Reading this week’s headlines about the egg salmonella crisis may leave one with the impression that we need more government control and we need it now. The feeling one is left with after listening to mainstream pundits and FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg is eerily familiar — almost as if the same crisis template that was applied to the financial crisis is now being used to further progress centralized control of the country’s food production capacity:
We don’t know exactly how the contamination got into the chicken population, into the egg population, and we’re not yet fully sure of the extent of the recall that will be necessary to protect consumers.
We are very anxious to see a piece of important legislation currently being considered by Congress be passed. There is an opportunity through this legislation to extend our authority, resources and other important tools to do trace back of products, to make sure the companies have the appropriate preventative measures in place and to enable us to review records in a routine way.
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In response to news anchor’s question: Someone’s in the kitchen this morning and they’re about to prepare breakfast, what do you say to them?
It’s very important to prepare your food properly. Then when you’re preparing food, wash your hands first, then wash your hands after handling eggs. And, cook the eggs thoroughly. That means that the egg yolks and the egg whites should be thoroughly cooked. No more mopping up egg yolks with toast.
source: ABC News (Video)
The statements of Ms. Hamburg do not require a close examination to understand how ridiculous this is and what the ultimate goal of the mainstream hysteria is for government regulators.
The commissioner admitted that the FDA does not know what caused the so-called contamination, nor how the FDA is going to handle the recall yet. But, as stated, they are very anxious to pass legislation that will give them more authority over the egg industry (and others — more on this below). As serious as this egg outbreak seems to be, it’s somewhat curious that Ms. Hamburg’s response to the question of what to do if you want to have eggs for breakfast is not “don’t eat eggs until we have more information!," but rather, cooking tips.
Inquiring minds are asking exactly how many eggs were originally found to be contaminated, leading to this recall and media hysteria. Given the history of these events, we suspect it is not dissimilar to the Chilean grape scare of the 1980’s in which two grapes in Chile were found to be “tainted” with Cyanide, leading to a nationwide panic surrounding imported fruits.
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It should be noted that the author had soft-boiled eggs, and mopped up his egg yolks with toast for the last two days. Symptoms to look for, as reported by the mainstream media, have yet to surface. Of course, this could be due to the fact that we prefer to eat eggs originating from free-range, vegetarian fed chickens that were bred on small farms.
As to the issue of increased regulation about which the commissioner, and undoubtedly larger food manufacturing plants, are anxiously interested, it is important to point out that the FDA does have authority to inspect the facilities, specifically the two main facilities where this salmonella crisis originated. But guess what? They never did:
The Food and Drug Administration, which has responsibility for the safety of whole eggs, had never inspected the two Iowa-based facilities at the heart of the massive recall that began 10 days ago. Nor had the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. In the case of Wright County Egg, the company had a history of labor and environmental infractions, including one that stemmed from workers handling manure and dead chickens with bare hands.
“It is shocking that nobody was in these facilities, but it also illustrates that egg-laying facilities have fallen into the crack between the government agencies that are responsible for food safety,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group.
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This begs the question: How can the FDA demand more federal powers over the regulation of food production facilities when they have failed to enforce their existing powers?
For those following the economic crisis and the BP oil disaster, it should all make sense. Just as the SEC failed to enforce existing laws to stop market manipulation and prevent extreme leverage in the system, and as Minerals Management Service regulators failed to inspect the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the FDA failed at their job.
Yet, in all three cases, the bureaucrats in power, rather than admitting their own failures and turning in their resignations, hit the mainstream media news channels and tell us the problems could have been prevented with more legislation.
Though it wasn’t mentioned by Margaret Hamburg, one could guess that the legislation she is promoting is Senate Bill S510, which is designed to put more control of our U.S. food production facilities into the hands of government regulators and large international corporations like Monsanto:
u201CIf accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.u201D ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
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It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.
Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create — without judicial review — if it passes. S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.
Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition points out the dangers of the bill in Federal Food Police Coming Soon To A Farm Near You:
If passed, this would give government agencies the power to tell the American public what they should eat, how they should care for produce and care for livestock. The facility owners will have no say in these matters. The government has made the decisions for them (as they like to do). They must adhere to guidelines or else there will be hell to pay. According to the website Rogue Government, u201C The government even plans to set up a Food Safety Administration to authorize this agency to integrate state and local agencies as fully as possible into national food safety efforts by forcing them to enforce federal food safety regulations. This section completely ignores the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.u201D
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Ms. Hamburg of the FDA and S510’s sponsors (democrats and republicans, alike) have kept the real story of what this bill is designed for from the public. The mainstream media is complicit in promoting this as a good thing for the American public, and the template, as it did with the economic crisis and the BP spill, is working extremely well, as evidenced by a 2009 poll suggesting that 90% of the public and the food industry overwhelming support the bill.
While touted as a quick win for both parties, it will be a serious loss for the American people. Small farmers, like the ones that provide free-range, vegetarian-fed fresh eggs, organic vegetables, fresh juice and other raw foods will be hard hit. They will either be put out of business or forced to accept government regulations developed by major agri-business firms that are interested in not the health and safety of the public, but lining their own pockets.
Small family farms, once these bills pass (and we assume they will, just like previous crisis legislation), will be annihilated as the government will force them to use only ‘approved’ seeds, feed, equipment and fertilizers. They will be mandated to follow specific regulatory procedures for production and distribution, for which they will pay additional fees. Eventually, the farmers will go out of business, in many cases losing their land to foreclosure. And, we suspect, that large farming corporations will quickly step in to snatch up their farms at significant discounts.
Prepare yourself for the War on Food. One day, food raids will be as common as a drug raid:
Those looking to one day produce their own food, perhaps even trade that food, will be met with resistance from government regulators, while two of the largest egg producers in the country responsible for delivering hundreds of millions of eggs to the public, operate facilities that have never been inspected.
It may sound ridiculous now, but so does outlawing rainwater collection. It’s becoming increasingly likely that simply giving your neighbor a basket of tomatoes you grew in your own garden will be an illegal act, punishable by fines and jail time for repeat offenders.