Wednesday, 8 April 2009

US regulation HR875 and how it will impact farmers markets, CSAs and local food

I just came across this story about the proposed US regulation 875 on Alchemille's blog:

Alchemille's Secret Garden: Please Read This...

An excerpt from one of the articles: 
"Rather, than promoting true accountability and proper farming techniques that minimize the risk of introducing pathogens into the food supply, it simply will create greater barriers for our already struggling small farms and farmers markets. HR 875. mandates that anyone who produces food of any kind - meat, milk, fruit, vegetables et cetera - and transports that food for sale be subject to warrantless government inspections of their farms and food production records. These random inspections can be conducted at the whim of federal agents without regard to farmers rights or property rights. Further, the law would allow federal agents to confiscate records, product as they see fit as part of the inspection process... The penalty for denying federal agents unlimited, random access to a farm’s fields, properties, products and records is up to $1,000,000. The penalty for not registering is up to$1,000,000.... Remember, this law would affect every farmer or food producer who must transport his goods to sell them - in effect, every single farmer. That means that an orchard that sells fresh fruit at a roadside stand would be affected; a farmer who delivers CSA boxes would be affected, even a home gardener who brings excess harvest to a farmers market’s community booth would have to register or be subject to $1,000,000 fines and that garden plot would be subject to inspection by federal agents. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But it’s true."

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