Today's the Day...
As those who are aware in the food movement know, S 510 is up for a cloture vote today. Senator Coburn of Oklahoma has stated that he would filibuster on the bill. I hope he does, and I hope that other Senators give him support. In the 'politics as usual realm', Senator Coburn has come up with a amendment in the form of a substitute for 510. I read it late last night, and while it is better, it is still not good.
You can read the bill at Coburn's site, although I am uncertain that they will post the entire thing.
Here are the issues as I see them based upon a one time read through of the substitute...First off, he still allows the Secretary to operate off of a "reason to believe" instead of credible evidence. It can't surprise many that a "reason to believe" is not a sound basis to use to recall products or to shut down businesses. The FDA believes all raw dairy is inherently dangerous and may cause death. So will air or water if there is too much or too little of it, so....It's arbitrary, and allows too much room for abuse. You can't rule a nation off of 'feelings'.
Secondly, and this is my most recent pet peeve, this bill allows for "science-based" standards. Well whose science? And what is the basis? If you read studies, they usually come to the desired conclusion of the entity paying for the study, or 'science' in this case. It's completely open ended. If it were scientifically proven, or scientifically accurate, it would be less questionable as a criteria to be applied to food 'science'.
Thirdly, the substitute bill still mentions "good agricultural practices"....Insert a heavy sigh.
And finally, while I understand that the phrase regarding "nothing in this bill is to interfere with trade agreements under the WTO" applies to the scope of the legislation, with the three things I mentioned, 'reason to believe', science based, and 'good' agricultural practices, this is as dangerous as it is in the other versions of 510, 2749, 875, etc. If the three things I mentioned were changed in the substitute bill, it actually wouldn't be something I would work really hard against....but as it stands, I cannot support the substitute.
However, we must realize if ANYTHING passes out of the Senate under the guise of "food safety" it will be thrown into the sausage grinder with HR 2749 which passed the House last July and any gains made on less tyrannical verbiage in the Senate version will likely be entirely lost in Conference with the House version. So....the grinder turns, and those who want to avoid eating whatever Soylent Green pablum the FDA decides fits their 'science based' ideologies for 'food' need to continue to tell their Senators NO on any food safety bill.
This bill is worse than the Health Care Bill and the Financial Stabilization bill and everything else other than the Clean Water Restoration Act. We have to be able to eat and drink water to survive, going to the doctor is largely optional, and fiat scrip is fiat scrip no matter who issues it. Food and water have inherent and intrinsic value. We just can't live without it.
Call the Senate, please....202 224 3121.