Your Garden Journal Must Be Filled Out In Triplicate

My obession with home-grown tomatoes takes on the frisson of danger this season, as Rosa DeLauro and 40 co-sponsors in the Congress act to federally regulate farmers' markets and backyard garden patches. (Don't tell Michelle!)

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, we'll have a new Food Safety Administration to wrest authority for intrastate commerce from the states (in spite of the Constitution's explicit ban on any such act --see Article I, Section 8 & the 10th amendment). The proposed FSA would have broad powers to spot-inspect food establishments and "food production facilities" (the latter being so broadly defined as to include small farms and yards).

Be careful to whom you send your extra zucchini:
FSA is charged with establishing a national traceability system that requires farmers to keep records that enable FSA to track “the history, use, and location of an item of food” [Section 210(c)].
Natural News reports some other delights of the bill:
- Designating FSA as sole regulator of food safety rather than the individual states, including granting FSA the power to implement and administer a "national system for regular unannounced inspection of food establishments" under its own terms.
- Reclassifying all farms as "food production facilities", ensuring they come under the regulatory and inspection protocols of FSA as well as enforcing compliance with whatever FSA deems as appropriate food safety requirements.
- Requiring farmers to comply with FSA-established "minimum standards" for farming practices, including requiring them to establish Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans and other written documentation as determined and mandated by FSA.
- Granting FSA the power to arrogate "preventative process controls to reduce adulteration of food" as it deems fit.
- Instituting FSA as food safety law enforcement, allowing it to assess civil penalties and fines for violation of any and all FSA safety laws up to $1 million for each violation. Collected fines would become unappropriated slush funds to be used however FSA deems fit in order to "carry out enforcement activities under the food safety law."
Crunchy-cons, vegans, "sustainable farmers," Local Food and Slow Food movement devotees --and lovers of tomatoes-- unite! They're about to take away your farmers markets and raw milk --and my veggie patch. I plan to fight the power by planting more and leaving bags of vegetables anonymously on politicians' doorsteps.

I like the philosophy of this person:
if they outlaw home-grown tomatoes, only outlaws will have home-grown tomatoes! But since we’ll also be eating healthier we’ll be able to easily knock down our scurvy- and ricketts-afflicted enemies.
RC2, Outlaw. I like the sound of that.

Curtsy to Brett McS, which raises a question. If the govt. is so transparent, why did I learn of the threat to my tomatoes from someone in Oz?