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So much for organic farming?
March 18, 2009 1:02 PM   Subscribe

No conflict of interest there, no sir. Organic food fans and small farmers alike are saying if HR 875 is passed, it will mean the end of organic farming in the United States. An overstatement? Perhaps, but HR 875 has serious flaws. The bill, introduced by Rosa DeLauro last month (who happens to be married to Stanley Greenburg of Monsanto, the world's largest producer of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds), is here.

This isn't the first bill that could damages small farms under the guise of protecting consumers. Remember NAIS? HR 875 isn't getting a lot of press yet except on slightly fringe-y blogs. Two less-panicky responses to the bill here and here.
posted by bitter-girl.com (56 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Its a bit of an overstatement to say that Greenburg is "of Monsanto," which makes it seem like he is directly employed by that company. The bio in the first link says that one of the clients of his research firm is Monsanto, among many others in the public and private sectors. Whatever you think of the bill, the guilt-by-association implied in the post is rather tenuous.
posted by googly at 1:16 PM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Stanley Greenburg of Monsanto

Greenberg is a polling expert, and one of his clients is Monsanto. I don't think he's an officer in the company though.
posted by goethean at 1:19 PM on March 18, 2009


I think you mean: so much for small-scale farming. There's plenty of industrial organic agriculture. Though of course you could argue that with small-scale producers out of the picture, the huge industrial organic producers will have an easier time watering down the definition of organic.
posted by parudox at 1:30 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's not an employee of Monsanto but he does receive money for them for work he does. Seems like a conflict of interest to me.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:32 PM on March 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


Just grow your own food and eat it yourself.
posted by flyinghamster at 1:32 PM on March 18, 2009


Personally, I don't see a conflict of interest. I haven't read the full text of the bill, and don't plan to, but what are the problems with it? It seems to be all about food safety and regulation, which I'm in favor of.
posted by rocket88 at 1:32 PM on March 18, 2009


He was described elsewhere as a lawyer for Monsanto -- I wasn't sure which reference was correct, but in any event, isn't it slightly "off" to introduce legislation that could potentially benefit one's husband's client? It seems polling and Monsanto PR-shilling is being used to influence and create bad, bad public policy.

Here's another story about the bill and related over at Daily Kos that I just found. One of the most disturbing bits, that points quite clearly to the hand of Monsanto at work, is:
Seed storage facilities would be declared illegal as well, as sources of "seed contamination." All the wonderful seed banks around the country put together by devoted and hard working people to preserve biodiversity for all of us, threaten the absolute monopoly over seeds and food that Monsanto seeks. Oh, one could still have a seed bank but they'd need a million or two million or five million dollar "facility" to meet "food safety" requirements.
This is where it ties in with the NAIS...it's a hardship for small farmers, not for big agribusinesses.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:35 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just grow your own food and eat it yourself.

That will only work until the Patriotic Farming Protection Act is passed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:36 PM on March 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


For an government-industry partnership that claims to be concerned with safety, I'm not very impressed so far with the massive failures in recent years, namely the E. coli in mass incidents in mass-market vegetables, the millions of pounds of recalled ground beef, the restrictions placed on BSE testing, and so forth.

I think there's probably some use for this bill if it shuts down small corporate operations that are selling questionable produce at farmers markets, but otherwise this seems like a massive thrust of government intervention into the wrong quarters. Food safety is a HUGE problem at the industrial scales, not necessarily in the mom + pop operations. The priorities are all backward.

Just grow your own food and eat it yourself.

Sure, in July that's easy, but try to grow your own food in December, or do the overharvesting and massive canning during the summer required to prepare for the winter.
posted by crapmatic at 1:37 PM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not against food safety, rocket88 -- but save the legislation to go after guys like the known-contamination peanut butter people, not small and organic farmers. That evil bastard Kissinger had it right when he said "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."

