ok, I was cannning my purple pole beans. I got the water boiling in the canner, put the pint jars in, put the lid on. Waited for the whistling of the vent to begin, and allowed the steam to go for 5 minutes. I put the 5 lb weight onto the valve and walked away, knowing from experience that Where I was, I would be able to hear the pressure weight rocking and could adjust the heat accordingly. The weight never rocked, instead I heard a pop and a roar of steam. My pressure canner exploded. I told you I wasn't looking forward to the rest of yesterday.
Today I am off to a Town Hall meeting with Jerry Moran. Now he is not my districts rep, but he is running for Senate in 2010, and I have a few things I want to talk about. And believe it or not, it has nothing to do with health care, unless the FDA and USDA have decided to put their sticky little fingers into that as well. I want to talk about the fact that the USDA should be forced to do their job before expanding their programs. The USDA was sued by a meat packing plant because the packing plant wanted more frequent inspections, what is required by law, then they were getting. The USDA wasn't willing to inspect on a regular basis. The packing plant won, and the USDA was told to do their job. I don't see why if they aren't able or willing to do basic inspection of food processing plants that they should be allowed to mess with artisan foods and direct farm to consumer sales, ie HR 2749 (which if you missed it was passed last month). Nor do I believe that, even with a now reduce budget, that they should be given money out to "bribe" youth farming programs to help "educate" their idiot parents.
HR 2749 has several problems, CU’s statement that the registration requirements do not apply to farms depends on one’s definition of “farm.” While the statute excludes “farms,” the FDA’s current regulations take a very narrow view of what qualifies. Under the existing regulations, a place that grows food and does any processing of that food for sale would not be a farm, and thus would be subject to HR 2749. See 21 CFR § 1.227(3) and (6). In other words, a farm that washes greens, cut vegetables, or dries fruit before selling it would be forced to register and pay the annual fee under the regulatory definition of “farm.” This also goes on to include your artisan breads, and jams. If you sell those items, you too will be fair game. Now this bill might not affect your backyard as once feared, but it affects mine. As does the regulations for NAIS. I have animal product that is sold to the public, things that leave my property, just because I am a small land owner doesn't mean I get to be exempt from this Hell.
Jerry Moran is indeed against all of this, but I need to have my say. I don't like the feeling that people that don't ever have anything to do with their food except to eat it, are making these decisions. That Lobbyists for Monsanto had a heck of a lot to do with these programs (a rep is married to one).
Under HR 2749, the HHS Secretary would have the power to prohibit ALL MOVEMENT of ALL FOOD within a geographic area. No court order is needed to exercise this power. The Secretary only has to notify the appropriate official of the State(s) affected and issue a public announcement. [7a]
- [7a] Section 133(b)–pp. 98-99
HR 2749 requires the HHS Secretary to issue “science-based performance standards . . . applicable to foods or food classes.” The Secretary is to “identify the most significant foodborne contaminants and the most significant resulting hazards . . . and to minimize to an acceptable level, prevent or eliminate the occurrence of such hazards.” [8a] FDA would have the power to make pasteurization of all raw milk a performance standard. Based on both its public statements and its record of taking enforcement actions against farmers, FDA is vehemently opposed to the consumption of raw milk and would like to ban its distribution.
Even if FDA does not issue a performance standard requiring pasteurization, the likelihood is that if HR 2749 passes into law, the agency will be increasing its enforcement actions against raw milk producers whose products cross state lines. FDA has indicated that raw milk is a priority item with the agency; with the passage of HR 2749, it would have much greater resources to go after raw milk than it did before. FDA could take enforcement action directly or through state agencies funded by FDA.