Small Victory — S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, Has Been Modified

You win some, you lose some; small/local farmers and ranches are still locked in the bill’s cross-hairs, though, and much work remains while we still have time.

A quick update on what I wrote about yesterday in reference to this bill; this snippet from the Downsize DC organization:

Word comes that we’ve won another small victory in Congress

Thanks to public pressure, including lots of pressure from DC Downsizers, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), has been modified!

The new version of the bill now exempts dietary supplements from possible future regulation through the ominous sounding Codex Alimentarius.

The idea was to start making your vitamins comply with international rules. We’ve dodged that bullet, but we can’t yet say that it’s a final victory . . .

* No one knows what will happen when the so-called food safety bill goes to conference committee
* And it’s still possible Senator McCain could revive his original vitamin bill

In addition, the Food Safety Bill itself WILL pass. It simply has too much support from corporate welfare interests, while we have too few members of the Downsize DC Army, and related groups, to fight against it. So, here’s where things are heading . . .

Our government is squeezing small businesses to extinction, by constantly erecting regulatory schemes with which only big companies can afford to comply.

In this case the victims are small family farms, but in other cases, like the recent new lead regulations, the victims were small toy makers, Mom and Pop retailers, and thrift stores. Remember . . .

Mattel was responsible for the scare over lead in toys, but Mattel was also in favor of the new regulations that resulted from Mattel’s mistake. Why? Because Mattel could afford to comply with the regulations, while many, small competing toy makers could not. Thus, thanks to government regulations, Mattel has benefited by thinning-out its competition. It’s wrong to profit from your own screw-up, and it takes a State (coercive, Big Government) to make such a thing happen.

This is increasingly what it means to live in The United States of Corporate Welfare . . .

* Small businesses get regulated out of existence
* The remaining businesses are too big to fail
* Big businesses know that they’re considered too big to fail, and so they feel free to take big risks that often result in big disasters
* The little guy then gets taxed to bail out the big guy, and
* More regulations are created that kill more little guys

Please go to the Downsize DC website, register (it’s free!), and join the fray.  The local farmer and ranchers will appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.  This isn’t the end of the fight.

*August 26, 2010 edit: S.510 has been revised since this the time of post, with the new version being a bit more palatable.  See this for a concise rundown of the revisions.

4/15/10; MetCon for Sprinters and, Posturing for a New Round of NAIS Grand-Standing

…and a new round of attempted power-grabbing.

First off, thanks to Starbucks for softening the blow of tax day here in the US with an offer to fill your reusable travel mug with free coffee.  A day with good, free coffee can’t be all that bad, can it?  Good for the environment (the reusable mug, that is), and good for your caffeine jones.

Now, do you appreciate easy access to supplements, grass-fed/free-range protein, and all manner of locally-grown, organic produce?  Keep a close eye, then, on the FDA and the McCain bunch, because here come the scare tactics.  These types of problems simply don’t exist with locally-raised/pastured livestock, yet politicians and government entities fail to recognize this fact.  Anyway, standby for more of propaganda — these are the preliminary body-blows that serve to soften one up for the knock-out punch.  And, of course, what use is a politician without a boogie-man to protect us from?

I wrote about this issue previously, here.  But don’t for a minute think that this attempted power-grab (or, more specifically, Senate Bill S.510) is completely dead.  There’s far too much opportunity for profit and control to be had.  No need for me to elaborate any further on this, as Marti Oakley at the Proud Political Junky blog has already done the heavy lifting on this one.

*Late edit (4/16/10)*  Also see Diana Hsieh’s related post here, at her blog Modern Paleo.

Remember folks, he “…who controls the food supply, controls the people…”  If I’m not mistaken, that’s a piece of a longer, Henry Kissinger quote.  Regardless of who said it, though, the sentiment is spot-on.  Let your elected officials know that you want them to keep the hell out of your relationship with your local farmer and rancher; no room for a governmental menage a trois here.  Nor do you need a big-daddy figure to save you from the “evil” supplement supplier.  We’re all intelligent, big boys and girls, here — no hand-holding needed.  Thanks for the offer, though…

Now go on out and get your free Starbucks coffee…while caffeine is still off the FDA hit-list.

On to the iron-game side of things –

Today’s workout consisted of 3 rounds of the following:

Russian lunge (jump for height): 30 lb vest x 3, each round (alternate legs)
single-leg box squat: 30 lb vest + 20 lb DBs x 6, each leg, each round (thigh parallel to ground, with butt on box)
GHR: 30 lb vest + 30 lb DB x 4 each round
Ab wheel roll-outs: 30 lb vest x 5, each round
reverse grip pull-ups: 90 x 3, each round

Volume was a little lower than usual as I intend to do some mixed-intensity fixie riding — and maybe some barefooted sprints — this evening; the weather here in eastern NC is gorgeous today, and I hate to miss an opportunity to get out and about.  I blew through this one at a rather fast pace, resting only long enough between exercises so as to enable crisp, explosive reps on the upcoming exercise.  Max power production on every rep was the primary goal, with overall speed of completion being a lesser concern.  Still, though, I allowed myself no lallygagging between exercises.

The Future of Food

Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job” –

Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Playing God in the Garden” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998.

F#@%ing Bastards!

Go ahead and watch Debora Koons Garcia’s documentary, The Future of Food, and see if you can refrain from flipping out.  If you can, then you’re much more an enlightened being than I, because as I write this, I still friggin’ pissed.

You can watch The Future of Food like I did, here, on Hulu.  Word of advice, though – I’d straitjacket myself first  – the only reason that my computer is still intact is because I’m such a frugal cheapskate, and the thought of shelling out more money for a new gidgit gives me the shakes.

For all that this documentary will piss you off (and believe me, it will), I do implore you to watch it – don’t put you head in the sand, and go on as if all is well and fine.  It’s not, folks; action needs to be taken.  And as you watch it, remember the “perfect storm” that I wrote about here, and the linked-to reading (Richard, at FTA) within that post.  Big Ag is not only the puppeteer of universities, and the “unbiased” (yeah, right) research of those universities, it is also the puppeteer of the government, via political campaign contributions, and the ghostwriting of legislation.

photo cred: Virtual Farmgirl (http://virtual-farmgirl.blogspot.com/)

So now that you’re good and pissed at these sorry bastards, put some of that energy to work in doing your part to defeat the Senate version (S.510) of the draconian House food safety bill (H.R. 2749).  Take a big guess as to who would love to see this little jewel passed.  For an in-depth study of this bill, check out Marti Oakley’s post, here, at the PPJ Gazette.

And, as always, vote with your dollars.  Support your local farmers and ranchers – which is why turning back S.510 is so vitally important; the big players want to remove this manner of “voting” as a viable option.  Try to educate anyone who is open and willing to listen.

Power lust?  Insatiable greed? WTF is at the root of this sickness?

In health,

Keith