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Monday, June 17, 2024

Senate passes food safety bill…again


The Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping bill to make food safer, sending it to the House in the waning days of Congress.

It was the second time the Senate passed the bill, which would give the government broad new powers to increase inspections of food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted food. The chamber passed the bill for the first time three weeks ago, but it was caught in a constitutional snag when senators mistakenly included tax provisions that are by law supposed to originate in the House.

The version of the legislation passed by the Senate on Sunday is amended to avoid another such mishap.

The bill would place stricter standards on imported foods and require larger producers to follow tougher rules for keeping food safe. The legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support, and supporters say passage is crucial in the wake of E. coli and salmonella outbreaks in peanuts, eggs and produce.

Recent domestic outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella have exposed a lack of resources and authority at the Food and Drug Administration as the embattled agency struggled to contain and trace the contaminated products. The agency rarely inspects many food facilities and farms, visiting some every decade or so and others not at all.

The bill would emphasize prevention so the agency could try to stop outbreaks before they begin. Farmers and food processors would have to tell the FDA how they are working to keep their food safe at different stages of production.

The House originally tried to rectify the Senate mistake by including the legislation in a year-end budget bill. Senators also included food safety in their version of the budget bill, but the spending legislation hit a roadblock when Republicans insisted it not include any add-ons.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., resurrected the bill — which many thought was dead as Congress rushes to wrap up for the year — by passing it and sending it to the House as a standalone measure Sunday. He said the bill is necessary because the food safety system has not been updated in almost a century.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a lead sponsor of the bill, said: “Tonight, we achieved a critical victory, bringing this bill one step closer to the finish line. I look forward to standing with the president as he signs this important measure into law.”

“It is a huge victory for consumers following a weekend cliffhanger as both consumer and industry supporters prepared for bad news,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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31 thoughts on “Senate passes food safety bill…again”

  1. For some time now I”ve come to the reality that our system of government doesn’t serve a large population along with its associated problems well.

    A republic along with its founding documents best suits a smaller population.

    China has 1.3 billion people four times that of the U.S. Our system of government would be a total bust in terms of managing such a horde. Its communist leadership can make summary decisions and turn on a dime if necessary to address whatever the problem without a bunch of disparate local politicians each trying to carve out a piece of the action while pretending to represent their constituent’s wishes. They can also deal summary justice to corrupt businessmen, bankers etc. who are found guilty of destabilizing the “system” through greed and mismangement unlike here.

    Positive change for America in these times is like watching paint dry. We get a chance at the polls every two to six years for Congressmen and four for the office of the President. Then we must suffer another round of ill-thought rushed through legislation and citizen unfriendly decisions etc.

    So maybe the concept of having a “benevolent dictator” serves the planet and its citizens better. I’m sure that’s what the One World Government crowd thinks except they are corrupt to the core since their first allegiance is to the banks and corporations and not the earth and its inhabitants well-being. So the Chinese have an emerging hybrid of communism mixed with capitalism and they seem to be doing quite well.

    Our system on the other hand that served this nation well through the 19th century seems to fallen apart and lost its compass in the 20th and beyond.

    The answer isn’t to be found in pure republicanism, socialism, communism, fascism etc., but some future hybrid that serves the earth’s burgeoning population.

    Too much time is wasted on discussionals among our leaders; ie., talk, talk and talk some more with the end result being disastrous legislation that benefits no one. Our now defacto leaders have become the corporations who have only a single committment to their stockholders. The “Captains of Industry”; ie., the shadowy, greedy oligarchs who run them could give a flying flip less about the well being of the nation state and its citizens. Greed is their mantra…no? We know where that has gotten this nation in the past 30 years or so regardless of what Gordon Gekko said:



    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Bolshevism was far worse for humanity than Nazi Germany, especially concerning the starvation deaths of the populace.

    All on CHB who aren’t up to speed on the Bolshevik Revolution may want to read how the people of Russia were “systematically” starved to death and by “whom.”

