New Food Safety Bill Needs Amending!

February 10, 2015

This is a bill sponsored in the House by Rep. DeLauro and in the Senate by Sen. Durbin. Durbin is the arch-nemesis of natural health. But with the right amendments, this bill could actually help! Action Alert!
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced a bill, the Safe Food Act of 2015, that would create a new food safety agency. Responsibility for food safety is currently split among several different agencies. This bill would consolidate that responsibility under one agency, and would among other things oversee FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act rules.
According to a DeLauro staffer, the current bill would include authority over supplements, though the specific legislative language is still not clear about that. While we appreciate DeLauro’s staffer clarifying that supplements are meant to go with food to the new agency, without explicit language we can’t guarantee those on the administrative side of implementation will agree or comply with congressional intent. ANH-USA has long advocated for an independent agency to regulate supplements, separate from both food and drugs. However, moving supplements into this new food safety agency would be a much better option than keeping them under the FDA’s jurisdiction. At the FDA they are seen as competition for drugs, and it is drugs that pay the FDA’s bills. In other words, FDA supervision of supplements involves a massive conflict of interest.
We could support this bill if it includes supplements, and there are other changes. But we have to remain very wary about what else Durbin might be trying to accomplish with this bill. If what he does is consistent with his previous legislative efforts, it will have the intended effect of removing supplements from the shelves or making them too expensive for anyone but the rich to buy.
On the positive side, this bill aims to protect the public from contaminants in food, including “biological, chemical, physical, radiological, and natural toxins, pesticides, drug residues, decomposition, parasites, allergens, and unapproved food or color additives.” If implemented correctly, the bill would get us closer to a real food safety bill, especially if it targets the real bad actors in the agriculture industry. The bill also provides much-needed protections for whistleblowers; perhaps our allies on the Hill will be able to introduce an amendment that includes protections against “ag-gag” laws.
On the negative side, “food production establishments” are currently defined far too broadly, and include “any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility or confined animal-feeding operation.” To put CAFOs in the same class as small organic family farms is unconscionable—they aren’t even in the same league, either economically or by scale of violation. Creating exemptions for small farms and businesses was one of our big achievements during the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act and these exemptions must be carried over.
We understand that the new agency will not have jurisdiction over the National Organic Program, which would stay under the USDA. And while we and others view GMOS as a food safety issue, the new bill does not. GMOs are currently handled by a number of agencies amid vague and confusing regulatory provisions. There really ought to be a proper regulatory structure to assess GMO safety, and this new agency would have been the logical place.
The Obama administration’s 2016 budget called for the creation of this single food safety agency. Other reactions were mixed: USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack backed the plan. Some Republicans opposed the plan, including Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, citing increased bureaucracy, and the chief of staff for Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), who heads the House Appropriations Committee, dismissed the proposal as “unserious.” Perhaps we can surprise everyone by turning this bill into something not only serious, but also useful.
Action Alert! Write to your senators and representative and ask them to urge Sen. Durbin and Rep. DeLauro to amend this bill. Ask for language that explicitly makes supplement safety the responsibility of the new agency, places organics and GMOs under this new agency’s purview, adds protections against “ag-gag” laws to the whistleblower provisions, retains exemptions for small farmers, and handles CAFOs and other industrial agriculture operations separately from small farms and businesses. Let Congress know how important supplements are to you. Please send your message to Congress today!
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32 responses to “New Food Safety Bill Needs Amending!”

  1. Yvette Richey says:

    This is important.

    • ELois P. Clayton says:

      REALLY?…YES., YES, YES! THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
      Matters as such, is a matter of life and death!
      A PETITION on this subject(I feel), is warranted to be addressed before CONGRESS!

  2. Madeline says:

    While we do need reform in the area of food regulation, we do not need another government agency overseeing anything. I don’t trust Tricky Dicky nor the feds. There is more to this than meets the eye.

    • ELois P. Clayton says:

      DIDO! TOOOO MANY issues, are(in my opinion), INTENTIONALLY marketed to “confuse” society about what is really going on!

    • ELois P. Clayton says:

      What we need, is a chance to address this matter before CONGRESS!
      PS: If you have friends/lovedones interested in starting a PETITION(online) on this matter, have someone start a PETITION(and request support to request assistance to speak before CONGRESS on this matter.
      SAND IN SUPPLEMENTS?
      I’m almost afraid to keep taking the supplement I partake in(which HELPS my digestive system!
      This IS a scary matter.
      I’m already taking them in MODERATION(to see IF I’m setting myself up for physical ailments).
      We MUST KEEP THIS MATTER UP FRONT!

  3. Lee Rowan says:

    Senator Durbin has issues about supplements. I think this makes him far less than honest or objective. If he wanted to apply the same restrictions to over-the-counter medications, we’d see bare shelves in drugstores.
    This bill is in SERIOUS need of amendment.

  4. Margaret Collins says:

    Please consolidate food safety under one agency.

    • ELois P. Clayton says:

      THAT, will hold MORE “representatives” more ACCOUNTABLE.
      THAT, will even make it easier for society to have a better chance of knowing WHO is behind this massive “I DON’T CARE, AS LONG AS “WE” CAN MAKE MONEY” attitude!