What happens when the only seeds you can get your hands on come from Monsanto? The long term effects on genetic diversity and other important issues are getting lost in the food safety argument. Baby, bathwater.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:40 PM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Grow your own food in July...then just order pizza in December.
posted by snofoam at 1:40 PM on March 18, 2009


Just grow your own food and eat it yourself.

Just give me some land.
posted by effwerd at 1:42 PM on March 18, 2009 [10 favorites]


Oh, and "Just grow your own food and eat it yourself."? Flyinghamster, how do you propose to do that when you can't get your hands on the seeds you can now? I buy from Seeds of Change and other organic seed producers...what if they can no longer operate when something like this goes into effect?

What if it becomes illegal for me to get organically-grown produce from my friend Bob in the summer? (Hey, we pick up our CSA shares at the bar...good times). I know he follows the proper food safety precautions, and his eggs are miles better than the market's (plus goat milk fudge, too...oh man). So what then?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:44 PM on March 18, 2009


Food safety legislation should go after all food sources...big or small. I want all my food to be safe, including the stuff I buy at the local farmer's market.
Putting "safety" in scare quotes seems ludicrous.
posted by rocket88 at 1:45 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


He was described elsewhere as a lawyer for Monsanto -- I wasn't sure which reference was correct, but in any event, isn't it slightly "off" to introduce legislation that could potentially benefit one's husband's client?

First, he's not a lawyer, he's a pollster.

Second, if you take a look at the list of clients of his firm, you can see that Monsanto is just one name among hundreds - many of whom are progressive Democrats. this is guilt-by-extremely-distant association. Do you really think he'd jeopardize his reputation as an independent (primarily Democratic) pollster for the minor benefit of one client?

I don't dispute the fact that this legislation may have a negative impact on small-scale farming. Nor would I be surprised if the big agribusiness lobby had some hand in influencing how it was written. But I do think the implication that this is somehow a Monsanto-driven conspiracy is extremely tenuous - and focusing on this conspiracy-theory angle ultimately detracts from the argument against it.
posted by googly at 1:50 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Such a system for "safety regulation" is a great Trojan horse for completing the corporate control of agriculture. That's why it is troubling, not because safety is not an issue. I might add that food safety has been an enormous problem precisely due to industrial, large-scale food systems.
posted by parudox at 1:51 PM on March 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Monsanto and its attempts to dominate agriculture represent a matter of grave concern, but describing the issue in such an axe-grinding, tie-me-to-a-tree-and-throw-feces way only damages one's credibility.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:54 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fair enough, googly. I mean no conspiracy theory-harm here, it's just an issue I'm passionate about and the relationship -- however tenuous -- between DeLauro/her husband/Monsanto was sitting out there in the various items I've read about it.

(Though it wouldn't be the first time "Monsanto" and "conspiracy" appeared in the same sentence) ;)

I think, though, that saying this would be a "minor" benefit for Monsanto is perhaps understating it a bit. Their actions in recent years have been shady at best. If you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, you might recall Joel Salatin -- author of Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories From The Local Food Front. It starts with a seemingly innocuous bill under the guise of "food safety" and ends up really hurting small farmers who aren't doing anything wrong -- who, in fact, hold themselves to higher standards than the law puts into place.

Monsanto's goal seems to be becoming the sole provider of items-related-to-our-food-supply. Which -- yay, business dudes at Monsanto, reach for the stars -- seems like a good capitalist thing to do, but losing choice and diversity in something as important as our food supply = doubleplusungood. It's like Urinetown... something important no one company should control!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:01 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed, bitter-girl. I'm no fan of Monsanto.

I was all ready to continue this side argument until you threw in references to both 1984 and Urinetown in the same paragraph. Well played.
posted by googly at 2:11 PM on March 18, 2009


Hey, googly! You can't go wrong with a reference to human waste products! Or Orwell, for that matter!

