After Campaign of Distortion, Food Safety Bill Stalls

Just like their opposition to Net Neutrality, the Tea Party movement has come out in vocal opposition against a piece of food safety legislation with little explanation other than a belief that any government regulatory action is by definition a bad thing.

The Tea Party Patriots, with the support and assistance of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) succeeded in getting the bill stalled until at least after the Thanksgiving recess.  The bill, that had as of last week the support of at least 74 Senators would boost the power of the FDA to conduct inspections, give it mandatory recall authority, and require food facilities to put food safety plans.  It’s sponsors introduced the measure after a slew of product recalls, salmonella and e-coli outbreaks and foodborne illnesses.

But opponents to the bill, like Sen. Coburn and radio hate-monger Glenn Beck have called the measure an overreaction and have likened the measure to the Affordable Care Act, doing all they can to distort the scope and intent of the legislation.  Beck has gone so far as to misstate the size of the bill (though that is really no surprise) and attack the non-partisan Pew Research Center for it’s support of the measure, calling Pew an “uber left radical group.”

Without a doubt government intervention is not always the answer to systemic problems or market failures, but in the case of our nation’s food supply or other items that can broadly be considered part of the hard or soft infrastructure of this country, it certainly is.  While an automatic grant of additional authority by no means guarantees a government agency will exercise that authority consistently and efficiently, neither does leaving a market participant to its own devices guarantee that the health and safety needs of the consumer will be met.

Our nation’s food supply has become toxic.  Many of our processing plants operate in levels of filth that would rightly outrage consumers.  Our factory farms have very little protection from widespread disease outbreak, and once that makes its way into the food supply there is very little that can be done to prevent sickening hundreds if not thousands of consumers.  It’s not too much to argue that food safety can be a matter of national security and thus an appropriate venue for government intervention.

Which is what makes the Tea Party opposition to this bill so frustrating.  Much of this opposition funded and fueled by the large agri-business interests that would be most affected by additional regulation, and at this point their “no government is good government” mantra sounds juvenile and reactionary, particularly since it is not grounded in an accurate factual debate of the merits of the bill.  Instead, the opposition is being fueled largely by politicians and personalities who stand to gain from intentional distortion of the measure.

photo courtesy of Masaharo Ihirio via Flickr


Faye S.
Faye S7 years ago

Past Member...
Did you read the bill? Most people here don't support the tea party but, like the tea party, DO NOT support this bill either. May I suggest you read the article from Natural News before you air your ignorance of the subject.

Past Member
Past Member 7 years ago

I always knew most members of the TEA party were twits. This confirms it.

Donald MacDonald
don MacDonald7 years ago

In essence, this is their version of a 9/11 attack on our food sources.


Danell A.
Danell A7 years ago

Thanks for sharing. This is such a bothersome issue as our government does more for corporations and less for their citizens. My aunty said we should all do like back in the day & grow all our own produce. Good idea with one problem ... seeds. If companies like Monsanto are the only one's holding the seeds then we are all doomed!

Faye S.
Faye S7 years ago

It also sells out U.S. sovereignty over our own food supply by ceding to the authority of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Codex Alimentarius.

It would criminalize seed saving (, turning backyard gardeners who save heirloom seeds into common criminals. This is obviously designed to give corporations like Monsanto a monopoly over seeds.

It would create an unreasonable paperwork burden that would put small food producers out of business, resulting in more power over the food supply shifting to large multinational corporations.

I encourage you to read more about this dangerous bill at the Food Freedom blog on Wordpress:

Watch this excellent video on NaturalNews.TV which explains S.510 in more detail:

Take action now or lose your right to grow your own food.

Sign this petition at Citizens for Health:

Faye S.
Faye S7 years ago

(NaturalNews) Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called "the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America." It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public's right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmer's markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don't comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government.

"It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God." - Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower (

This tyrannical law puts all food production (yes, even food produced in your own garden) under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Yep -- the very same people running the TSA and its naked body scanner / passenger groping programs.

This law would also give the U.S. government the power to arrest any backyard food producer as a felon (a "smuggler") for merely growing lettuce and selling it at a local farmer's market.

It also sells out U.S. sovereignty over our own food supply by ceding to the authority of both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Codex Alimen

TONYA M7 years ago

I am all for having more proper food inspections, like making sure producers are maintaining hygiene; that products contain what they say they have in them. But sadly the FDA is not only involved in this side of things. Do people know that it is illegal for makers of vitamin C to claim it prevents or cures scurvy. Yes scurvy is a disease (lack of vitamin C) black swollen gums; sores all over the body.. And only vitamin C can cure it. But the FDA will prosecute you and you could face 10 years in jail from S510 if you make this 100% true claim. This is what is meant by misbranding. Also some folks like raw milk; and if you've grown up all your life drinking raw milk you will be fine but this could reasonably cause injury so the law could allow the FDA to shut down those operations. I think the problem with this bill is the language is just too vague and could be abused.

The FDA has contacted General Mills, claiming that they are “in serious violation” of federal rules. The letter goes on to read:
Based on claims made on your product’s label, we have determined that your Cheerios® Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease. So even if you have clinical studies proving your health claim you can only make that claim if you put your product through their drug trials.

We need much clearer definitions in the bill.

Ronald Ellsworth
Ronald E7 years ago

I signed the petition against this right here on Care2.

Adam T.
Adam L7 years ago

To the author of this article: So I'm guessing you never actually READ the bill?

And this gem; "It's not too much to argue that food safety can be a matter of national security and thus an appropriate venue for government intervention." Anything the Federal govt. wants to take over and monopolize, they just say its a matter of "national security" these days...and all the imbeciles that gladly trade liberty for "security" rally around it like the lemmings they are.

Lydia S.
Lydia S7 years ago

Before you support the so-called "food safety bill", please READ IT & understand what it entails.

The USDA & FDA has former (& future) agents & employees become Presidents & CEO's of major BigPharma & AgriCorporations -- this is SUSPECT, at best.

Take the case of Aspartame, otherwise known as "Equal" ... It was "approved" by the FDA after Donald Rumsfeld became CEO of GD Searle. Google USDA & Monsanto connection.

Check out NAIS ... another ugly spectre, facing small family farms while helping FACTORY FARMS.

Government intrusion into our food supply is not as benign as it might seem. When there is such a conflict of interest & the AgriCorporations' Lobbyists use strong arm tactics, and particularly if they are in favor of a bill before Congress, the People better beware.

MONSANTO, one of the biggest abusers, stands behind all of the food safety bills! The makers of GMO "foods"; purveyors of all things chemical; defenders of "cloning", rBGH & other questionable methods of food "production" -- is NOT someone I trust with my family's health!

READ THE BILL ... & understand what's at stake!