Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Small Farmers in Danger of Extinction From Government Regulations

   In early 2011 President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), to address the inadequacies in the regulation of food safety. An extension has been made for comments for the proposed rules by the FDA, to Nov. 22. Giving Americans an opportunity to voice their concerns about the soon implementation of the mandates. On it states, “FSMA is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years.”So what does this mean to our small farmers?

   Tom Philipott wrote and article in, stating, “Finally, more than two years after Obama signed FSMA, the FDA's rule-making process appears to be nearing an end. And I'm disappointed to report that, according to decidedly non paranoid, non crazy observers, the proposed rules as currently written represents a significant and possibly devastating burden to small and mid size players.”

   The “players”, Tom is referring to, are the small farmers making under $500,000/annually in sales. And, according to a Brad Jones' article, 'Food Safety Modernization Act: The End of Fresh, Living Food?' in the, while these small farms are exempt from some of the most burdensome regulations, they aren't exempt from all of them. Also, even these exemptions they do get can be revoked by the FDA for suspected violations of food safety, with no evidence or reason why.

   He points out, the average farmer makes only 10 percent of sales, which means farmers with an income of $50,000 have to comply with regulations designed for mega farms and food processors. The FDA admits farmers with $500,000 in sales revenue, will pay 4-6 percent on compliance costs to the new laws. This means they will spend half of their net income, significantly hampering their ability to continue farming.
On top of the actual costs, the small farmer will be required to spend copious amounts of time reading and learning the 1200 pages of new rules and regulations. Brad Jordan states, the regulating of small organic farms out of business, will leave farming in the hands of a few mega farmers and processors.

   Judith McGeary, the founder of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance was on Food Riot Radio, where she stated, “If you thought the government taking control of our health care was bad, imagine what it'll be like when they take over our farms. People should be fighting this harder than they fought Obamacare.”

   According to the National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition: the rules make using organic fertilizers like manure and compost very difficult. Instead being coerced to use chemical fertilizers making our food lifeless, and containing synthetic nutrients.

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   Judith McGeary adds, “The FDA seems to be scared of anything that was ever part of an animal. If you don't follow their instructions to the letter, which includes extensive documentation of how the compost was made, you have to treat compost- including worm castings- as if it were raw animal manure and wait 9 months in between putting the compost down and harvesting the crop. In practice, this is a death knell for the use of many types of compost, which are vital to growing food sustainably.”

   FSMA seems to be another Federal monstrosity, intending to take control of, and manipulate another vital aspect of our freedoms. By endless regulations and questionable intentions, the power of the Federal government is impeding in our daily lives more and more. The end result seems to be total control, with the citizens at the will of those in power being merciful to allow us any freedoms at all. I for one distrust the discernment of the FDA. And I think they should concentrate more on GMO foods and products like Aspartame, if they were actually concerned for our safety as Americans.

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