(Oh god, now I'm thinking of all the times my slightly...umm...less enlightened family members have made the "make sure you wash that [raw vegetable in question] really well! you know, in Mexico, farmworkers poop in the fields!" comment growing up...)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:14 PM on March 18, 2009


The final link (the final "here") in the "more inside" section of the post is well worth reading.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:25 PM on March 18, 2009


I have neither the time nor the energy to work my way through the bill to figure out what it means, but I do know that Rosa has been very good on liberal issues for our state--Connecticut--compared to Joe Lieberman, of the Senate, whose wife is a big lobbyist foe the pharmaceutical industry and that he gets tons of money from the insurance industry, a lot of which is located in Ct.
posted by Postroad at 2:27 PM on March 18, 2009


I don't see what's objectionable.

First, it isn't remotely clear from the text of the legislation that it would apply to farmer's markets. The text says that a category 5 facility is one that "stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale," not the point to which food is delivered for retail sale. In fact, the bill specifically excludes "retail food establishments," set off by commas as its own item.

Second, let's say it includes farmer's markets, or even organic farms themselves. The bill imposes the onerous duty of... filing a piece of paper that tells the federal government that the market exists, and submitting to federal inspections when inspectors arrive. So?

The only two options I can think of, honestly, are that organic farmers are so deeply insane that they would rather go out of business than file that form and see the occasional inspector, or that there is some really bad news behind the scenes that they don't want exposed.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:37 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


(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.
That sum is enough to destroy a small farmer, and at the same time is barely a scratch for Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, and their ilk. There is no way that a federal agency with ties to agribusiness is going to worry about proportionate fines for infractions. Agribusiness will continue doing what they're doing, which will continue to result in periodic nation-wide food supply contamination. For infractions they will get slaps on the wrist. Meanwhile, the public will think that everything is just fine because there is a Food Safety Administration looking out for them.

Agribusiness itself is the single largest food safety issue today.
posted by parudox at 3:03 PM on March 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Some European perspective here. Entire sectors of European agriculture found themselves in deep trouble in the last decade due to a long and dreadful series of food safety scandals. The social/political answer was to set up Food Safety Agencies at local and EU level and to strengthen existing legislations. This move was welcome by everyone, including farmers, who saw it as the only way to recapture public trust.
It looks like this bill is just following that trend and is trying to anticipate problems rather than having to sort out the mess afterwards. In any case, the people who are currently opposing it should really have a look at the European experience.

From this link: Anyone who values freedom of food choice and the rights and independence of small farmers should contact their elected representatives.

Apparently, valueing consumer safety doesn't rank high... Well, that's what some European farmers thought too, until their beef started killing their own cuutomers. Needless to say, burdensome food traceability and nosy food safety regulation are extremely valued today and marketed as such. "Freedom of choice" and "rights of small farmers" won't mean much when people stop buying your food because they fear it's poisoned.
posted by elgilito at 3:14 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently, valueing consumer safety doesn't rank high... Well, that's what some European farmers thought too, until their beef started killing their own cuutomers.

Except those issues were caused by the agribusinesses themselves and their focus on increasing efficiency through industrialisation.

As a result, in the UK at least, there has been a widespread move towards organics and locally-sourced foods that enables consumers to satisfy themselves of the quality of produce they buy.

Any legislation that seeks to stifle a shift towards organic produce and traceability is likely not going to result in a sustained increase in food safety; corporates will be able to extend their dominance and go about their usual (mal)practices, like feeding cow derivatives to vegetarian cows, etc.
posted by Lleyam at 3:38 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't see the problem with this. All food manufacturers have been required to have a FDA registration number since early 2002. It's not so onerous that a farm would have to register too.

And parudox, the up to but not more than $1 million fine for violating food safety laws,which do you really think it will be dished out to: the guy who left some dirt on the beets? Or to the company whose dirty factory cranked out all that peanut butter? Also, your assumption that there are no producers between the size of the organic farmer and the mega-corporation does not hold water. Take a deep breath and re-read the bill.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:42 PM on March 18, 2009


effwerd: "Just grow your own food and eat it yourself.

