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Bonnie Krause-Gams
How will S.510 affect gardeners, seeds, and seed-saving?


S.510 is the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act which passed the US Senate November 30th and signed into law by President Obama January 4th. The bill would give the FDA the authority to test widely for dangerous pathogens and to recall contaminated food. The agency would, for the first time, have the resources and authority to prevent food safety problems, rather than respond only after people have become ill as was recently the case when thousands of people were infected with salmonella from vermin-infested henhouses in Iowa. The legislation has been criticized by some as giving too much power to the FDA, but enjoys the support of many well respected people in the sustainable food movement (e.g. Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, etc.) who feel it will do much more good than harm. The bill has been the subject of a great amount of hysteria and misinformation with unsubstantiated claims that it will outlaw backyard gardens, seed-saving, and the sharing of vegetables grown in home gardens. The truth is that S.510 does not empower the FDA to do any of these things. The one potential red flag regarding seed-saving pertains to farmers who save their own seeds. S. 510 does require inspection of seed-cleaning machines – a provision that could make it harder for farmers to collect their own seeds and could benefit large seed producers. Similarly, some have expressed concern about other effects the legislation might have on small-scale producers. Small farmers who sell most of their harvest directly to restaurants, food co-ops, farm stands, and farmers' markets wouldn't have to register with the FDA under S.510. And they wouldn't be subject to the regulations in the legislation. But such farmers would still have to abide by current state laws. For more on the facts and myths of S.510, see this article in The Christian Science Monitor.

Question details

Thank you for your point of view. I have a lot of it is "BAD" from gardener about this & other subjects, but little about who "THEY" are regulating & why. We the gardener can always start a "Garden Party" if a real threat moves on home gardners. In the last 5 years voters have let the "FEDs" know who is realy in charge & it not the people at the top of the partyline. I have always believed "We the people" will be heard.
I think, more and more, that the Founding Fathers wanted Federal congressional Representatives to represent only a certain number of people in order to be able to listen to those people. Also, Congress was a part-time job, on-site, with most of the work done locally within their states, and in-between farming and other jobs. If our Federal Government let the state militias train military, let state governments take care of state people, let taxes stay in the states and counties--well, Federal Congressmen would have a lot more time to listen to the people. Then the Fed Senators and Representatives would help real people with their state problems, their Federal problems, and be of some service instead of being a drain on taxpayers and pretending to "bring home the bacon" when the bacon never belonged in Washington DC anyway!!! They need to stop letting the bacon get away from the states--that is representation for the people!!! No wonder it is called pork; the hogs who let it go to their arena in the first place are gross!!
KGI article about seed saving mentions S510 'bill has been the subject of a great amount of hysteria and misinformation'. From what I understand, Pollan and others promoted including the Tester amendment as a concession, as it looked like without a doubt this law would be going through. However even with the Tester amendment being included - I must say, only due to very heavy campaigning by those alarmed with ever increasing government control of our food sources (note raids of raw food co-op In Venice CA ( ), fining farmer for growing wheat we have much cause for concern and vigilance. Indeed there shall be many more restrictions on our food sources...and although well advised to do so, not all are able to grow gardens for a myriad of reasons; many folks depend on local organic growers for their wholesome food sources. Please take a look at this interview with an organic farmer, about how the S510 bill will definitely limit the growth of his business, and also watch the video at the end of the article Our world is changing very rapidly. Do not be lulled into reassurance, just because Michelle Obama has put in an organic garden. Look to how the USDA and FDA is saturated with GMO-promulgating Monsanto cronies and you can extrapolate what direction our food future is going. Note that in India, the suicide rate of Indian farmers was over 17,000 deaths in 2009 - relating to failed crops from both drought and crop failure related to GMO crops from Monsanto seeds. Pay attention, be alert -- we all would do well to save our seeds given the growing climate of daily increased gov control over citizens' rights.



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