    Happy reading…

    • I’ll take a wild stab at it…The government took control of the food supply, perhaps? Engineered scarcity?

      Control the money…Check!
      Control the media…Check!
      Control the energy…Check!
      Control the food…Almost there!

      • Somebody’s gone batsh!t crazy… Check!

        Why is der Gummit trying to take over a system that it already owns? We have been successfully assimilated by the Borg (aka American Culture); what purpose would there be to reducing our productivity through starvation and torture from jack-booted thugs?

        I thought I was posting on Capitol Hill Blue… my mistake, I see that it is the Crazed Hill Billies!

        • What purpose would there be to reduce our productivity through offshoring? None, but they do it any way.

          How productive are the millions of people on unemployment? I wonder how well they’re eating these days as food prices skyrocket.

          I didn’t mean that they intend to starve and torture us as in the Russia. But it is all about control. When they control the supply of energy, food and money, they control you.

          And really, don’t think some thing like that can’t happen here. Why not? Because this is America? Ha. This would be the easiest place to do it. We’re nothing more than lemmings, unable to survive or think for our selves if the government umbilical should get cut.

          Look how easy it is to get people riled up over the latest terror threat.

          Batshit crazy, indeed.

        • Yo logtroll…

          It seems you are having an episode…?

          Methinks you need something to calm the savage beast within today.
          Don’t go bad mouthin’ salt of the earth folks; ie, ‘hillbillies”. In fact more than likely they’ll do best at surviving an in our face, jack-boots on our collective necks regime. They don’t like Feds in general especially them dad-gummed revenoorers. 😀

          I offer you “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” performed by Scruggs& Martin

          Carl Nemo **==

          • Right on re: the pickin’ ‘n fiddlin’. Ah happens to be a stroker o’ the catgut mahself.

            Pertaining to the paranoid visions of gummit thugs stealin’ yer vegetables and Seal-a-Meal stash, I’d like to relate a story. I happened to live just over the mountain from Ruby Ridge during all the infamous standoff excitement. I’ll be among the first line of folks to say that the Gummit boys over-reacted. But I’ll also say that Randy Weaver wanted it to happen. You and Griff are reminding me, in your recent posts, of Weaver before the standoff. His paranoid anti-government attitude and actions promoted himself as an apparent threat to society. So he got treated as a threat to society by a part of our government that is trained to “contain” threats. Neither side could/would exist without the other.

            Frankly, I find your apocalyptic fantasies to be beyond the Black Stump.

            However, I’d advise against indulging in a ridiculous intuitive DB style assumption that this means I think the Gummit is wonderful. That would be incorrect. Unless you want to go toe-to-toe for a few rounds of witty and sarcastic pugilism? Sounds like fun.

            • I don’t know where you get the idea that Griff and I are chafing for a shoot ’em up with “the man”. People that have read my writings over time should recall I always admonish them that it’s not possible and to belay such thoughts.

              Both the military and our now militarized law enforcement elements are trained to do one thing; ie., neutralize a threat…period! We’re no longer citizen, but the ‘enemy’ to them once they are mobilized under martial law.

              Ideally one wants to survive under the radar, but that will be difficult. One of the first things related to martial law decrees is registration of the population; ie., report to your local post office or designated spot to be registered etc. So at that point a citizen has to make a decision as to whether to obey or not. My thoughts are that one is putting themselves at great hazard doing so because if your name is already on a “no fly” or any other ‘list’ they’ll use this registration scheme to detain said individuals on the spot for transport to an internment camp or worse; you won’t be going back home that day. Now if you don’t register then you’ll not have proper ‘papers’ and are subject to arrest and possible summary execution as an enemy of the state. It’s precisely for this reason that I don’t believe any domicile is defendable and guerilla survival techniques utlizing “safe houses” and a network will give one and their family greater protection in the event this dark scenario unfolds in this country. If you stand to fight, you’ll end up with a Cobra gunship overhead ready to reduce your house to matchsticks via chaingun fire or finish off the job with a “Hellfire” missile.

