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View Diary: S.510:  Food Safety Bill Debate Continues (just not in the Senate) (37 comments)

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  •  Thanks, these "food safety bills" scare the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Battle4Seattle, gravlax, DawnN

    Heck out of me. As a trained Chef and certified "food safety" manager here in NY. I see the real dangers everyday.

    People not taking the time to wash their veggies from the supermarket, even the ones that are in the cello bags and claim they are cleaned.

    Remember a bunch of people got sick years ago from spinach and two children died....had they just washed the spinach it would never had happened.

    Trying to find truly organic produce is almost impossible these days, unless I drive 40 miles out of the city and go directly to the farmers themselves.

    Upstate NY is well known for its small farms and farmers and they can't afford all the tags or RFID's for all their farm animals. Or the paperwork involved, they can be fined up to what, $500,000 for each violation?

    The horror of Food Inc are very real, and years ago I was tested by friends to see if I could or would continue to eat meat if I went to a slaughter house, well I went to one and took a tour. The conditions in the big agri-businesses will not be stopped.  The cross contamination, the rodent feces and tracks, the unsanitary slaughter line was sickening.

    I stopped eating meat.

    These conditions will not be changed or halted, we'll just create another bureaucracy that will want to be "fed"...

    •  I don't think this bill will stop those things. (2+ / 0-)
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      gerrilea, gravlax

      However, I do believe this country is starting to pay attention to these critical issues, and change is possible. Yes, since I was a child factory farming has existed and expanded, but at least now there are alternatives.

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

      by Battle4Seattle on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:01:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you know if farm animals are ever microchipped (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, gravlax

      ? I'm very concerned about that b/c there is good evidence microchips cause tumors/cancers at the site of microchips in dogs and cats, who are regularly chipped. I also read recently that the USDA will not require cloned animals to be labeled (when they become food products)--pretty horrifying. I want to know! How do you guys feel?

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

      by Battle4Seattle on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I heard the same re: cloned animals (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, Battle4Seattle

        and I have to agree that I am horrified by the concept as well.  I would certainly shout at the top of my lungs for the right to know whether my food came from a cloned animal.  I'm a moderate but I'm not crazy.  That issue is too important.

        As to tumors and chips i can't say that I know much about it.  All I know is that my sister is a vet and all 4 of her pets have the chip embedded.  I do not believe that she would do that if she felt that the risk of cancer was too great.  These are some seriously well cared for animals.

        "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" -6.75, -6.26

        by gravlax on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:10:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My cat's chipped too, although she was "made" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, gravlax

          that way before I rescued her from a shelter. What happens is that many pets die of cancer, but autopsies are not done (or shared, at least). Some owners, who have had their pets autopsied, have, indeed, found large tumors at the chip site.

          I just wondered if livestock are actually chipped. I hope not--and if there's any talk of doing it, it should be thoroughly studied first. Otherwise, we might be "eating" animals with cancer we knowingly give them. Um, evil?

          "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

          by Battle4Seattle on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:19:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My guess (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea, Battle4Seattle

            is that livestock isn't chipped only because the conditions in which they are raised don't really allow them to get away.  Without that opportunity there is no real need for a chip.  I'm not standing up for corporations but they wouldn't separate from a dime that they didn't have to.

            I certainly will ask my sister about the cancer at the chip site phenomenon

            "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" -6.75, -6.26

            by gravlax on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:22:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd love to hear her take on it. It's an (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea, gravlax

              important issue, especially for those of us who dearly love our pets.

              "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

              by Battle4Seattle on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:26:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If I remember correctly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gravlax

              One of these "food safety bills" allowed for big businesses to buy 1 tag for every 1000 heads of animals...where as smaller family run farms would have to buy one for each animal and I think they ranged from $20 to $100...

              So, my best guess would be the tag would be only a "symbol" of safety and not any actual benefits to it, except raising funds for this new "agency".

              Imagine having to buy a tag for a chicken within 3 days of it's birth and if you don't you could be socked with a $500,000 fine. And the chicken is only worth $3 per. That wouldn't help us in this economy...imagine paying $40 or $50 dollars per pound for a chicken.

              •  I was just scanning the bill, and the fees can be (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea, gravlax

                enormous. Wow.

                This is interesting:

                SEC. 309. FOREIGN OFFICES OF THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION.

                (a) In General- The Secretary shall establish offices of the Food and Drug Administration in foreign countries selected by the Secretary, to provide assistance to the appropriate governmental entities of such countries with respect to measures to provide for the safety of articles of food and other products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration exported by such country to the United States, including by directly conducting risk-based inspections of such articles and supporting such inspections by such governmental entity.

                I like this section:

                SEC. 1012. WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS.

                (a) In General- No entity engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding, or importation of food may discharge an employee or otherwise discriminate against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee, whether at the employee's initiative or in the ordinary course of the employee's duties (or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee)--

                `(1) provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide or cause to be provided to the employer, the Federal Government, or the attorney general of a State information relating to any violation of, or any act or omission the employee reasonably believes to be a violation of any provision of this Act or any order, rule, regulation, standard, or ban under this Act, or any order, rule, regulation, standard, or ban under this Act;

                `(2) testified or is about to testify in a proceeding concerning such violation;

                `(3) assisted or participated or is about to assist or participate in such a proceeding; or

                `(4) objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, practice, or assigned task that the employee (or other such person) reasonably believed to be in violation of any provision of this Act, or any order, rule, regulation, standard, or ban under this Act.

                http://thomas.loc.gov/...

                I definitely think whistleblowers concerned about our food safety should be 100% protected. Of course, the administration is currently pursuing lots of whistelblowers, so . . .

                "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama

                by Battle4Seattle on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:43:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Frightened, in a word (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Battle4Seattle, gravlax

        Cloned food...we don't know the results of gmo veggies...

        From what I've read, and I'm not an expert either, but the chipping of animals would be the RFID tags,I don't know if they would be implanted or a piercing tag in the animals ear.

        I too read that the RFID chips in dogs and cats cause tumors too.

        Labeling is big for me personally. If I know something is gmo, or irradiated or ammonia added, then I can chose not to buy it. As it stands, we're truly in the dark. Remember the USDA wouldn't allow people to market their milk as non-RGBH because the companies that did use the hormone felt it was casting a bad light on their products....

        So, the real question is who does the USDA and the FDA work for us or the corporations....

        Wait, don't answer that, we already know that answer...dang it!
         

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