From the April 2009 Idaho Observer:

The federal food police

I got my "boss" here to print off HR 875 (the "Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009). She did not believe the Congress would create such a law, so I have gone over it in depth with about 20 sticky notes pointing out the links and important stuff. Indeed, it seems that CATEGORY 4 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT is meant to encompass home gardens in a sneaky way without coming right out and honestly saying it.

Section 207(e)(1) intends to co-opt state officers to do inspections and enforcement just like they are doing with NAIS right now.

This bill is evil, tricky and easily interpreted to snare home gardens. Itís all in the legal interpretation of what is "in commerce."

The U.S. Supreme Court found in Gonzales v. Raich (2005) (the medical marijuana/homegrown marijuana commerce clause case) and in Wickard v. Filburn (1942) that home grown food is "in commerce" simply by the fact of its existence [because consuming home grown food means one is not purchasing food in commerce]. Hence, anyone growing food is engaged in acts that Congress could regulate if HR 875 were signed into law.

Do we really need a new federal agency to license and regulate home vegetable gardens or is this just another New World Order intrusion into one of our most intimately personal functions: Eating food. Can we really afford another new federal agency to administrate backyard vegetable gardens when the U.S. government is flagrantly bankrupt already?

What really caught my eye was Section 301(c)(2) "Assessment of health hazards. (a) A comparison of the safety of commercial processing with the health hazards associated with food that is harvested for recreational or subsistence purposes and prepared noncommercially."

This infers a direct intent to vilify home gardens as dangerous to human health compared to commercially-processed food. Let me see now, is it home gardens that produce food that has killed thousands of pets and people or has commercially-processed food been killing all those pets and people?

I trust my home garden more than commercially-processed food any day but you can bet your house and garden that Obamaís future Food Safety Administration will soon make us out to be terrorists and a threat to the (commercial) food supply.

David Somerville

Lexington, Kentucky