              A not so “Brave New World” is acoming. / : |

              Carl Nemo **==

            • Ha. So much for freedom of speech. A few bad apples gone apeshit and now every one that dares speak out is destined to go postal. Got it. Drinking much of the DHS Kool-Aid these days?

              I’ve never advocated violence of any kind. Am I prepared for civil unrest? You bet.

              Do I have paranoid visions or a desire to see it become reality? No I don’t. I kinda like my life. Well, actually not right this moment, but overall. I have no desire but to live peacefully.

              But I do believe we still have the right to speak freely. I happen to oppose virtually every thing this government does. It’s my right. Perhaps if this government wasn’t so horribly wrong, I would find better things to do with my time.

              But as it is, I rather enjoy spending (wasting?) time here. We may get off the beaten path some times, but some times the beaten path isn’t the right place to be.

              • For clarification, I wasn’t meaning to imply that you guys are violence prone. My point was the default defense mentality of holing up to protect yourself against all the sure-to-emerge crazies out there. Closing down, tightening up, excluding, looking out for numero uno, defending against “the others”; these are features of a self-realizing collapsing social system. For Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidians, their small and isolated social systems did collapse, rather disastrously.

                Fearing “the others” is the paranoic’s death spiral. As long as we feed the notion that “the others” are the enemy and we are powerless, we will strengthen the reality of it. Remember Pogo’s observation, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

                For myself, “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

                We are not powerless, unless we agree to be and do nothing but bitch from our Laz-E-Boys to each other. Politics and Gummit ain’t spectator sports.

                Please excuse me, I need to go work on persuading my Congressionals to support one of my evil schemes now.

                • Hey, I didn’t bring about the collapse, I’m just living through it. I wouldn’t be wasting my time here if I believed us to be powerless. Being prepared for the worse but hoping for the best is a lot different from closing down, tightening up, excluding, etc…

                  I would suggest that this government, through its own actions in both foreign and domestic policy, is quite capable of creating its own enemies of regular people. It seems to be the only thing they’re good at.

  3. Hi GHL,

    To put it simply, I don’t trust anything provided by our government when it comes to certifying an additive or drug. The FDA is a corrupt organization and this core, organizational rot seriously rooted during the Reagan/H.W. Bush era. We’ve now paid a dear price of 30 years of “rethug” facilitated economics, food and drug approval, lax pollution control and a MIC that’s gone absolutely ‘hog wild’ in trashing this nation’s bottomline through their ever-friendly facilitators in Congress.

    I’m going to supply a bombshell report concerning how Donald Rumsfeld as CEO of G.B. Searle managed to get aspartame pushed through for approval.

    I know…I know you are going to froth at the mouth because of it being a article, but the chain of events and the narrative makes for an easy read. It will also connect the dots as to why so many things our government does isn’t for our collective benefit. As the old saying goes, just “follow the money”.

    Carl Nemo **==

    • I know people that are absolutely addicted to Diet Coke. They also happen to be some of the sickliest people I know.

      Artificial any thing is not good for you. It isn’t what nature intended for us, so our bodies can’t metabolize the thousands of chemicals in our daily “food.” That is the bottom line.

      Why does virtually no one make the connection between our food and water and the meteoric rise of debilitating illness the last 40 years or so? Whether it’s on purpose or by accident (yeah, right) is immaterial. It is undeniable that the thousands of chemicals we ingest any given day has long-term health consequences that may not be revealed in simple lab studies.

      Mankind survived thousands of years on an all-natural diet. Mankind survived thousands of years without pharmacueticals. Now you’re lucky if you’re not on ten different medications by the time you’re thirty years-old. This is not natural.

      It’s not mere coincidence that they named it the Food and Drug Administration. They’re one in the same now – food and drugs.

  4. I’m assuming that both you and Griff read my sentiments concerning SB510 many weeks ago. In fact it precipitated a mild flame about the bill’s intent etc.