  5. Patricia A. Murphy says:

    I urge Sen. Durbin and Rep. DeLauro to amend this bill. I want to see language that explicitly makes supplement safety the responsibility of the new agency, places organics and GMOs under this new agency’s purview, adds protections against “ag-gag” laws to the whistleblower provisions, retains exemptions for small farmers, and handles CAFOs and other industrial agriculture operations separately from small farms and businesses.

  6. Robert says:

    Just leave supplement buyers alone ! We are capable of finding the truth and don’t need more conflicting agencies adding new costs to our decisions.

    • ELois P. Clayton says:

      If you will(and if you would just share mine and others concerns for all of us), just be optimistic about the harms that finding out that SAND in our supplements, CAN cause death(if it’s not found out in a ‘TIMELY MANNER’.
      NOTE: Perhaps, you can start a PETITION(online), to request for families to speak before CONGRESS on this matter.
      I’m interest if you care to partake in this thought.

      • WendyE says:

        Sand doesn’t cause death. It’s in our food too. Anything with “silica” on the ingredients list. It’s a common filler.

  7. Philip Johnson says:

    Not only is Durban anti-supplements, healthy food, etc., but–if memory serves–DeLauro is the wife of a Monsanto executive. If these two team up something bad is afoot. We need to be very careful to see where this goes.

  8. Ann Ross says:

    I agree. There is so much chemical’s in our foods. Some people have allergies.

  9. Marina Slaton says:

    The food we eat now is not safe! There are far too few & too lenient safety measures covering our foods & supplements. The supplements are hardly watched over at all, but they need watchdog laws that allow them to be both safe & affordable. My doctors have me on several supplements and I’m on a small pension & Social Security so expensive items are not possible on my budget. I’m not alone, thousands are in the same position.
    The fact that there are so many agencies that are trying to watch our food safety is in itself one of the reasons we are in trouble. Consolidating these all (FDA, organics, GMO supplements, etc.) into one organization to oversee our food & supplement safety would eliminate a lot of gaps as well as duplications that exist now.

  10. Ryan Meyer says:

    The Take Action button with the link: https://secure3.convio.net/aahf/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2082
    Does not generate a new tab or window.
    I imagine this must stump some users… I know it foiled me from taking action two or three times by now. I am aware that the link will load if you right click the link and select “open link in new tab” however on a mobile device this is a real problem!
    ~Ryan

    • ANH-USA says:

      Thank you for your feedback and tips on this Ryan. This is an ongoing issue for a few users, and we hope to have it fixed with some major website changes coming up for us. We’ve also found that clearing your browser cache will work. Opening in a new tab is very helpful, thanks again!

      • ELois P. Clayton says:

        ALERT! It will be EXTREMELY HELPFUL, if your company would have more FORUMS(in Chicago) on such subjects of dangerous supplements, conversations of this issue of SAND in supplements(with your representatives having SLIDE SHOWS of supplements that has been proven to have SAND in them(so individuals will know exactly which supplements apply to their situation);along with counsel (on hand), for those who can not afford to pay for expensive attorneys;
        have attorneys who does ProBono cases
        Many individuals doesn’t get the help they need to correct their illnesses because they doesn’t have the finances to hire attorneys to fight these big pharmas.

  11. Margery Oberheide says:

    I am asking Sen. Durbin and Rep. DeLauro to amend this new food safety bill. I am asking for language that explicitly makes supplement safety the responsibility of the new agency, places organics and GMOs under this new agency’s purview, adds protections against “ag-gag” laws to the whistleblower provisions, retains exemptions for small farmers, and handles CAFOs and other industrial agriculture operations separately from small farms and businesses. My grandparents raised their children with the importance and value of supplements, and I in turn, found supplements to be valuable in maintaining our familys’ health and that has been passed on through my children to my grandchildren. Supplements and healthy eating and exercise have been instrumental in my own health and our family’s stories …. underline the importance of supplements in our daily lives. Anything that would jeapardize the availability of supplements (vitamins, herbs, minerals, homeopathic remedies, etc.,) would cause us harm in the maintenance of our health. As in most families, we also have serious illness and conditions within our own family members, but nevertheless, it has been our use of supplements that has allowed us to thrive and aid our bodies to continue to function through the illnesses and recovery …. sometimes to the surprise of our medical practitioners …. but not to us. They usually admonish us to … CONTINUE WITH WHAT WE ARE DOING because it is working so well for us…… The alternative is costly procedures and medication which cause sometimes severe side effects (as I have myself experienced when placed on some medicines …. and removed by my own doctor as side effects escalated (horrific headaches, malaise, pain, suicidal urges)… and told to resume my supplements …and that is my plea to you to amend this law to make supplement safety the responsibility of this new agency …. Thank you.

