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Creeping Fascism

At Ace of Spades HQ, Purple Avenger details a particularly insidious little piece of legislation, HR 875, that, as I understand it, will basically enact draconion regulations and potential fines on small farmers throughout the country with the intention of making it virtually impossible for them to compete on any level with large-scale industrialized agriculture.

Purple Avenger’s gist:

Basically, HR 875 sets up a MASSIVE new government bureaucracy called the Food Safety Administration, and compels anything known as a “food establishment” to register with the federal government (paying registration fees of course) and to submit to inspections that are at different intervals depending on the type of “food establishment” you are.

Much more at Ace HQ, as well as a handful of links to other discussions here,here, here and here.

Avenger also includes a video from Shelly Roche laying out the basics:

The last link, from Darleen at Protein Wisdom, is particularly insightful, and includes this little tidbit:

The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), with 39 co-sponsor, all Democrats. It gets more interesting to find out that DeLauro is married to Stanley Greenberg, who counts (agri-giant) Monsanto among his corporate clients. It is also is an interesting coincidence that large corporations are much better equipped to comply with the onerous requirements and paperwork this bill dumps on “Food Production Facilities” then the lowly local farmer or backyard gardener.

As well as this:

Oh? Don’t think it will apply to the little guy? Well, here in its entirety is how this bill defines who is included in “Food Production”:

(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.

No exclusions, no limitations. You grow it, you’re included.

The potential reach of this monster is unbelievable. Government would basically have access to and control over anything and everything that is grown or raised for food in the country. As I read it, this would basically put an end to any kind of small-scale “locally grown” organic operations, farmer’s markets, roadside veggie stands and anyone else that can’t afford to go along with the registration requirements and regulations found in this thing.

Talk about your nanny state. The more I try to think about this the angrier I get. Since I was a young child, my parents have kept a small group of chickens in a coop in our back yard in Northern Jersey. We usually have about 20 at any one time. We don’t breed them, we simply collect the eggs, eat some of them, and put the rest out at the end of our driveway to sell. People come by, take a dozen or so and leave a couple bucks. The eggs are delicious and have beyond spoiled me for commerically produced eggs, and they’ve also garnered my parents a handful of regular customers, to the point that they’ll call ahead to have us save them a dozen. We certainly don’t make a profit on it, far from it, but we love the fresh eggs and so do our customers. It’s a nice little thing. Are my parents now going to have to register every single chicken we keep? Stop selling the excess eggs we collect? Ensure that the eggs don’t cross state lines?

Now, a functional political party would make tons of hay with this thing, making inroads among the organic folks, the crunchy cons, the hippies, whatever, people who don’t want the government producing every single thing they consume, who are worried about pesticides and genetic engineering, who enjoy being able to buy a fresh tomato from a roadside stand. This is something that people will see disappear, and if the GOP was smart, they’d be all over this. But I don’t hold out that much hope.

As Darleen concludes:

No wonder Obama doesn’t worry about people Going Galt. He’s making it illegal.

The text of the bill can be found here.

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03/31/2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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