House bill would hurt small farms

The federal government will step more into our lives if bill HR875, guised under the nickname “food safety law,” passes in Congress. It would wipe out many small and organic farms and even herb gardens in our back yards.

According to Dr. Robert J. Rowen’s publication “Second Opinion,” it is a reaction to some of the food scandals we have had in recent years such as salmonella peanut butter poisoning. If the measure passes, it will subject all food production facilities, including farms, ranches, orchards and vineyards, to federal regulations on growing food. That will involve record keeping and turning it over to the government upon demand.

It will require those facilities to report natural and introduced hazards, a written food safety plan that describes those hazards and preventive measures, and other red tape that would make small or family farming not worth the bother.

Dr. Rowen claims some of the big food companies got this bill introduced to reduce the competition from small farms and back yard growers. If you read last week’s review in this column of the movie “Food, Inc.,” you’ll realize a lot of what was claimed in it may have been true.

If you’re bothered by that, you may try to tune into big brother in Washington and tell him you don’t think the government should take over our private lives or even our small businesses. Big brother, in this case, would be your Congressman and Senators who can oppose the bill. You know who they are.

New group to lead coastal restoration
A new group is expected to lead coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to Mark Schleifstein in an article in The Times Picayune. It is likely to be led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, not the Army Corps of Engineers.

We have seen what the Corps has accomplished after decades of designing and planning. Very little.

It’s time for action and evidently President Obama has gotten the message that his country is losing its most valuable coast. The group is expected to combine the efforts of federal agencies with state and local governments to  activate a strategy that will do the job.

Garret Graves, who is Gov. Bobby Jindal’s adviser on coastal issues, said the Corps has proven they are incapable of leading our coastal restoration efforts. Well said.


About Allen Lottinger 433 Articles
Publisher Emeritus

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