Food Safety bill S.510 is alive and well. After suffering a near fatal blow last week in the Senate, it has re-emerged as an amendment to House appropriations bill HR 3082 passed last night, appropriately under the cover of darkness. It is now back in the hands of the Senate for a final vote.
If the Senate passes this bill, powers will be handed to the FDA that have the strong potential to morph it into an American Gestapo. The Gestapo, you will remember, was the feared Secret Police force that wreaked terror on the people of Nazi Germany. What most people do not know is that the Gestapo’s power came from a law passed in 1936 – not a dictatorial edict from Hitler – that allowed it to operate without judicial oversight.
Frighteningly, S.510 would hand similar power to the FDA. The amendment’s language requires the creation of a database of food producers who would be subject to surprise inspections from FDA officials. If the FDA suspects, not proves with scientific evidence, but only believes that a targeted food producer is jeopardizing public health in some way, that food producer is suspended from producing food!
Here’s where the Gestapo part comes in …
With no due process in a court of law (that’s correct – you can forget about your Constitutional rights), suspended food producers would be “evaluated” (aka “railroaded”) by a panel of FDA thugs who have the power to decide whether or not you are out of business or can resume operations.
Small family farms are not exempted from this bill!
Think this scenario is a far stretch? Well, consider the armed raid on a private health food store full of unarmed, law abiding citizens in California this past summer. No one was breaking the law in this raid. It was a witch hunt in every sense of the word.
I’m sure the people of Nazi Germany had no idea that the Gestapo law passed in 1936 would result in people being dragged away in the middle of the night to concentration camps either. They thought the law would be a good thing and help restore order to their society just as supporters of S.510 like Michael Pollan naively believe that this bill will help make our food supply safer and protect the health of consumers.
It is never wise to give any governmental body at any time for any reason the power to operate outside courts of law or to conduct raids/incarcerate citizens without solid evidence and due process of law.
History teaches this simple lesson over and over and over.
If this stealth amendment is passed as part of an under the radar appropriations bill, Americans just may get their first taste of tyranny in the form of the FDA, aka American Gestapo. With 4,000 new FDA agents slated for hire should this bill pass and eager to cut their chops, it’s hard not to envision such a terrifying scenario.
Please contact your Senators right away (call 202-224-3121 to ask for them by name) and express your desire to have this spending bill that contains S.510 as a stealth amendment defeated once and for all.
The future of locally grown food by small family farms may very well depend on it.