I must admit that I have been a little remiss where S510 is concerned. I thought it was just another bill designed to improve labelling and traceability through the supply chain and that its net effect, if passed, would be to simply increase costs for any growers and manufacturers who didn’t already have modern systems in place to document and track every step of the agriculture-based supply chain — from farmer’s field to store shelf.
(I know that most manufacturers don’t have these systems in place, but since the technology has existed for quite some time now, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. Given the US crackdown on everything import, export, and supply chain related over the last few years with the threats of terrorism and all the tainted food scandals, there’s no way a food and beverage manufacturer could not claim that they did not know it was coming eventually. Plus, there are quite a number of low-cost SaaS and open-source systems out there that can do the job for a fraction of what a good ERP/MRP would have cost ten years ago when the
costs were truly prohibitive.)
However, after reading this recent piece by Sam Osborn over the VBS.TV blog, I’m a little worried. Sam is calling it The Most Dangerous Bill In The History of America, and if he’s right, he’s not far off.
According to the post, the basics of the bill grant the FDA supreme authority over every seed that will eventually grow into an American food-stuff and the supremacy of this power stretches to the inspection of growing, harvesting, sorting, and storage operations, minimum standards related to fertilizer use nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, etc. And the bill calls for the inspection of any purveyor of food, ranging from a farm corp beast like Perdue to your Aunt Maye who sells blackberry jam at the town fair. This would literally put farmer’s markets and most organic food producers out of business.
And it gets worse, according to Dr. Shiv Chopra, S.510 would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law. (Source: The World Prophecy)
And the bill, dubbed the Food Safety Act, passed the House of Representatives on December 21 with a 215-144 vote. All that’s left is for President Obama to sign it into law. Is this the end of the organic supply chain?