    I contacted both my U.S. Senator’s offices. Only one of the two responded to my inquiry. Supposedly their are amendments to protect home gardeners, organic farmers, seedsmen et al. from “Big Brother” meddling per the letter I received from Senator Maria Cantwell, but that was when the bill was to stand on its own for passage and not added on to other legislation as they’ve done. It still has to be approved by the House, but our globalist friendly crimpols we have in office have a plan for us and it isn’t good for sure. In addition to red tape and no doubt much paperwork no different than their lousy 2700 page Obamacare nightmare in time, they’ll definitely screw up food production and distribution bigtime with their 5000 newly authorized FDA ‘cops’ marching around the countryside, no doubt armed too. Count on it.

    I’ll supply a copy of the e-letter that I received several weeks ago with assurances?


    Dear Mr. xxxxxx,

    Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about food safety. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response.

    As you know, the United States government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply, including both foods produced domestically and imported from abroad. There are several agencies charged with meeting this responsibility, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees the safety of most domestic and imported food substances used in the production of food. Meat, poultry and domestic catfish inspection is overseen by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    Despite the significant involvement of these agencies in protecting the American food supply, tainted ingredients continue to find their way through holes in the system. Within our outdated food safety framework – designed 100 years ago – the FDA has struggled with outbreaks of food borne illnesses, which sicken 76 million annually and send 300,000 to hospitals. With the safety of the American people at stake, it is critically important that this collection of agencies efficiently collaborate to establish a shield of protection against contaminated food products. To achieve these goals and address the weaknesses of the current food safety system, the Senate passed the FDA Food Modernization Act (S. 510) with my support on November 30, 2010 by a vote of 73-25. Following passage, the bill was referred to the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The FDA Food Modernization Act takes important steps to improve safety. It directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop regulations for sanitary food transportation practices, allocate inspection resources based on the risk profile of food facilities or food, and allows the Secretary to order an immediate recall of unsafe food products. Further, this legislation enhances food borne illness surveillance systems, provides for greater inspection of imported food, and requires food facilities to implement preventive controls to food safety hazards.

    While I am committed to ensuring the safety of our food supply, I understand your concerns about the effects of this legislation on small and organic farms. S. 510 includes a number of new provisions to protect small farmers from “one-size-fits-all” regulations.

    The bill incorporates provisions to exempt certain small food facilities and farms from the produce standards outlined in the bill, and allows the FDA to exempt farms engaged in low-risk processing or co-mingling activities from new regulatory requirements. It directs the FDA to provide flexibility for small food processors with regard to paperwork, compliance and regulations, including minimizing the number of different standards that apply to separate foods. It also exempts farms that market directly to grocery stores and consumers from traceability and recordkeeping regulations, and prevents the FDA from requiring any farm to keep records beyond the first point of sale when the product leaves the farm, except in the case of farms that co-mingle product from multiple farms.

    In addition, S. 510 explicitly exempts home gardens from regulations outlined in the bill and does not create any new rules regarding seed savings. It does not outlaw or criminalize any specific agricultural or growing practice, including the sale of raw milk; rather, the bill directs the FDA to review its existing hazard analysis for raw milk before creating any new preventative control rules. It does not charge farms and businesses new registration fees, and does not require the adoption of international standards put forth from the WTO, United Nations, or Codex Alimentarius.

    Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts regarding food safety modernization. You may be interested in signing up for my weekly update for Washington State residents. Every Monday, I provide a brief outline about my work in the Senate and issues of importance to Washington State. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

    Maria Cantwell
    United States Senator


    Carl Nemo **==

    • Have to point out the FDA approves of mercury in vaccines, but not in fish. The FDA approved aspartame even though it’s known to cause cancer. They don’t need any new laws against raw milk, because they are already raiding stores selling it with guns drawn. What is “flexibility” in paperwork, compliance, and regulations? Does that mean I get a smaller fine and less jail time? That’s not the same as exemption.

