From the March 2009 Idaho Observer:
The most Orwellian federal food regulatory scheme ever proposed supported by 1942 Supreme Court decision
The most Orwellian federal food regulatory scheme ever proposed supported by 1942 Supreme Court decision
HR 875, the "Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009", would outlaw unlicensed vegetable gardens, levy fines (not to exceed) $1 million per day and prison sentences (not to exceed five years) for those convicted of growing food for private, non-commercial consumption; Congress can regulate backyard veggie gardens because eating your own produce affects interstate commerce per Wickard v. Filburn
By The Idaho Observer
Since the Obama administration moved into the White House 64 days ago, it has zealously gone forward with plans to disarm law-abiding Americans and demonize them as domestic terrorists, pass laws to protect every form of sexual perversion imaginable, betray injured enlisted service personnel, dump everyone’s personal history into a massive health information database, fund legions of conscripted "Obama youth (and Obama seniors) into "volunteer" service, provide amnesty for Mexican illegals and take direct control of the Bureau of the Census to phony up statistics to justify government service agency expansion and the expenditure of hundreds of billions of imaginary stimulus dollars to finance some of the greasiest pork projects in U.S. history. Now this highly-motivated administration wants to make it unlawful for people to grow vegetable gardens and eat their own produce.
Apparently alarmed that farmers markets are becoming increasingly popular places to obtain fresh, organic produce and enjoy community interaction and, apparently, concerned that home and community gardens may impact sales of chemically-contaminated corporate produce, HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, was introduced Feb. 4, 2009. The 18,000-word bill, obviously drafted by lawyers from the biotech and agribusiness industries (with help from the "healthcare" industry that benefits enormously when people are starved onto genetically-modified/chemically-contaminated foods devoid of nutritional value), was sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). All 39 co-sponsors are Democrats. The bill, which would create and fund a huge new cabinet-level federal bureaucracy called the "Food Safety Agency," is currently with the House Agriculture committee.
HR 875 could, as Health Ranger Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com points out, be used to regulate an entire list of foods and beverages in commerce that are known to cause severe health complications in epidemic proportions. But it is obvious the real intent of the bill is to subject ordinary people to $multi-million fines and years of imprisonment for growing their own food and refusing to attain licenses, subject themselves to inspections and spray their organic produce with toxic chemicals.
The obliviousness comes from the fact that existing food industry regulations that have been on the books and amended since the early 1900s, if enforced, would remove an entire menu of poisonous products from the market—but they aren’t and they haven’t.
Adams, with his own particular brand of wit and on-point sarcasm, points out that, "...the law has a few....elements that no one is talking about, such as SEC. 401—Prohibited Acts, which reads, ‘It is prohibited (1) to manufacture, introduce, deliver for introduction, or receive in interstate commerce any food that is adulterated, misbranded, or otherwise unsafe.’
"That sentence, if actually enforced by the new FDA (Food Safety Agency), should immediately outlaw ALL foods containing:
• Partially-hydrogenated oils (an "adulteration")
• Homogenized milk (an "adulteration")
• Sodium nitrite
... and many other dangerous ingredients that I’ve written about for years on NaturalNews and in my book Grocery Warning."
The penalties for violating the act, should it become law, are as follows:
"(1) CIVIL PENALTY-
"(A) IN GENERAL—Any person that commits an act that violates the food safety law (including a regulation promulgated or order issued under the food safety law) may be assessed a civil penalty by the Administrator of not more than $1,000,000 for each such act.
"(1) OFFENSE RESULTING IN SERIOUS ILLNESS—Notwithstanding section 303(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 333(a)), if a violation of any provision of section 301 of such Act (21 U.S.C. 301) with respect to an adulterated or misbranded food results in serious illness, the person [in legal contemplation an individual or corporation] committing the violation shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or both."
Million dollar fines and five years in prison for diet soda and processed food company executives? Wouldn’t that change the menu of items available on the shelves of America’s supermarkets?
"Given these simple truths, if HR 875 passes, I suggest the members of the natural health community should get together and start calling for the arrest and imprisonment of the CEOs of Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and all sorts of other food mega-corporations that ship products that promote disease and death," Adams said.
"Speaking of death," Adams added, "the penalties get even more aggressive if someone dies from eating harmful food products. As stated in the HR 875 bill text:
"2. OFFENSE RESULTING IN DEATH—Notwithstanding section 303(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 333(a)), if a violation of any provision of section 301 of such Act (21 U.S.C. 331) with respect to an adulterated or misbranded food results in death, the person committing the violation shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or both."
Almost everyone in America is in varying stages of dying from foods currently in the food supply. If the penalty provisions of HR 875 were enforced to the letter, the entire food supply system would be cleaned up and people would have no need to produce their own food or patronize farmers markets and those who have gotten rich from poisoning the public would be bankrupted and imprisoned.
Additionally, anyone who touches foods regulated under the act are liable. As the proposed law states (see SEC. 401). Most "superstores" as we know them could fit their entire inventory into a convenience store if foods and beverages known to cause death or illness were banned.
