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Revisiting S510- The Food Safety Bill

Our government is operating way out of bounds concerning The Food Safety Bill and its passage. In December of 2010, I witnessed Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) explaining The Food safety Bill on C-Span 2. Mr Durbin had a huge chart with him that showed that the next ten years of implementing the Food safety Bill, (as it was known then) would not increase the national Debt.  He had it laid out with all zeroes under the cost section of each year.

How can creating thousands of additional government positions along with the equipment to operate costs the taxpayer zero dollars? Then it hit me. It will be paid for by new higher food taxes and/or prices passed down to the consumer! So at it’s roots, The Food Safety Bill is another stealth tax that our Congress failed once again to inform the citizens about. (Unless you think the thousands of people who will have to be hired to enforce this plan will work for free?) Meanwhile, decent Americans were caught up in the argument that this bill would make their home gardens illegal and other propaganda to distract them.

I also found myself wondering why this bill was being rammed through during the Lame Duck session of Congress in late December. Yes, it did have prior limited debate in both houses of congress.. Yet true to the Democratic party’s method of operation during the last two years, the final process was rushed and fraught with partisanship. Then it was passed illegally in the Senate, due to Article 1 section 7 of the US Constitution, which states the following: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives”; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. Section 107 of the Food Safety Bill is titled: Authority to collect fees. (making S510 null and void) So many Americans applauded this as meaning the Bill was dead on arrival in 2010, and would have to be completely redone. Not with the 111th Congress being controlled by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, (along with Republicans who seemed to forget what being a conservative is supposed to mean) No sir.

Keep in mind here, that the American public was being bombarded with the Tax Cut/Increase debate at the same time. When I wonder why Republicans seemingly let this Food Safety Bill get passed during a recession, I come to the conclusion that the Tax debate had to be relevant. Was there some kind of a deal made? Who, in their right mind would increase the price of food drastically during a recession when unemployment is darn near 10% ? When the Food safety Bill (S510 at the time) was passed contrary to the Constitution, I thought like everyone else did, that it was dead. Then I turn on C-Span during the lame duck session, and there is Dick Durbin and his chart, telling us that this bill will not increase the debt again.

I put in calls to my Senators demanding an explanation. I received exactly zero answers or explanations. Two days later I received my answers in the form of HR 2751, “A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply”. Say what? From govtrack.us ( accessed on 01/08/2011)**,  I just what had happened to the original S510 Food Safety Bill:

“This bill [S. 510] was superseded by H.R. 2751. On Sunday, December 19, the text of S. 510 replaced the original text of H.R. 2751, and the bill passed by voice vote. H.R. 2751, originally the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act, passed the House in June 2009 and was a “vehicle” for the passage of S. 510 in a House-originating bill because S. 510 was a revenue-raising bill. All revenue-raising bills must originate in the House.”

This bill [S. 510] never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven’t passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session. “

The following is a short summary of this whole process, again accessed from govtrack.us on 01/08/2011***

Dec 29, 2010: Presented to President.

“Related:

See the Related Legislation page for other bills related to this one and a list of subject terms that have been applied to this bill. Sometimes the text of one bill or resolution is incorporated into another, and in those cases the original bill or resolution, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned.

Votes:

Jun 9, 2009: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. This usually occurs for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 298 Ayes, 119 Nays, 17 Present/Not Voting

Dec 19, 2010: This bill passed in the Senate with changes by Voice Vote. A record of each senator’s position was not kept. (Therefore, NO Senators up for reelection in 2012 can be held accountable for passing higher food prices onto us during a bad economy)

Dec 21, 2010: A vote in the House of Representatives to agree with the other chamber’s changes passed by roll call vote. The totals were 215 Ayes, 144 Nays, 74 Present/Not Voting. ( not doing what we pay them to do)”

In conclusion, we must look at the complete picture here to understand just what has happened and how it was done. First, this bill was titled The Food Safety Act. America has had the safest record in Food safety in the world for over 100 years. To put this into perspective, the fake baby formula episode in China resulted in more deaths, then food poisoning has in America in the last 10 years. So this has nothing to do with actual food safety and everything to do with increasing the size and scope of our government by adding thousands new positions and regulations. There were no “massive epidemics” as some people in our Congress were spewing during debate on it.

Secondly is the “reported costs” to the taxpayer. The CBO has hedged on producing a firm estimate, yet once again projections have risen from 1.4B to 4.2 B yearly. Those billions are in new tax dollars, by the way, as there wasn’t even an attempt to cut waste, fraud or redundant positions within the incompetent FDA, when passing this bill. Spend, Spend ,Spend.

Last but certainly not least, are the people who were behind this power grab/stealth tax debacle. Over 200 big company lobbyists spent millions pushing this through. Once again the little man is left out and not allowed a voice in this discussion. Small farmers will be driven out of business, and our food prices will rise drastically. There is no solid information that gaurantees our food supply will be made safer, and we will pay higher food prices. This bill should be repealed, and an honest debate be opened up which includes all Americans, not just the ones who will enrich themselves through bribing corrupt politicians through Lobbyist dollars. Enough is enough.