      Do you know the new bill name? I read it was HR 2751 but that brings up the “Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act” passed in 2009. They keep playing the shell game with this bill.

      • I can tell Woody you are upset concerning the possibility of the Feds getting involved down the local supply level; ie., farmers markets etc. as well myself and many other savvy people who are witnessing our now out of control leaderships’ power grab over everything within our field of vision.

        Probably if you set up a simple roadside stand or participate in a local market you’ll be OK for a while. It’s going to take time for this newly authorized behemoth to get rolling. They have other fish to fry initially; ie, the big fish.

        Producing food during bad times is not a good idea. It will get you and your family killed for sure. A number of years ago I had a couple of old guys who fought in the Greek resistance against the Nazi’s in WWII tell me some tales of true survival under deadly conditions. They laughed at how Americans thought resistance and survival might be during times of insurrection and partisan resistance. They said that hungry to starving hords of people would go from house to house looking for food. If they thought you were hoarding such or tried to charge them, they would kill you and strip the residence clean. The only way to survive was to share that which was visible to them and they would move on if your were lucky. The age of these two men at the time were 12 and 14! Each put over two dozen krauts in the ground. It was very tough indeed, but they survived.

        In these times and those to come…”Trust no one!”

        Take care of numero uno; ie, you and your family first and to hell with those that partied hearty while their “New Rome” collapsed about them.

        Don’t forget to invest in some quality commercial food dryers in addition to quality canning equipment. Quality vacuum sealers are very handy for sealing dried food including ammunition, documents, survival clothing, guns etc. for underground storage in gasketed, sealable, large capacity containers which are available. Also purchase bags of dessicant in quantity to pitch into the sealed drygoods etc. to provide extra insurance against corrosion. Coat all guns and parts in WD-40 and wrap them in cloth; i.e, old t-shirt material cut up before sealing within the vacuum bag material. The cloth will prevent sharp edges from penetrating the bag material over time. High value items should be double vacuum sealed for integrity reasons.

        You must also work on creating multiple secret cache’s of the stores for your family in the event you are driven from your residence and come back later. If the structure survives, no doubt it will be stripped bare of anything useful by marauding bands of the unprepared.

        Remember having a flexible plan is far better than a static one unless you plan on going down in defence your property. So multiple “go bags”, maps, compasses and multiple FRS/GRS type handheld radios for family members would be handy. Some now have up to a 36 mile range in flat territory. Even if its only one third as advertised it will still come in handy. Also maintain transmission for very short periods speaking in a prearranged code language known only to family members. To much radio talk will get one killed too. Rest assured all normal communications will be severely curtailed. All that will be left on computer monitors and TV screens will be black field, Homeland Security instructions and if there’s any programming it will be “Big Brother” friendly “mind-numbing” pap for sure.

        Merry Christmas 2010 to you, Griff, our site host Doug Thompson and his host of loyal site participants all. : )

        Carl Nemo **==

        • I also meant to thank you for the Cali based “raw food” raids. Readers should click on the narrative link associated with the video for complete coverage.

          Isn’t it amazing how easy it is for fascist wannabe governments to find enforcement “thugs” in no short supply. Hey, the pay is no doubt quite good, medical, vacations and future, assured pensions courtesy of either this government or the very ugly in our face one to follow all courtesy of their now totally captive and fearful tax serfs.

          Carl Nemo **==

        • “Merry Christmas 2010 to you, Griff, our site host Doug Thompson and his host of loyal site participants all. : ) …extract from post

          If there’s one participant who’s intellect I admire most, it’s Almandine.

          My sincerist apologes for not including you in the above kudos.

          Carl Nemo **==

        • Thanks for the tips Carl. Guess I’m going down with the ship. I couldn’t stand to watch them harm my wife and kids. Live free or die. Only question is, will it be marauding hordes or jackboot thugs?

          I’m not going to speak much on my preparations. I will say I have a modest looking home that appears small from the outside. It’s on high ground. The barn, orchard and herd will be visible from the road. The garden will not. Windmill is up in the air, not sure I want to go that route.