Just give me some land.
"

Do you have a flat rooftop? Parking lot? Driveway? Porch? I've got 17 of these going this season.
posted by stbalbach at 3:47 PM on March 18, 2009


So does this mean I have to drive up to Windsor for prescriptions AND produce?
posted by spirit72 at 3:48 PM on March 18, 2009


Do you have a flat rooftop? Parking lot? Driveway? Porch? I've got 17 of these going this season.

What a coincidence. I just got back from the gardening store and was eyeing the Earth Box. It was more than I wanted to spend but it might be worth it though since I've never gardened before. And if you've got 17 of them, I imagine that's a good endorsement.

I was being a bit glib earlier. I have a patio but I'm in a ground floor north-facing apartment. I just don't get very much sun. I'm still going to be looking into lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, and potatoes, though.
posted by effwerd at 4:29 PM on March 18, 2009


Do you have a flat rooftop? Parking lot? Driveway? Porch?

Nope, nope, nope, and.... nope. I guess most denizens of large cities don't get to eat from now on then.
posted by Caviar at 4:47 PM on March 18, 2009


Seed storage facilities would be declared illegal as well, as sources of "seed contamination."

The fuckity-fuck?!! Monstanto is 100x the threat to my food safety than my local farmers' collective.

Monsanto will be the AIG of our food chain. We really should be shitting bricks about it, but the problem is a decade's distance and we're already overloaded with Big Problems.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:51 PM on March 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Seed storage facilities would be declared illegal as well, as sources of "seed contamination."

Can someone point out to me where in this bill "seed contamination" is mentioned? I can't find any mention of it. I can't even find any mention of seeds at all.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:02 PM on March 18, 2009


The issue is one of scale. What is rational for a massive one-crop field, doesn't make sense for a small CSA that produces a variety of crops all year round.

Recently my soap company faced similar legislation, where to import essential oils, I would have to register and pay annual fees of about 12,000 a year. Is that 12k going to matter to Loreal? No. But it would kill me. As well, having to create a "clean room" environment for soap manufacturing requires an initial layout of over 3 million dollars. For soap. Seriously. Soap. But because I use essential oils, my products would have been classified as a "drug", and I would have to meet lab standards for a drug company. Absurdity, because it had no scaling in the legislation. Fortunately, the bill was shot down, for now...but this legislation is similar in that it does not account for scale.

It doesn't make sense, fiscally, for the farm down the road from me to chip each of his chickens, so that he can sell me a couple dozen eggs when I pop in. Or the rancher where I reserve a lamb each year...I know where the lamb came from, I don't really need the lamb to cost an addition $500 so the government can track it from his pasture to my freezer. He has bill of sale records and I have bill of purchase records.

How the hell are small farmers supposed to afford the equipment to do that? These farms are barely sustenance level farming. They're not out there on the veranda watching the migrants pick the crops, these folks are out there in the field, praying their 40 year old tractor doesn't break down, because there's no way to replace it.

My husband and I have been tossing around the idea of buying an old local farm and setting up a CSA. This legislation has made us hold off until we see where it's going.

As to the seed banking, I didn't see reference to that. That's huge. Can someone point me to where they saw that language, because I've missed it and am having no luck finding it.
posted by dejah420 at 5:24 PM on March 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


According to my read of this bill, records can be paper. I don't see any language requiring any electronic tagging or chips for farm animals at all. Again, if I'm wrong, please point it out. From the bill:

3) REQUIREMENTS- The records in paragraph (1) shall include records describing--
(A) the origin, receipt, delivery, sale, movement, holding, and disposition of food or ingredients;
(B) the identity and quantity of ingredients used in the food;
(C) the processing of the food;
(D) the results of laboratory, sanitation, or other tests performed on the food or in the food establishment;
(E) consumer complaints concerning the food or packaging of the food;
(F) the production codes, open date codes, and locations of food production; and
(G) other matters reasonably related to whether food is adulterated or misbranded, or otherwise fails to meet the requirements of this Act.


