Friday, March 20, 2009

You've Gotta' Love the Irony

First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground today on a new vegetable garden near the South Lawn that will supply the White House kitchen. She was encouraged in the project by noted California chef Alice Waters, considered a leader in the movement to encourage consumption of locally grown, organic food. During Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, Ms. Waters organized a series of fund raising dinners that served foods purchased at a Washington area farmer’s market.

However, if Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. and Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio have their way, it will soon be nearly impossible to purchase food from local markets. HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 was introduced in February by DeLauro, whose husband works for Monsanto, the world’s leading producer of herbicides and genetically engineered seed. The bill calls for the creation of a Food Safety Administration to allow the government to regulate food production at all levels, and mandates property seizure, fines up to $1 million per offense and criminal prosecution for producers who fail to comply with regulations. Under the broad wording of the legislation, anyone who transports any food product for retail sale would be subject to strict government regulation that is sufficient to put small farms and local growers out of business.

Senate Bill 425, the food Safety and Tracking Improvement Act is sponsored by Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown, and backed by lobbyists for Monsanto and Tyson. The measure establishes a nationwide “traceability system” monitored by the FDA for all stages of manufacturing, processing, packaging and distribution of food, at a cost to taxpayers of $40 million.

And just 3 days ago President Obama announced he’s forming a Food Safety Working Group to propose new laws and stop “corruption” of the nation’s food.

So much for buying locally. Sorry Ms. Waters - I hope Michelle’s garden does well.

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