns now, for instance, are completely at the mercy of only a few stores, i.e. a WalMart.
Rural towns I have seen are most affected by this.
TRaveling across America as I have over the years, by driving, I have noticed the disappearance of choices in small towns, only to be replaced by a centrally located Super WalMart & nothing else within a 100 miles is to be had.
This is not a good thing.
And it has happened courtesy of the Federal Govt.

Badger40 on December 21, 2010 at 11:40 AM