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The end of Farmers Markets?

geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Bill introduced that would effectively destroy Farmers Markets:

http://cryptogon.com/?p=7362
What this will do is force anyone who produces food of any kind, and then transports it to a different location for sale, to register with a new federal agency called the “Food Safety Administration.” Even growers who only sell only fruit and/or vegetables at farmers markets would not only have to register, but they would be subject inspections by federal agents of their property and all records related to food production. The frequency of these inspections will be determined by the whim of the Food Safety Administration. Mandatory “safety” records would have to be kept. Anyone who fails to register and comply with all of this nonsense could be facing a fine of up to $1,000,000 per violation.

I’ve bought food at several farmers markets for years and I have yet to meet any vendors who are fond of the government. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most vendors at farmers markets won’t go along with this. The problem will be that the people who run the farmers markets will be forced to make sure that vendors are “registered” with the government.

To say that I've been disappointed on the issue of food by democrats would be putting it lightly. Reducing our heath costs starts with reforming the dept. of agriculture. Not making the problem worse by introducing steaming piles of shit like this.

geckahn on
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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    geckahn wrote: »
    Bill introduced that would effectively destroy Farmers Markets:

    http://cryptogon.com/?p=7362
    What this will do is force anyone who produces food of any kind, and then transports it to a different location for sale, to register with a new federal agency called the “Food Safety Administration.” Even growers who only sell only fruit and/or vegetables at farmers markets would not only have to register, but they would be subject inspections by federal agents of their property and all records related to food production. The frequency of these inspections will be determined by the whim of the Food Safety Administration. Mandatory “safety” records would have to be kept. Anyone who fails to register and comply with all of this nonsense could be facing a fine of up to $1,000,000 per violation.

    I’ve bought food at several farmers markets for years and I have yet to meet any vendors who are fond of the government. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most vendors at farmers markets won’t go along with this. The problem will be that the people who run the farmers markets will be forced to make sure that vendors are “registered” with the government.

    To say that I've been disappointed on the issue of food by democrats would be putting it lightly. Reducing our heath costs starts with reforming the dept. of agriculture. Not making the problem worse by introducing steaming piles of shit like this.

    Seems like a pretty good way to get rid of the last of the family farmers. No all of their income does not come from small markets, but many that I knew in northern California would go to farmers markets, open markets and events to sell fruit and stuff as snacks. It didn't make them a fortune but it was money directly in their pocket, which apparently selling wholesale is a little slow to do.


    Edit: This is basically the opposite of what I want. I'd rather see them tell big corn to fuck the hell off and stop subsidizing an unhealthy and harmful crop. Then give direct market farmers an incentive to keep food they grow local, to save on energy cost and stuff.

    dispatch.o on
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    'Introduced' is a long, long way from 'signed into law'.

    But still something to take note of.

    Gosling on
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    SyphonBlueSyphonBlue The studying beaver That beaver sure loves studying!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Aside from $1,000,000 being a little excessive, I don't see what's wrong with this bill. Farmer's just need to be open for inspection and actually keep records. Is this supposed to be bad? Or am I missing something else here?

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    Aside from $1,000,000 being a little excessive, I don't see what's wrong with this bill. Farmer's just need to be open for inspection and actually keep records. Is this supposed to be bad? Or am I missing something else here?
    If you are, then I'm missing the same thing. It just sounds like they have to abide by the rules every other food-producing business does. And the $1m fine is an "up to" not a "first offense" fine.

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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    Aside from $1,000,000 being a little excessive, I don't see what's wrong with this bill. Farmer's just need to be open for inspection and actually keep records. Is this supposed to be bad? Or am I missing something else here?

    Seconded. This sounds exactly like a combination of the Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive in the UK.

    FSA inspections aren't too bad. the inspector arrives (you usually get 24-48 hours notice, not always, and they aren't obliged to give any) they poke around, have a look through the records, and leave.

    It's only a problem if you're doing something unsafe, in which case you get notified and they work with you to sort it out, or dangerous, in which case they shut you the hell down there and then and you get a summons.

    japan on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I mean, what's more important - that people can trust that their food supply is, you know, safe, or that small business owners don't have to deal with the government. This is, especially in the light of the peanut fiasco we've all been watching lately, a good bill. The conspiracy nut linked to in the OP (and really, geckahn, I expect better of you) seems to not have realized that many of the contamination issues we've seen in the past few years occurred at several levels of the food supply chain, and as such the whole chain is suspect.

    In short, whackjob is whacked, and needs to get out more. There's nothing wrong with this bill (and honestly, we've needed it for some time now), unless you're always scanning the horizon for black helicopters.