    • brad roon says:

      since the fed govt has literally NO PURVIEW or legitimate authority over ANY health choice that you make. It is NOT one of it’s allowed (by constitution – the definition of the USA) ennumerated powers. Those are specified, and ALL authority NOT specifically granted in these 30 ennumerated powers is retained by the states AND THE PEOPLE.
      Therefore, NO fed authority legitimately exists to control our health choices or nutrition choices. Period.
      The only protection needed from this spectrum is a clearcut and easy to implement means of destroying corporations that damage health. We must NOT amend the constitution until the repubs and demos are out of office, since evidence proves that they vote to do whatever the wealthy people tell them/against we the people at a ratio of 15:1 currently. This means BOTH parties are political prostitutes for the rich. No legislation passes with only one party’s support so our legislation is inflicted with the collusion of BOTH dem/rep parties.
      To amend the constitution with the rich toadies now in office would totally gut any tiny freedom you think you now have.

  12. YOU ARE WRONG.. Any bill put up by Dick Durbin, will be bad for the general population, He is a Liar and cannot be trusted to do anything good… He will outlaw ALL supplements, and I take a few for specific health concerns, living on Social Security, I cannot pay double or triple for the items I take. The plan is to put everything under Homeland Security, and force everyone to take BIG Pharma drugs. Supplements need to be controlled by a new department.
    independent of Politics..
    Do the research again, to see what you missed..
    Thank You

    • DalamarBZ says:

      Well I think, if I read the above correctly, that this petition is to have a more clearly written proposal so we can determine whether it could be good or not. I’m suspicious myself. I don’t know Durbin from Adam, but he’s a politician, so it’s pretty much his job to lie and piss off half of America. I agree that there should be a separate department for supplements. If they are considered to be consumables (food), then much needed research to determine the full effects of supplements will not get done. On the other hand, if they are considered “drugs”, there won’t be any research because they’d be considered competition by some of the companies that run our government. (You didn’t really think the people had anything to do with it anymore.) Personally, I’ll wait to see IF they will come up with something I can sink my teeth into before I start rallying for or against it.

    • brad roon says:

      Nah, supplements need to be under independent review with a database of ingredients verifying manufacturing practices, and reviews. These reviews must be genuine so the drug pushers, i mean drug dealers, excuse me – the REALLY bad guys killing thousands known as pHARMa (keeping the harm large in drugs) don’t just buy bad reviews. The people somehow must be not spam and liable for both rebuttal and perhaps libel/slander to try to minimize that.
      If we did the same thing at the same time regarding drugs – we could all write the bad experiences about side effects of drugs and scare some people into safety, lol.

    • ELois P. Clayton says:

      This is also a concern of mine(and I’m sure for others, such as yourself).
      We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
      THEREFORE, I feel that any bill that would cost us more to be able to afford “things” that is HELPING us feel better(physically), should be given considerable thought.
      I advice ALL, to READ these petitions CAREFULLY, before you sign your Jonh Hancock to them.

  13. Barbie says:

    Thank you so much! Good work! Blessings! I’d love to contribute monetarily, but I’m unemployed right now. Remind me to contribute to you in the next month or so, if you can. Thanks again!

  14. jj says:

    If any of these people truly care about the public and their safety, I think it would behoove them to look more at the safety of things like GMO, certain vaccines, and the meds they are always advertising on TV and later are in court about,etc. Vitamins are a food source, not a medicine. They need to quit thinking about money, vanity and control and start thinking about others and use some common sense, God gave us a good plan on how to eat and what to eat for our bodies. They might want to pick up a bible and seriously see what God had in mind. People are sick because their bodies are being wrecked with chemicals in water, food, meat, our air, etc. God didn’t do this…man did. Natural and organic remedies have not hurt me, but helped me and I’ve been taking them for many years. Men and women need to get their heads out of their pocketbooks and start caring for their fellowman instead of themselves. I know there are some good doctors that are trying to do the right thing for others, yet it seems others don’t care and want them to go along with the so called experts, which puts a bind on some doctors. People need to do the right thing and care.

  15. BR549 says:

    …… and DeLauro’s husband had previously handled legal work for Monsanto.

  16. brad roon says:

    Let’s get real here folks – the Constitution – that pesky thing that literally makes the USA the USA – clearly does not give the fed govt any authority over our foods, supplements, or health choices. It is literally NOT a legitimate authority since it isn’t listed in the fed gov’s ALLOWED 30 ennumerated powers.
    The constitution clearly states that any powers NOT specifically listed in their 30 ennumerated (legitimate) powers ARE RETAINED BY THE STATES AND THE PEOPLE. Thus our health concerns are OUR authority, OUR purview, OUR choice.
    Yes, the govt has a big stick – and truthfully – corporations (always corporations/rich people running them for greed) cause health problems and frankly all the other significant other problems come to think of it. The only laws we need are laws to protect we the people, and our freedoms from corporations and bad actions by unknowing and bad people.
    We must however, NOT amend the constitution until the lawmakers of the land are no longer all prostitutes to the Will of the Wealthy, or they will totally gut the constitution and totally destroy any choice or freedom we have left.
    The people in govt seem to forget, as we tend to, that ANYONE in govt, military, police, wherever – is ONLY BORROWING THE AUTHORITY THAT WE THE PEOPLE HAVE LOANED TO THEM. It is our country, our power, and we need to reclaim it.
    Screw the FDA in my mind.

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