All this stuff is in existing regulations already, (check out CFR 21). The only real clear difference I can see is that this bill calls for the creation of a new public agency that combines the food safety efforts of the FDA, USDA and others into one organization. It's something I'm hard pressed to disagree with.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:38 PM on March 18, 2009


Nope, nope, nope, and.... nope. I guess most denizens of large cities don't get to eat from now on then.

I was thinking the same thing. Earth Box looks great if you're a suburbanite. If you're trying to reduce your carbon footprint responsibly by living in a high density environment you're probably SOL, though.
posted by Justinian at 5:43 PM on March 18, 2009


I'm not against food safety, rocket88 -- but save the legislation to go after guys like the known-contamination peanut butter people, not small and organic farmers.

This.
posted by nola at 6:28 PM on March 18, 2009


This is super-relevant to me, as I'm about to go work at a CSA for a little while. The owner sent out an e-mail about this, and someone responded with an "H.R. 875 myths and facts" thing that I can't find a satisfactory source for, though that blog attributes it to Food and Water Watch.

Speaking of, there's a Food and Water Watch article that seems less than outraged with this particular bill but points out others that could be problematic for organic farmers, such as H.R. 759, so I'm inclined to trust them and content myself with being worried but not yet outraged.
posted by Nomiconic at 6:29 PM on March 18, 2009


My mother sells locals the eggs she gets from her chickens, and the milk and cheese from her goats. Dad sells things out of his garden. They use no pesticides, they use no hormones. If you could see my dad's garden, the love and care he has for the earth beneath it. How he talks about all the bugs and worms and microbes that make the soil loamy and right for planting. He is like a poet, but plain spoken with all the years of toil his hands stained by Tennessee humus.

To think they'll have so much in commen with the local pot dealer before long will surely make them chuckle.
posted by nola at 6:44 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


How hard would it actually be to fill out a form and fax it to the government once a year, and keep records of all the food you sell?
posted by delmoi at 6:49 PM on March 18, 2009


I don't see any language requiring any electronic tagging or chips for farm animals at all. Again, if I'm wrong, please point it out.
That's in a separate bill or law already scheduled to take effect. A blogger on firedoglake or dailykos wrote about it about a week ago--the chip requirements will indeed be costly for smaller farmers, no problem for the big ones. The chips are meant to track the origin of animals whenever there's a food contamination issue.
posted by etaoin at 6:52 PM on March 18, 2009


That's in a separate bill or law already scheduled to take effect.

We schedule our bills to take effect now?

To think they'll have so much in commen with the local pot dealer before long will surely make them chuckle.

OK, I give up.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:10 PM on March 18, 2009


C) the processing of the food;
(D) the results of laboratory, sanitation, or other tests performed on the food or in the food establishment;

Can you read? Do I really have to explain why that doesn't work for a small farm? Do you understand the cost associated with that?
posted by nola at 7:31 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


We schedule our bills to take effect now?

Yes? The vast majority of laws have an effective starting date.
posted by yath at 7:34 PM on March 18, 2009


Case study: British Columbia recently put into place regulations that mandate that all meat sold in the province be processed at a provincially- or federally-licensed facility. Sounds great, doesn't it? But few small-scale farmers can afford a facility that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The alternatives include: trucking livestock hours away to a licensed facility and then back in order to sell to your neighbor; going out of business (this one has proven popular); or going underground. (More info at Deconstructing Dinner.)
posted by parudox at 7:57 PM on March 18, 2009


The government means well and wants to protect us.
posted by telstar at 8:18 PM on March 18, 2009


There are quite a few small farms around here, some CSAs, too. I can easily see a lot of local farmers going "underground," without much trouble, because so many people are involved in small-scale agriculture. It goes back centuries in this area. People will not give it up, even if they have to shut down the official farmers market, there will be an unofficial one.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:25 PM on March 18, 2009


Well this is easy; just don't sell anything at the farmers market as 'food'. Sell it as a 'future soil amendment'. Just like tobacco water pipes.
posted by ZaneJ. at 11:30 PM on March 18, 2009


How hard would it actually be to fill out a form and fax it to the government once a year, and keep records of all the food you sell?

