November 16, 2010

Food Tyranny Bill: Imminent Cloture Vote

Filed under: Food and Farms, Freedom — Russ @ 3:09 pm


The Senate’s Food Tyranny bill, S.510, which I wrote about recently in a two-part post (part 1 and part 2), and in several earlier posts, is slated to get a cloture vote this week. (Any remotely decent piece of legislation, these vile Democrats can’t do it. But for this, Reid will rouse himself to seek cloture.)
While I don’t normally have any confidence in the sign a petition/ call your senator thing, the fact is that this isn’t the banks we’re dealing with, and public pressure could possibly make a difference.
So here’s the Farm-to-Consumer petition page, and here’s the Congressional site. For the rest, I’ll excerpt from the Food Freedom alert:


1. Call both of your Senators and ask them to oppose S.510.

Go to Congress.org and type in your zip code in the box in the upper right hand corner.

Click on your Senator’s name, and then on the contact tab for their phone number.

You can also call the Capitol Switchboard and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121.

Once connected, ask to speak to the legislative staff person responsible for agriculture. If they are unavailable leave a voicemail message. Be sure to include your name and phone number.

2. Send a live email message to your Senators through the online petition to http://www.ftcldf.org/stopS510

Be sure to follow up with phone calls.


1. FDA has more than adequate powers under existing law to ensure food safety and effectively deal with foodborne illness outbreaks. FDA has power to inspect, power to detain product and can readily obtain court orders to seize adulterated or misbranded food products or enjoin them from being sold. The problem isn’t that FDA needs more power; it’s that FDA does not effectively use the power it currently has.

2. S.510 will give FDA extensive power to regulate food in intrastate commerce; state and local governments are more than capable of handling any problems related to food in intrastate commerce. All the major outbreaks of foodborne illness involve either imported food or food in interstate commerce.

3. S.510 will hurt our ability as a nation to be self-sufficient in food production; it has more lenient inspection requirements for foreign than domestic producers creating an unfair advantage for food imports. Giving an advantage to foreign producers will only increase the amount of food imported into this country that does not meet our domestic standards. The bill does not address food security–the ability of a country to produce enough food to meet its own needs.

4. S.510 will provide a competitive advantage to industrial food producers–the sector of the food system causing most of the food safety problems; they will benefit from this legislation because it will cripple many small farmers and local producers–the solution to the food safety problems in this country. The bill will impose burdensome regulations that will punish local food producers, many of whom won’t have the economies of scale to comply with S.510′s requirements.

5. S.510 gives FDA the power to dictate growers’ practices by establishing national standards for produce; the same standards applying to big firms-where the food safety problems have occurred-will apply as well to small growers who have had no food safety issues. Small growers will be forced to change practices that have produced safe, quality food.

6. S.510 does nothing to address many significant food safety problems in this country, such as those resulting from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and various contaminants (e.g., BPA, pesticides, herbicides, etc.).


  1. Well, what a rancid week this is turning out to be be. Now, please pardon the OT, but an over ride of Obama’s pocket veto of HR 3808 is being threatened tomorrow. Call your Senators and Reps if you think that will help forestall another sordid end run around legality.

    Comment by Edwardo — November 16, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    • It’s funny how a lot of them seemed to implicitly claim at first that they’d been duped into not objecting to the first vote, yet now that the election’s over they’re looking gung ho about explicitly voting for it.

      Comment by Russ — November 17, 2010 @ 3:28 am

  2. We are about to see just how useless.co-opted The Tea Party and (reform from within) is what with HR 3808 and the imminent “Irish deal” that will likely involve U.S. taxpayer dollars via The Fed/$IMF.

    Comment by Edwardo — November 17, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    • Also on voting to repeal the health racket bill (even if Obama would presumably veto that).

      Comment by Russ — November 17, 2010 @ 9:34 am

  3. […] These are from Russ, on his “Volatility” blog: […]

    Pingback by More on Senate Bill S-510 threat to health « The Bovine — November 18, 2010 @ 7:25 am

  4. Russ, Thought you might be interested in the debate here:

    Seems like an useful site generally, as well.

    Best, tawal

    Comment by tawal — November 21, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    • Thanks tawal.

      Gristmill was actually the first blog where I hung out and regularly commented, some years back.

      I seldom go there nowadays, but I did check out some of what they wrote on this. Philpott, while ideologically dubious (it’s basically a corporate environmentalist site), is a pretty good reporter.

      Just as I expected, the debate I read gave air to lots of corporate talking points: that we need a new bill at all (unquestioned by anyone), that small producers aren’t much safer than industrial ones (both false and irrelevant: anything which goes wrong with a small producer is localized and can easily be tracked to the culprit), that this bill is about food safety at all (proven a lie by the government’s whole record of leniency toward big offenders, and in particular the fact that it allows unregulated bioweapons labs – CAFOs – to exist at all).

      Now I’ll go look at the link.

      Comment by Russ — November 21, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

    • This one was better. It did have one person directly assault the alleged need for a new bill, and several others describing the political facts.

      But it also has the lying corporate hack. I’m not sure, but I think that’s Grist’s own cadre, if I recall correctly from the previous debate.

      And then there’s the myopic: the food safety advocate who sees and understands only her own little niche, but is utterly incapable of putting anything in the big picture context.

      Indeed, several consumer and food safety groups are on the wrong side of this,


      just like Greenwald and the ACLU are on the fascist side of Citizens United and corporate personhood.

      Unfortunately, we can never trust special interest types, no matter how good they are where it comes to their particular interest. Eventually they’ll stab the people in the back, every time.

      Comment by Russ — November 21, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

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