Natural Solutions Foundation
The Voice of Global Health & Food Freedom™
[Action Item Below]
Senate: Please Do Not Rush S.3767 to a Vote
Instead, Adopt the Food Freedom Amendment!
For more than a year, the plan to capture – and kill – clean, local, organic, independent and safe farming and ranching has been wending its way through Congress. Last year, the devastating HR.2749 passed the House of Representatives, without criminal penalty language and with a very weak farm to consumer exemption. Although Health and Food Freedom advocates put up a good battle, delaying this bill for quite a while, it was passed to the US Senate, where, as S.510, it waited from July '09 through mid-November '09 to be considered by the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee. Over one memorable November '09 weekend hundreds of thousands of contacts were made with Senators and the bill did not move, not until August 2010 when it was reported out, without any language meeting the Food Freedom Citizens Petition, which, while opposing any Federal "food safety" takeover, demanded protection for all "home, home-business, homestead, home or community gardens, small farm, organic or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements..."
|The Senate Judiciary Committee considered S.3767 in its Executive Business Meeting 09.23.10 and sent it to the Floor of the Senate, amended.
While Senator Leahy continued to push his bill through the Judiciary Committee (of which he is the Chair) the Senate leadership had to acknowledge wide-spread public opposition to criminalizing food distribution. The Committee's web site states the following action on the bill:
"S.3767, Food Safety Accountability Act (Leahy, Klobuchar, Franken, Durbin, Feinstein) Ordered Reported By Unanimous Consent. "S.3767, Food Safety Accountability Act (Leahy, Klobuchar, Franken, Durbin, Feinstein) - Ordered Reported By Unanimous Consent. Substitute Amendment HEN10891 (Leahy)"
Leahy's substitute amendment adds the following words to the definition of the crime.:
"...and with conscious or reckless disregard of a risk of death or serious bodily injury..."
Thus, what would have criminalized any distribution of food where FDA, FTC or other govt agency later decided some rule, regulation, guideline or standard had not been met to the satisfaction of the bureaucracy, the added language at least references more traditional standards of criminal liability.
While this is a partial victory for the forces of Food Freedom, we must redouble our efforts and defeat S.3767 and S.510 just like we defeated S.3002... with massive Push Back!
With S.3767 amended and with at least one Senator (Dr. Tom Coburn, OK) refusing to agree that either it or S.510, a highly controversial bill, should be considered by the parliamentary maneauver of "unanimous consent" as "noncontroversial" bills, we need every Senator to "get the message."
The current session of Congress is not over yet. S.3767 was introduced in mid September, in an unusual move this late in the session. This is another fake "food safety" bill, calling for a major change in US criminal law, punishing by up to ten years in jail anyone who "knowingly" introduces "misbranded" foods into interstate commerce. While in the past, unscrupulous businesses could be punished for intentionally selling adulterated foods, extending the criminal law this far is unprecedented. The Senate Judiciary Committee seems to understand this, and the Amendment added on 09.23.10 puts some small limits on bureaucratic "discretion."
What exactly is "misbranded" food? It certainly is food that is erroneously labeled, but under government interpretation of the law, it is also a food with what the FDA or FTC decides later were unsubstantiated claims. Your local health food store is at risk from this law that would criminalize commercial speech about food.
Rumor in Washington DC is that S.3767 is being rushed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and onto the Senate floor, where it will be amended to add to it the language of the S.510 (or even the long-discredited S.3002) as a way of makring an end-run around the opposition.
We say this is too serious a matter to be pushed through what is increasingly a "lame-duck" Congress. Issues such as this should be debated, considered and decided by the newly elected Congress which may have a greater degree of public trust than the current Congress.
If Congress is going to act on "food safety" this year, it ought to be to protect our Food Freedom. Therefore, we offer this language for the Senate to consider:
The Food Freedom Amendment
"No provision of Federal Law giving regulatory oversight to any Federal department or agency shall be deemed to apply (a) to any home, home-business, homestead, home or community gardens, small farm, organic or natural agricultural activity, (b) to any family farm or ranch, or (c) to any natural or organic food product, including dietary supplements, as protected under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.”
If you agree, please use the form below to tell your Senators. We seek a redress of grievances and Congressional protection for our Food Freedom!
Natural Solutions Foundation