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    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    Scooter on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    What the hell does this have to do with farmers' markets or wholesale? All it means is that they gotta keep records of sale and wash the doodoo off their fruit.

    GungHo on
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    geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    'Introduced' is a long, long way from 'signed into law'.

    But still something to take note of.

    It has 31 co-sponsors.

    But on closer examination / some distance from my hysterical friend, I don't think this is particularly bad.

    geckahn on
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Just as a point of interest, the husband of the congresswoman who introduced this bill is a lobbyist for Monsanto. That sets my bullshit alarm off, big time.

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    geckahn wrote: »
    Gosling wrote: »
    'Introduced' is a long, long way from 'signed into law'.

    But still something to take note of.

    It has 31 co-sponsors.

    But on closer examination / some distance from my hysterical friend, I don't think this is particularly bad.

    This is why you keep some distance from the conspiracy nuts. When you see comments talking about "codexes" like we're living in a real-life game of Warhammer 40K, you should just slowly walk away.

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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Scooter wrote: »
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    When a farmer's market goes wrong, it's only hitting a couple hundred people at most, all in a pretty small area. When a factory goes wrong, it can hit half the country and affect millions. I don't disagree with you; just saying that problems might be happening in farmer's markets and people just don't hear about it because it's such a small scale.

    KalTorak on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    GungHo wrote: »
    What the hell does this have to do with farmers' markets or wholesale? All it means is that they gotta keep records of sale and wash the doodoo off their fruit.

    It reads a lot like the current UK legislation, which would mean that you have to register if you run a business that handles food (which doesn't seem to be particularly onerous), you need to assess the risks in your handling of food and come up with procedures to mitigate them,and you have to keep records to show that the procedures are being followed.

    All of it applies to growers and wholesalers, but there isn't really a lot of risk involved with either, so the requirements are pretty light (In practice, I suspect all they'd have to do is keep cleaning records and temperature logs of any refrigeration equipment).

    japan on
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    MorgensternMorgenstern ICH BIN DER PESTVOGEL DU KAMPFAFFE!Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    At least in my area, farmers markets tend to be a hub for anti-gov't/anti-establishment types so I can't see a lot of them registering and going along with this.

    Underground farmers markets?

    'Stash that squash, Fats! The fuzz are here!'

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Scooter wrote: »
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    When a farmer's market goes wrong, it's only hitting a couple hundred people at most, all in a pretty small area. When a factory goes wrong, it can hit half the country and affect millions. I don't disagree with you; just saying that problems might be happening in farmer's markets and people just don't hear about it because it's such a small scale.
    We do a farmer's market in downtown Chicago twice a week from April-December. It averages 1500-2k people per day. Considering how long it took to identify the source of the peanut problem, you could have 10-20k people get sick before it's linked to the market, and a specific vendor.

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    At least in my area, farmers markets tend to be a hub for anti-gov't/anti-establishment types so I can't see a lot of them registering and going along with this.

    Underground farmers markets?

    'Stash that squash, Fats! The fuzz are here!'
    Plenty of mine won't be fans of it either. They'll still go along with it though because they like profits. Because I guarantee the city won't allow them to open a stall every week and risk being responsible for an unregistered farmer.

    Quid on
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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2009
    The food at the Farmer's Market is so damn expensive that I can care less really. I just go to Whole Foods for all natural stuff anyways.

    Emanon on
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    xa52xa52 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    News flash: vegetables grow in dirt. They're fertilized with shit (unless you bought them from the supermarket, in which case they're fertilized with a petroleum-based compound developed in a lab and sold by Monsanto). Buy them whole, wash them when you get home, and you won't have any problems.

    Processed foods are different. If they don't wash the shit off the tomato before putting in in a jar of salsa, then you've got a problem. But these products are already regulated.

    This is shock doctrine. Big ag using their peanut problem (and their beef problem, and their pepper problem, and their spinach problem) to force regulation on others to somehow account for their own negligence. And reading the posts here, it seems to be working splendidly.

    If you apply the same regulations to small local farms as you do to large corporations and industrial farms, it's going to hit the small businessman harder. Economies of scale. Lucky for the local farmers, these regulations aren't necessary at a farmer's market, because you have transparency. You don't need the government to protect you there. You see the vegetables, you see the farmer. You can see what you're getting, unlike the peanuts that went into your walmart brand granola bar. If you don't like what you see, go somewhere else. There are no layers of obscurity like you get in a supermarket. The ingredients aren't processed to the point where you can't even see what went into your oreo cookies. There's no fancy marketing to cover up unsavory conditions.

