Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

December 18, 2011

Flogging FDA

Filed under: gardening, Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , — paragardener @ 6:29 pm

Almost a year in, how has the Food Safety Modernization Act been affecting your food? Well, it didn’t prevent an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe, which killed thirty people, the worst listeria outbreak of decades. When FDA inspectors arrived at the Jensen Farms facility that was sending out contaminated melons, they found water pooled on the floor, dirt on the machinery and a truck parked outside with cow manure all over the tires — conditions that were substandard under the old laws, too.

Small farmers were supposed to be exempted from newly excruciating Good Agricultural Practices requirements imposed by the Act. However, the exemption was written so narrowly that experts at the Michigan State Extension Service say it “creates confusion and false hope among small growers that expect to sell their crop without requiring attending or implementing a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program in their farms.”

A farm-to-fork dinner for a Community Supported Agriculture project straddling Utah and Nevada was raided and all of the food destroyed, largely because the food was approved in Utah but was to be eaten in Nevada. We’re talking about local farmers using organic technique and working with a certified chef, here. Who does the local health department think they saved? However, it doesn’t look like the Food Safety Modernization act was invoked. It wasn’t needed, since (I’m not making this up), sliced vegetables may be seized as biohazard material.

Neither was the FSMA needed to enable FDA raids on the Rawesome raw milk collective (crime: live food), or Maxam Nutraceuticals (crime: posted customer testimonials to their website). The Food Safety Modernization Act may not be relevant because the food and medical regulatory system has been tooled to go after small guys since an early time, when agents closed down all of Dr. Hoxsey’s cancer treatment clinics and smashed all of Dr. Reich’s orgone accumulator boxes. The worst scenarios of FSMA-empowered FDA agents raiding kitchen gardens have not come to pass, but look forward to government authorities continually leaning on the alternatives to Hot Pockets and McDonald’s. It’s what they do.

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