Sources:

** – http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510 – S510 Ref.

*** – http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2751 – HR 2751 Ref.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Cate says:

    Just as a revisit to this – you do know that HR 2751 was signed into law on January 4, 2011, correct? And it did include S 510.

  2. Tag says:

    Liberals have become similar to an infestation of termites. It’s been quite, stealthy and hidden in the walls. From the outside, our nation looks the same, but we have become a socialist country over night. I do recall going to war over such things in the past – but for some reason, it’s actually happened in our own land, without a single shot being fired. I don’t think this nation can survive another two years of this stripping we’ve been going through. What’s it going to take people for us to wake up and realize that we must get these people out of washington RIGHT NOW!!!

    • Daniel (twitter: @Mirac777) says:

      I certainly agree with the term “infestation” when it comes to liberals. From activist Judges injecting Liberal opinions into court rulings, to unelected czars with radical ideology, to Anti-American nutcases saying the American flag offends some people, the infestation is wide ranging. The Socialists now have made us a second rate country next to China, and won’t let up until we are a third world nation begging for enough food to feed our people. Communism used to be illegal in this country. Now kids think it is cool to wear Che and Mao T-shirts. HOW SAD.

      • Jay says:

        Are you both kidding? It has nothing to do with socialism.
        It’s hyper-capitalism – corporations have managed to control the government through lobbying, amongst other methods.

        How can a true democracy exist if those who have more money have more political power?Political power, bills and laws can be purchased with enough money in the US. This is known as plutocracy.

        These ‘liberals’ of which you speak are generally centrist – not even truly left wing on the political scale. If you think a true socialist would allow a corporation to set government laws, to be self-regulating, and to get government bailouts, you are using the wrong word.

  3. Butch Jocson says:

    Great job Daniel! Keep it up till you break Obama’s back, that is if he has one!

    • Daniel says:

      Lol Thanks Butch.

      I dont want to break his back, lol, I just want every Anti-American Values bill they passed repealed!
      Together we Stand for American Family values, freedom from restrictive, over-bearing big daddy Government, and The Rule of Law!

  4. Tom says:

    Great Job,A well-written, well-researched article.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We are not a free nation any more. We are losing our rights one by one. When will we take a stand and take back what is ours? Daniel you said “I say put me in charge of a temp. committee to repeal this farce of a bill. Put the hearings on cspan.Give me one week. I would expose and embarrass our Congress like never done before in the History of our great nation. In the end this huge gov’t expansion would go right where it belongs,in the trash can.” Don’t say it because talk is cheap, do it. Please people we need to do something. What are we telling our kids that their future is not important to us. We pride ourselves on being a GREAT nation, but we don’t do anything to make this a great nation. We are giving our kids a nation that does not care about the people that live in it. How sad. We should be ashame of ourselves. People its time to get off our lazy butt and do something.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree with your points 100%. I also call for everyone to call their Senators and Congressmen and demand this bill be repealed. Have you done that yet? What State do you live in? I will get you your Reps phone numbers if you would like to try to help here.

      The challenge to put me in charge of a citizen’s committee for the repeal of this bill has, in fact, been made in my letters to House Majority leader, House Majority Whip and Senate Minority leaders. I also made that challenge to my Florida reps here. I am just one concerned citizen trying to fight back against the huge Power Structure of our Congress, so I am writing to enlist the help of all citizens to stand up to them today. Let our voices be heard loud and long.
      United we stand. Thank you for your comment,

      Daniel

  6. Bravo daniel. A well-written, well-researched piece.
    It’s too bad that with the election of BHO we are watching our rights slowly being siphoned away.
    Taking over our insurance,banks,auto and financial industries. Mooschelle Obama and Mike Bloomberg have decided what is good or bad for us regarding our children’s diets or salt intake.
    Why not seize the opportunity to be the food police also?
    This gives them the opportunity to recall at will and possibly destroy more of our private industries.
    Is it beyond belief that they want to hurt the farmers,also??
    Thank you all, for creating this Nanny-Country BHO.

    • Daniel (twitter: @Mirac777) says:

      Thank you Mike.

      If anything this bill is the perfect example of the tricks and stunts our out of control Gov’t will pull to give themselves more power over the people they are “supposed”to serve. The process in which this passed is borderline UnConstitutional. The estimates for how many new workers will be hired range from a few thousand to as high as 17,000. This is nothing short of ridiculous, as to how citizens are not calling for the repeal of this bill. Bottom line, is that people just have no real clue on what this big expansion of our Gov’t will do to food prices.

      So much for voting for Conservatives to cut down the size an scope of our Gov’t in 2010. Inaction by the House on this Food Safety Bill or whatever it is called today, will give us a very good idea as to if we have a Gov’t of, for and by the people. So far we dont have that.
      I have laid out the dangers of this bill as concise as possible. I want it repealed. We are being brainwashed into thinking the repeal process is too difficult to do. That simply isn’t true. I say put me in charge of a temp. committee to repeal this farce of a bill. Put the hearings on cspan.Give me one week. I would expose and embarrass our Congress like never done before in the History of our great nation. In the end this huge gov’t expansion would go right where it belongs,in the trash can.