    (Also, to the poster above, if the produce from Whole Foods is cheaper than your local farmer's market, you either need to find another farmer's market, or a math textbook.)

    xa52 on
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    RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    And how, exactly, does requiring a permit equal forcing the same regulations large corporations are held to on to small buisness owners?

    I'm hardly an expert, but I think they go through more than getting a permit and being inspected every now and then.

    Raynaga on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Scooter wrote: »
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    When a farmer's market goes wrong, it's only hitting a couple hundred people at most, all in a pretty small area. When a factory goes wrong, it can hit half the country and affect millions. I don't disagree with you; just saying that problems might be happening in farmer's markets and people just don't hear about it because it's such a small scale.
    We do a farmer's market in downtown Chicago twice a week from April-December. It averages 1500-2k people per day. Considering how long it took to identify the source of the peanut problem, you could have 10-20k people get sick before it's linked to the market, and a specific vendor.
    When was the last time we had a food-borne illness outbreak actually caused by people eating fresh fruit or vegetables? When was the last time that fruit or vegetables came from a farmer's market? No, food-borne illnesses are caused by processed foods that aren't properly taken care of, and big agribusiness is using the illness outbreaks as an excuse to fuck over their small-time competitors. It's hard enough to get healthy fucking food in this country as it is, and next to impossible to do it without supporting what is literally the biggest threat to people's lives in this country; if they remove farmers' markets, it will become impossible to buy healthy food without supporting the fuckers who are direct causes of terrorism, obesity, cancer, etc. in this country; the people who really are responsible for the food-borne illnesses. And I don't see any reason why we should do that.

    And your numbers are fucking ridiculous. Literally everyone at the market would have to buy from the same stall for five weeks to get those kind of numbers.

    Thanatos on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm guessing that $1,000,000 isn't the sort of fine someone who sells their wares at the Farmer's Market is likely to face.

    Also, I wonder what the frequency of inspections is likely to be, as it's my understanding that inspections for other reasons tend to be once every several years.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Scooter wrote: »
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    When a farmer's market goes wrong, it's only hitting a couple hundred people at most, all in a pretty small area. When a factory goes wrong, it can hit half the country and affect millions. I don't disagree with you; just saying that problems might be happening in farmer's markets and people just don't hear about it because it's such a small scale.
    We do a farmer's market in downtown Chicago twice a week from April-December. It averages 1500-2k people per day. Considering how long it took to identify the source of the peanut problem, you could have 10-20k people get sick before it's linked to the market, and a specific vendor.
    When was the last time we had a food-borne illness outbreak actually caused by people eating fresh fruit or vegetables? When was the last time that fruit or vegetables came from a farmer's market?

    And your numbers are fucking ridiculous. Literally everyone at the market would have to buy from the same stall for five weeks to get those kind of numbers.
    Weren't there onions, lettuce and spinach recently tainted by salmonella? And the numbers aren't that ridiculous. In a system designed to track food and prevent outbreaks, it takes a month to identify the product, and locate the producer. How long do you think it would take to track distribution of something not in that system? Not to mention that the producers at the market we go to don't only sell at that market, most go to 2-3 others in the region each week.

    matt has a problem on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2009
    I'd say this depends entirely on the details of the records growers are required to keep. If it's a matter of "what did you grow, what did you sell?" then that's not a big deal, and is probably already tracked in order to report to the IRS. But it can potentially be a pain in the ass.

    My company makes most of its money from government contracts. On one contract, we had to develop an official safety plan to make sure that government-owned assets on our property were protected. It had to meet the standards of roughly two dozen different regulations and other random criteria, and each thing referenced was something like 50 pages of gibberish. Almost all of them pertained to the handling of hazardous materials, which we don't even handle, yet I had to reference specific passages of specific regulations just so I could say, "Yeah, this doesn't apply." All told, it took something like 50 hours to cobble this thing together. And now auditors will go over it with a fine-toothed comb. I do not doubt that I fucked up something, somewhere, and I'll have to go back and correct it.

    This doesn't bother me, because it's basically my job to deal with this crap. It isn't, and shouldn't be, a farmer's job to deal with this crap. Do we know that this plan isn't going to require farmers to prove that they meet the standards of dozens of obscure regulations somewhere? Do we know that the many who inevitably fail to cross a T somewhere aren't going to be fined right out of business? Because that seems like useful info to have, and the bill doesn't provide any answers.

    This could be tame and reasonable, or it could be stupid and onerous. And without some explicit laying-down of what-all is required, I'm forced to assume the latter.

    ElJeffe on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm guessing that $1,000,000 isn't the sort of fine someone who sells their wares at the Farmer's Market is likely to face.