From what I read, it sounds like, every time you sell a bunch of radishes to someone at your local farmers market, they have to fill out some paperwork so you can send in a list of your customers to the feds. I wouldn't want this as a customer or farmer.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:09 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Much like the auto bailout is intended to help dismantle union labor, this bill reads an awful lot like a way to make local, organic farming as difficult as possible. I hope it fails.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:47 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


The government means well and wants to protect us.

Nope. (And yeah, I'm aware we have a new president now, but I'm not so enthralled with Obama's pick for Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.)
posted by mirepoix at 6:38 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


From what I read, it sounds like, every time you sell a bunch of radishes to someone at your local farmers market, they have to fill out some paperwork so you can send in a list of your customers to the feds.

How on earth do you get that from the bill text?

Again, the text of the bill itself to all appearances excludes farmers markets and other retail outlets.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:41 AM on March 19, 2009


Case study: British Columbia recently put into place regulations that mandate that all meat sold in the province be processed at a provincially- or federally-licensed facility. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Yah, that one screwed us all over quite nicely. I used to be able to purchase local meat, organic and free-range. Now, not so much.

And of course it has nothing to do with food safety. It has to do with extending corporate oligopolies.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:45 AM on March 19, 2009


And of course it has nothing to do with food safety. It has to do with extending corporate oligopolies.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:45 AM on March 19 [+] [!]


I completely agree here. There is nothing "in the best interests of the people" about this.

Batshit Insane filter: Just look at all of the control that has been placed on normal people throughout the years. HFCS, MSG, Fast Food, Etc. We wised up, started exercising more, and eating right. Now all of a sudden big business wants their hands all over organic foods. They want to be the ones in charge of what we are eating. To that I say take your thumbs, shove it up your corporate bloated asses and Fuck yourselves! I'll grow my victory garden without your additives.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:14 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


From what I read, it sounds like, every time you sell a bunch of radishes to someone at your local farmers market, they have to fill out some paperwork so you can send in a list of your customers to the feds.

How on earth do you get that from the bill text?

Again, the text of the bill itself to all appearances excludes farmers markets and other retail outlets.


They make a lot of mention of tracking the food in commerce. I didn't see any language that sets aside farmers who were selling directly to consumers. They also state that, should a food-borne illness break out, all consumers will need to be notified who have been sold the item. How is this to be done without a list of people who bought it? If they mean putting up a sign telling people the cider was bad, don't drink it, they aren't being very specific.
posted by Foam Pants at 5:06 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Foam Pants: If you're talking about Sec. 403, Notification and Recall, consumer notification by the "appropriate persons" (which could include "manufacturers, importers, distributors, or retailers of the food") is one of the voluntary actions that the (hypothetical) FSA could allow, per Sec. 403 (b)(1). The mandatory actions that the FSA could require an "appropriate person" to take, per Sec. 403 (b)(2), include seizing the food, ordering the ceasing of all distribution, and notifying food processors, distributors, and handlers, but not consumer notification, which is covered in Sec. 403 (b)(3) as an optional action that the FSA could take it upon itself to perform. If you were referring to some other section, could you cite it?

Also, the registration requirements (although not necessarily the inspection or jurisdiction requirements) appear to be waived for food production facilities (including farms), restaurants and other retail food establishments, any "nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer", and fishing boats that aren't engaged in processing, per Sec. 3 (13)(B) and (14).

So our friendly farmer friends will not have to register with the feds, nor will they have to keep track of every customer they sell a bunch of radishes to. If FSA inspectors came knocking, however, they would be required to let them take a look at the chicken coop. I could see the record-keeping requirements and one-size-fits-all fines as being rather burdensome for small operators, but it sounds like the bill has food processors rather than food producers in mind, for the most part.
posted by skoosh at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2009


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