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A solemn walk through HR 875

By       Message Linn Cohen-Cole     Permalink
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(7) include a description of the variance process under subsection (d) and the types of permissible variances which the Administrator may grant under such process.

(d) VARIANCES.-States and foreign countries that export produce intended for consumption in the United States may request from the Administrator variances from the requirements of the regulations under subsection (c).

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This is where the "fact" that foreign countries must meet our food safety requirements collapses by simply reading the bill, as reproduced above. 

PASA's "facts" are misleading:

MYTH:  The bill would implement a national animal ID system.

FACT:  There is no language in the bill that would implement a national animal ID system.  Animal identification issues are under the jurisdiction of the USDA.  The Food Safety Modernization Act addresses issues under the jurisdiction of the FDA.  

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This bill mandates NAIS by claiming that it is already law, then contradicts itself by citing COOL (country of origin labeling), which specifically prohibits mandatory tracking.  It justifies NAIS by claiming that the American Herbal Products Assn. (AHPA) gives authority - but this is a bill (and supposedly a program) concerning interstate commerce (though any item of food for sale is "presumed" to be in interstate commerce) and AHPA does not regulate interstate commerce. 

How many contradictions in a single section do we need before red flags go up? Yes, and put up red flags for whole bills if this central part is so corruptly being pushed.  

It is absurd to claim that NAIS is not mandatory.  Food and Water Watch has gotten this and many other items wrong.  That would be fine if the whole organic movement and all our farms and freedom were not riding on our seeing these very real threats and stopping those bills completely - not compromising on them, but demanding their complete withdrawal.

(a) In General- The Administrator, in order to protect the public health, shall establish a national traceability system that enables the Administrator to retrieve the history, use, and location of an article of food through all stages of its production, processing, and distribution.

(b) Applicability- Traceability requirements under this section shall apply to food from food production facilities, food establishments, and foreign food establishments.

(c) Requirements-

(1) STANDARDS- The Administrator shall establish standards for the type of information, format, and timeframe for food production facilities and food establishments to submit records to aid the Administrator in effectively retrieving the history, use, and location of an item of food.

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(2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the Administrator to prescribe a specific technology for the maintenance of records or labeling of food to carry out the requirements of this section.

(3) AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS FOR INSPECTION- Any records that are required by the Administrator under this section shall be available for inspection by the Administrator upon oral or written request.

(4) DEMONSTRATION OF ABILITY- The Administrator, during any inspection, may require a food establishment to demonstrate its ability to trace an item of food and submit the information in the format and time frame required under paragraph (1).

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Met libertarian and conservative farmers and learned an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about government violations against them and against us all. The other side of the fence is nothing like what we've been (more...)

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