    Also, I wonder what the frequency of inspections is likely to be, as it's my understanding that inspections for other reasons tend to be once every several years.
    We don't even fund the FDA enough for them to actually enforce most of the regulations they have that affect tens or hundreds of millions of people; I really don't understand why we'd want to create an agency to enforce regulations that will affect--at most--maybe thousands, or tens of thousands. Let's fix the FDA, first.

    Thanatos on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    FFS people, just because something becomes subject to regulation doesn't mean it's going to be destroyed.

    japan on
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    xa52xa52 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Raynaga wrote: »
    And how, exactly, does requiring a permit equal forcing the same regulations large corporations are held to on to small buisness owners?

    I'm hardly an expert, but I think they go through more than getting a permit and being inspected every now and then.

    RTFB
    (9) CATEGORY 5 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 5 food establishment’ means a food establishment that stores, holds, or transports food products prior to delivery for retail sale.

    This means family farm. Also, factory farm. Also, warehouse. Also, peanut butter factory. Also, corn cannery. Also, the place where they freeze asparagus and put it in bags, whatever you call that. The factories were they make oreo cookies, potato chips, cheerios, twinkies.

    Except for the family farm, these places already jump through gov't regulation hoops (or they're supposed to at least). They've got a lot of this in place already. Also, due to the aforementioned economies of scale, the cost of anything additional this bill requires can be spread across the larger amount they produce. The family farms are starting from scratch. Their produce may be perfectly clean and safe, but there's infrastructure that needs to be in place to prove it to the government. And these new costs will have to be spread out among the few bushels of tomatoes they sell each week at farmer's markets during a few summer months, rather than the millions of boxes of Life cereal shipped out of a General Mills factory year round.

    I'm willing to pay more for my market vegetables if they pass the cost on to me (and family farms aren't so lucrative that they really have any other choice). I'm not against this for selfish reasons. I'm against it because it's unnecessary, anti-small farmer, and also fucking stupid.


    (edited to add the replied to post for clarification)

    xa52 on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Scooter wrote: »
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    When a farmer's market goes wrong, it's only hitting a couple hundred people at most, all in a pretty small area. When a factory goes wrong, it can hit half the country and affect millions. I don't disagree with you; just saying that problems might be happening in farmer's markets and people just don't hear about it because it's such a small scale.
    We do a farmer's market in downtown Chicago twice a week from April-December. It averages 1500-2k people per day. Considering how long it took to identify the source of the peanut problem, you could have 10-20k people get sick before it's linked to the market, and a specific vendor.
    When was the last time we had a food-borne illness outbreak actually caused by people eating fresh fruit or vegetables? When was the last time that fruit or vegetables came from a farmer's market?

    And your numbers are fucking ridiculous. Literally everyone at the market would have to buy from the same stall for five weeks to get those kind of numbers.
    Weren't there onions, lettuce and spinach recently tainted by salmonella? And the numbers aren't that ridiculous. In a system designed to track food and prevent outbreaks, it takes a month to identify the product, and locate the producer. How long do you think it would take to track distribution of something not in that system? Not to mention that the producers at the market we go to don't only sell at that market, most go to 2-3 others in the region each week.
    Yes, in a system very poorly designed and horribly underfunded it takes a month to identify the product. Why don't we work on fixing that system, instead of creating a whole new system designed to basically insure that the only place we can possibly get our food in this country is ConAgra?

    Thanatos on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Again, how does this measure ensure the supremacy of ConAgra?

    GungHo on
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    SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Weren't there onions, lettuce and spinach recently tainted by salmonella? And the numbers aren't that ridiculous. In a system designed to track food and prevent outbreaks, it takes a month to identify the product, and locate the producer. How long do you think it would take to track distribution of something not in that system? Not to mention that the producers at the market we go to don't only sell at that market, most go to 2-3 others in the region each week.

    2-3 others! My god man, think of the children.

    No, this bill is stupid. It is punishing local producers for a problem that doesn't even exist. Any cost of compliance is going to push some entrants out of the market. And this market is already stacked to the gills with agribusiness via subsidies all over the damn place. Well, and I never, it has Monsanto associated with it as well. I never would have guessed.

    Also, it is going to be a hell of a lot easier to identify an outbreak confined to a limited geographical area as compared to the entire country. It takes months because when people are sporadically getting sick of one of the multitudes of institutional goods, it is hard to figure out a common denominator. It is a lot easier when you can just ask 'where have you bought your food recently' and lo and behold they almost all bought from the same farmer's market.

