Keeping The Government Out Of The Garden

Sunday, July 24, 2011 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

Keeping The Government Out Of The Garden

By Barbara Fix

Many kept a wary eye on Bill S.510 and were cautiously relieved when it looked like the Bill was quashed by the something extra attached to it-new taxes. That maneuver was against the rules. But nothing ventured, nothing gained...

Some remained diligent even though it appeared the Food Safety Act Bill had died a natural death. They were right to practice due diligence! The bill was tucked away in a nearly impossible to fail Veteran's benefits bill. Of course it did! What heartless person on the hill would consider voting down a bill that would negatively impact our brave men who were half way around the globe fighting a war?
It didn't hurt when the sponsors of the bill voted on it in the dead of night.
That's been a trick used for quite some time now that rarely fails.

If you haven't heard of S.510, the Food Safety Act Bill, let me explain. Many were warning of the dire potential with this bill, namely control of small organic growers. The concern was these growers would be forced to carry exorbitant insurance which would put them out of business. Another concern was handing the government the newfound ability to regulate sales of organically grown fruits and vegetables by regulating whom a grower can sell to.

Let's investigate that.

You're visiting your son in Napa valley. You pass a fruit stand that has the most succulent, red cherries on display. You turn in to their lot, grab your pocket book to fish out a $10 bill, and climb out of your rental car to approach the vendor.

"I'll take two pounds of your organic cherries, please,” You say.

"Of coarse," replies the balding man. "May I see you ID, please?"

You look to your hand to be sure you're still clasping the $10 bill you grabbed form your wallet. Yep, the $10 was there, clearly viable.

"I'm paying with cash," you say kindly. Maybe the poor guy'd gotten too much sun out in the back 40 that morning...

"You don't understand. The Food Safety Act requires that I only sell to folks within a 100 mile radius. With purchases, I need to write down ID and turn it in with my monthly report," he explains with a frown.

"But I live in Rhode Island..."

"Wished I could sell 'em to you, but I have to follow the rules," says the man, his frown now creasing his weathered face.

Your small transaction for a simple bag of cherries that failed is now in the hands of yet another new government entity.

But what if it got worse?

Many who watchdog the inroads made into our private business, like putting food on the table, are concerned the Food Safety Act Bill Act has the potential to control heirloom and heritage seed sales and what we plant in our gardens. Apparently, the brave folks in Sedgwick Main are believers!

They recently passed an ordinance that enforced their God given right to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods to their choosing, including state and federally regulated foods like raw milk.

Other towns are looking into doing something similar to protect the sovereignty of their food. Should this take off, it will send a clear message to the Hill that as a people, we intend to keep the right to grow what we want, buy what we want, and eat what we want without having the government act as our caretakers.

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