Posted by: jackslife | March 10, 2009

Organic and Small Farming to Become Illegal?

According to a post on the blog Shephard on Politics, there is a bill before the house right now that may continue the assault of small farms in America.  The bill is H.R. 875, and it would create a new agency (just what we need) to police food safety.  It is already next to impossible for small scale farms to opporate under the strain of the regulations currently imposed on them.  The creation of a “Food Safety Administration” seems like a surefire way to make a bad situation worse.  Here’s a brief excerpt from the blogger’s commentary –

This massive bloat in government regulation (and taxpayer expense to support it) would add additional cost and headache to every farm, some fishing boats, slaughterhouse, processing plant, CO-OP and anyone else associated with growing, storing, transporting or processing food. The bill authorizes fines of up to $1,000,000 (one million) dollars for “each act” and for “each day” of a violation.

This bill seems sufficiently vague to allow for this new agency to extend beyond what might be the initial intent, and I don’t really recall a time when a government agency has not grown in power over time.

I’ve seen a lot of “sky is falling” articles about this one, so I won’t join in on that.  I do think that this is another knee-jerk solution that is worse than the problem it is intended to solve.  The only people who wouldn’t see this as driving more people out of small farming are people who know nothing about small farms.  As it stands now the burden of regulation makes it extremely difficult for small farms to eke out a living.  Even if organic farming isn’t made illegal by this bill, it will add another blow to small farms that many won’t be able to recover from.

Read the bill here

Please contact your senators and representatives today and urge them to vote against this bill.  We don’t need more agricultural regulation!

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