          I’m not sure your friends were armed like we are today in the USA. I won’t be traveling to the nether regions of hell alone if that day comes. We only have four deputies for the entire county so I’m not expecting help. It’s going to be a heck of a ride.

        • Wow! Ya’ll mean we’re gonna be extras in one a Ahnold’s films? Great!! It’ll be refreshing to get out of this dead end role in the Matrix.

          Can you say, “paar-a-noid?”

          • What’s it hurt to be prepared?

            At worst we are wrong and nothing happens and we are left with supplies we’ll never use. But if we are right…this old Boy Scout can’t help himself.

        • FOUND MY ANSWER:

          Then, on the floor of the Senate in the late afternoon, early evening of Sunday, December 19, Senator Reid called the Recycling bill for a vote and there was no objection from the two other Senators who were on the floor. So by unanimous consent HR 2751 was passed. Then Senator Reid moved for reconsideration with the vote to be tabled. This was granted by the same unanimous consent because there was no other Senator on the floor. Then Senator Reid offered without objection amendment number 4890 which substituted S. 510 the Food Safety Bill for the Recycling Bill. Without objection, then the amendment was passed and the Food Safety Bill had been substituted for the Recycling Bill. Reid moved that the bill be read for the third time and asked for the question. Without objection, the bill passed, and the Food Safety Bill was on the way back to the House.

          Some how this is legal?

          • Thanks Woody for the research that exposes the “seedy underbelly” of our polical processes. I’m not an expert on Senate or House procedures and rules, but somehow I’m sure they can quote their right to do so as a function of ‘their rules’…. / : |

            I loathe our now dysfunctional government as to what they are doing to our nation. They are destroying it before our very eyes and we are all seemingly helpless except through the now impotent ballot box.

            Our elected “representatives” have morphed themselves into positions of self-imagined ‘leadership’ failing the mandate of their constituents back home wherever USA. They pass massive legislation, mostly unread, not even the extracts provided to them by their aids. All are overpaid along with deluxe percs and no doubt more often than not, bloated on alcohol, rich foods, drugs and sex both licit and illict, their sodden brains now dysfunctional concerning the genuine business of “the people” , seemingly operating a “La Cosa Nostra” (our thing) enterprise.

            They are all smug, entrenched, globalist friendly toadies. Their mission and marching orders are to destroy the nation state, once the United States of America every day in every way…! X – (

            Carl Nemo **==

      • “The FDA approved aspartame even though it’s known to cause cancer.”

        Not true, at least for humans.

        As to the clip of the “cops” it is obvious on close examination that that is NOT a security camera. When was the last time you saw a security camera move in the same manner as a handheld camera. I will submit to you as an hypothesis that the little movie you linked to was a fake. And even if it was not a fake there is nothing in context to show whether the cops were there to confiscate raw milk or because of a report of a B&E.

        • LOL, leave it to Guardhouse Lawyer to cite a study that has no concern for long term effects. You could probably breathe asbestos for as long as this study lasted and have no ill effects in that short time period but it doesn’t make it less harmful in the long run.

          I don’t care what you believe buddy. I’m not here to massage your ego or serve at your whim. But one might notice they filmed the output from the surveillance system with a hand-held camera as an easy way to transfer the footage. It is indeed real footage. There is more where that came from and it was on the radio out in California where they interviewed the owners.

  5. I’ll say it again, I won’t cry while you starve as our government prevents me from selling my fresh produce because I can’t afford their certificates and inspections. It will rot in the field or I’ll can and jar it for my family to use over the winter. You can eat cake or that paper your food stamps are printed on.

  6. Oppose, oppose, oppose. And oppose again. As usual, this has nothing to do with food safety and every thing to do with giving the federal government more power, more tax dollars, and more control.

    Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Space Aliens, oppose, oppose, oppose. Oppose every thing this government tries to do. History shows that it’s never what they promise. Stop believing this nonsense.

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