Ward House

No more farmer’s markets

Today’s post at Two Frog Home, had this link about HR 875.  From what I can tell, this bill would require seller’s at the Farmer’s market to register with a newly created Food Safety Administration and be subject to inspections.  Record keeping would be required and fines for non compliance max out at $1M.  My coworker says “welcome to socialism”.  I find this very scary.

There was some interesting discussion on this site about the bill with this point being made,

thudson said: “Please point out what text prohibits backyard gardening. Also, you should divulge any consulting contracts you have with interested parties.”

The bill does not explicitly prohibit backyard gardening. What is does is include backyard gardens in the definition of Food Production Facilities. Here’s the definition (section 3-14)
————————————–
(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation.
—————————————
This is a broad definition that could include backyard gardens, a backyard chicken pen with 2 or 3 hens, a backyard bee hive, etc. One might hope that regulations and courts would clarify the law in such a way as to exempt food produced for one’s own use. But don’t forget U.S. Supreme Court decisions, such as the New Deal era opinion which held that a farmer growing corn to feed his own pigs was engaged in interstate commerce, because growing his own corn meant that he did not purchase as much corn, thus having an effect on the interstate market for corn. Having laws on the books that could conceivably be construed in such as way as to regulate backyard or homestead food production is awfully risky.

In addition to this, the law could very well put small farmers out of business, as it is generally far more burdensome for them to comply with regulations than it is for large companies — plus small farmers do not have the wherewithal to bribe regulators, whereas large corporations do (I use the term bribe somewhat broadly to include such things as free trips, pretty women, and cases of expensive whiskey).

Can we say slippery slope?

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March 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

6 Comments »

  1. ~sigh~

    Comment by Phelan | March 12, 2009 | Reply

    • Did I interpret this right? =/ The article I mean. Had you heard this before?

      Comment by Annette | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. no, nothing you said, just the bs in general. I really have nothing else to say but a sigh. It saddens and angers be beyond words. They take our homemade toys, now they take our food. They are trying to take seed saving.

    We who controls the food, controls the world.

    Comment by Phelan | March 12, 2009 | Reply

    • Sad and true. *sighs*

      Comment by Annette | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. I went and read your link, the campaign for liberty one. The one thing no one is bringing up is that this will insure that NAIS becomes law for everyone that might share their home grown meat with others at dinner time, or as general as this bill is, anyone that eats their privately grown meat.

    Comment by Phelan | March 12, 2009 | Reply

    • It is the open-for-interpretation part that is most scary. Our own zoning wording outlaws home gardens; something that is not enforced, however. . . the option is there.

      very scary!

      Comment by Annette | March 12, 2009 | Reply


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