Conservablogger Power Quote

"...But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security..." The Declaration of Independence


Friday, January 7, 2011

David Vitter''s Response to My Concerns related to the Food Safety Modernization Act - s510 Which Became Law At the end of Last Year

Although Sen. Vitter made an attempt to quell my concerns over this act's provisions which gives too much authority to bureaucrats  (namely the secretary of agriculture), he was not successful.

I want to believe his assurances, but I know the track record of government interference.

The free market, with hands off guidelines from governmet agencies is a terrific incentive to provide safe foods.

No company want's to be associated with bad products, because they will lose money.

Now, I do like the idea of increasing inspection of imported products, but this along with increased inspections of domestic foods as well as increased records keeping by producers will increase food costs.

Couple these cost increasing elements with inflation caused by the devaluation of our currency, and we have a recipe for disasterous food price increases.

The incidences of foodborne illness in this nation do not justify these cost raising measures. We already had the safest food supply in the world, and the rules we had in place were sufficient, in my opinion.

Anyway, here is the letter I received:

Dear Mr. Taverne,

Thank you for contacting me in opposition to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

I share your concerns about giving too much power to the FDA with broad legislation. That is why I worked to support additions to the bill to protect small farmers from overreaching regulations. Also, there are rumors that this bill would prevent people from growing their own gardens, stop people from saving seeds from their own plants for later use, and ban local farmers' markets or church bake sales. Thankfully, these proposals are not things in the bill. Also, I am pleased that further protections for consumers and small farmers were added as the Senate considered the bill.

Also, the bill would ensure that the FDA cannot rashly decide to ban raw oysters, as they tried to do recently. They pulled back from that regulation only after an outcry from Louisiana and other Gulf states. In the bill, the FDA would have to submit detailed studies three months in advance to justify any new rules governing oyster harvesting, and those studies would be subject to an independent review the Government Accountability Office to ensure their accuracy. Also, it includes provisions that I pushed to prohibit "port shopping," which is a tactic foreign seafood producers use to find ports with loose safety testing, and other provisions to address foreign unsafe seafood products.

Most importantly, these seafood provisions place more control in the hands of the state and local governments, preventing a bureaucrat in Washington from deciding the fate of our world famous Louisiana seafood. Rest assured that I will continue working to keep the FDA and other federal regulators in check.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about any other issue important to you.

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