(Photo of Rochester farmers Market)
I been notified of a new Bill that was introduced, HR 875. If it passes it could cause the death of farmers markets, most CSAs, farmstands and even small family farms . HR 875 or the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 seems to fail in promoting food safety. It seems to create greater problems for already struggling small farms and farmers markets. It says that anyone who produces food of any kind - meat, milk, fruit, vegetables and transports that food for sale would be subject to warrant less government inspections of their farms and food production records.
"These random inspections can be conducted at the whim of federal agents without regard to farmers rights or property rights. Further, the law would allow federal agents to confiscate records, product as they see fit as part of the inspection process." They could also state restrictions on regarding how farm animals can be fed, how fields are managed and the end result could mean the end of organic, biodynamic and sustainable agriculture practices as these practices are deemed "unsafe."
Farmers refusing to comply would be subject to penalties. "The penalty for not denying federal agents unlimited, random access to a farm's fields, properties, products and records is $1,000,000. The penalty for not registering is $1,000,000." "This law would affect every farmer or food producer who must transport his goods to sell them - in effect, every single farmer. That means that an orchard that sells fresh fruit at a roadside stand would be affected; a farmer who delivers CSA boxes would be affected, even a home gardener who brings excess harvest to a farmers market's community booth would have to register or be subject to $1,000,000 fines and that garden plot would be subject to inspection by federal agents. Ridiculous, isn't it? But it's true."
-Exerpts in quotes directly taken from http://vinlands-volva.blogspot.com