We are only dreaming
But HR 875 is not intended to ban the harmful foods and the toxic substances they contain as that would remove about 90 percent of the crap we are forced to eat out of the commerce stream. HR 875 is also not intended to obtain the indictments of biotech, agricorp, megastore or megarestaurant chain executives and send them penniless into prison. The intent of HR 875 is to ban real food and to discourage Americans’ growing interest in farmers, farming and eating wholesome foods that give them energy and make them feel good.
Wickard v. Filburn
As hard as it is to believe, there is a U.S. Supreme Court decision that supports Congress’ intent to criminalize unlicensed vegetable gardening.
Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Second Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938. The Act empowered the federal government to set quotas and prices for agricultural products moving in interstate commerce, ostensibly to help farmers suffering from the Depression and to stabilize prices for consumers.
Roscoe Filburn was an Ohio farmer who maintained a small dairy herd and some chickens; he (legally and lawfully) sold milk, poultry and eggs on the open market. He also planted feed for his livestock, including a small patch of wheat to feed the chickens and grind into flour for his own use. None of the wheat left his farm.
But Filburn planted 12 acres more than the New Deal quota allowed in 1941. From this added acreage, he realized a harvest of 239 bushels, consumed it all on-farm and was penalized 49¢ per bushel by the government—a "tax" rate of about 57 percent of that year’s average market price. Filburn sued FDR’s Secretary of Agriculture Claude Wickard on the basis that the commerce clause did not authorize Congress to regulate crops that never left the farm, let alone those that never entered interstate commerce.
By fall, 1942, when his case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, all but one of the sitting justices were appointed by "New Dealer" FDR; the court’s unanimous decision in Filburn reflected New Deal logic and, as absurd as it sounds, has been used by Congress to regulate just about anything that moves or stands still ever since.
Writing for the Court, Justice Robert Jackson (the future chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal) reasoned that Filburn’s additional production had dissuaded him from purchasing the wheat he would have otherwise bought on the open market. Though his 239 bushels were minor, Jackson noted, fully 20 percent of U.S. wheat never left the farm. The combined effect was depressing demand and adversely affecting interstate commerce. As such, the federal government had a right to regulate such farmers under the commerce clause.
As we have seen with every administration since FDR, the "law" is used to provide unfair advantages to the monied friends of Congress and legislatures of the several states so as to regulate out of existence competition from sole proprietorships and family businesses.
If HR 875 does not simply stall in committee due to its unprecedented, in-your-face absurdity, then we will know the truth: Big Agribusiness is taking over the food supply much like Big Oil has taken over power, Big Chemical has taken over substances and Big Pharma has taken over medicine and, with the help of Congress and the police state, everyone and everything that gets in the way will be destroyed, imprisoned, put out of business or murdered.
The annals of American regulatory history show this to be true.
"It’s all so pathetically predictable," Adams wrote. "HR 875 should be called the Food Destruction Act of 2009. As usual, Big Government exploited a food crisis (the peanut contamination) in order to forward its food tyranny agenda.
"I predicted all this on April 14, 2008, in an article called "The Food Irradiation Plot: Why the USDA Wants to Sterilize Fresh Produce and Turn Live Foods into Dead Foods." In that 2008 article, I wrote:
"Destroying the natural medicine in the food supply sure would be a highly effective way to create more customers for Big Pharma, wouldn’t it? I think it’s all part of the ‘keep-the-population-sick-and-diseased’ plot being carried out by an evil partnership between drug companies and the U.S. government. We already know that the FDA and USDA work for the corporations, not the people. We already know that they will do practically anything to boost their profits (including conducting medical experiments on infants, drugging schoolchildren, lying to the public, fabricating clinical trials and more). Is it any surprise that they would now attempt a ‘final solution’ on the food supply that kills the food and thereby results in a huge reduction in the population’s intake of the disease-fighting nutrients found in fresh produce?
"I went on to describe the steps that would be taken by the U.S. government in order to create the conditions for a national food safety tyranny organization. These steps include:
"1) Conduct poor inspections of fresh produce on purpose, in order to cause a large increase in food-borne illness outbreaks. (We’ve seen this increase happen over the last 12 - 24 months.) This can be easily accomplished by reducing the budget of food inspection offices, or removing inspectors from the payroll altogether (which has already happened).
"2) Wait for the outbreaks to happen. When consumers get sick, run national press releases announcing how dangerous the food supply is.
"3) Watch the consumer reaction as people and lawmakers demand "something be done!"
"4) Once the public is demanding a solution to food-borne illnesses, roll out a national produce irradiation requirement that sterilizes all the food."
This is essentially what has been happening under the FDA since 2008. If Congress passes HR 875 and the Senate passes its version, Obama will sign it—of that we can be certain. Then the new Food Safety Administration will start busting everyone for growing their own food without a license. This, by the way, is Codex coming in through the Capitol Hill door. Republic magazine has published a Big Pharma expose.