    Saammiel on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I'm guessing that $1,000,000 isn't the sort of fine someone who sells their wares at the Farmer's Market is likely to face.

    Also, I wonder what the frequency of inspections is likely to be, as it's my understanding that inspections for other reasons tend to be once every several years.
    We don't even fund the FDA enough for them to actually enforce most of the regulations they have that affect tens or hundreds of millions of people; I really don't understand why we'd want to create an agency to enforce regulations that will affect--at most--maybe thousands, or tens of thousands. Let's fix the FDA, first.

    Basically this.

    We already have a federal agency whose chartered mission includes ensuring food safety. That agency is underfunded and broken. So why create a second agency to do the same job instead of fixing the first agency?

    Feral on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    As a huge supporter of farmers' markets, I'm not feeling much outrage about this bill, though I'd have to see the details of its implementation.

    I suppose any regulation could be used to nitpick suppliers into economic oblivion, but that obviously doesn't have to be the case. Also, a lot of local farms already focus quite heavily on transparency and accountability. If this goes hand in hand with a general and much-needed reform of the FDA, I don't think it's a big deal at all.

    Qingu on
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    KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Yeah government agencies like the FDA seem to do a terribad job at what they are meant for.

    I don't see how this new one would be any different.

    Kagera on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    GungHo wrote: »
    Again, how does this measure ensure the supremacy of ConAgra?
    Apparently not being able to afford to make sure your food is clean will put small farms out of business.

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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    GungHo wrote: »
    Again, how does this measure ensure the supremacy of ConAgra?
    Apparently not being able to afford to make sure your food is clean will put small farms out of business.
    It would depend on how it was enforced. And who is enforcing it? Tom Vilsack. Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa. Bought and paid for by the corn industry. Again, when was the last time a food-borne illness outbreak was attributed to food sold at a farmer's market? This is a solution in search of a problem.

    Thanatos on
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    SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    As a huge supporter of farmers' markets, I'm not feeling much outrage about this bill, though I'd have to see the details of its implementation.

    I suppose any regulation could be used to nitpick suppliers into economic oblivion, but that obviously doesn't have to be the case. Also, a lot of local farms already focus quite heavily on transparency and accountability. If this goes hand in hand with a general and much-needed reform of the FDA, I don't think it's a big deal at all.

    So the status quo is already working fine? Why fix something that isn't broken then?

    I might have more sympathy if there were A) Any outbreaks even associated with Farmer's Markets in the first place and B) if these same people were busy reforming the FDA and removing hugely distortionary ag subsidies. But I am not seeing that.

    Saammiel on
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    xa52xa52 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Scooter wrote: »
    Making sure the food is safe is something I support, although I'd feel more strongly if I'd heard of a problem with farmer's markets, as opposed to, say, a peanut factory that actually had people checking it out.

    When a farmer's market goes wrong, it's only hitting a couple hundred people at most, all in a pretty small area. When a factory goes wrong, it can hit half the country and affect millions. I don't disagree with you; just saying that problems might be happening in farmer's markets and people just don't hear about it because it's such a small scale.
    We do a farmer's market in downtown Chicago twice a week from April-December. It averages 1500-2k people per day. Considering how long it took to identify the source of the peanut problem, you could have 10-20k people get sick before it's linked to the market, and a specific vendor.
    When was the last time we had a food-borne illness outbreak actually caused by people eating fresh fruit or vegetables? When was the last time that fruit or vegetables came from a farmer's market?

    And your numbers are fucking ridiculous. Literally everyone at the market would have to buy from the same stall for five weeks to get those kind of numbers.
    Weren't there onions, lettuce and spinach recently tainted by salmonella? And the numbers aren't that ridiculous. In a system designed to track food and prevent outbreaks, it takes a month to identify the product, and locate the producer. How long do you think it would take to track distribution of something not in that system? Not to mention that the producers at the market we go to don't only sell at that market, most go to 2-3 others in the region each week.

    It was e coli IIRC (flood waters washed some poop into the spinach fields, I think?), and it was from factory farms. Local farmers don't sell spinach that's been marinating in poop water, because they're going to see those same customers next Saturday, and they're going to have to explain to them why they sold them tainted spinach that made the customers' kids sick.

    And even though it's obvious, I think it's important to state that farmer's markets aren't as common as supermarkets. Even if this bill forces out 5% due to government-hating farmers, and another 5% who simply can't afford the additional cost, that's still a pretty big hit to an industry of this size. (And anyone who's ever spoken to a vendor at their local farmer's market knows these %s are laughably low.)


    edit- made the customers' kids sick.

    xa52 on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    Again, how does this measure ensure the supremacy of ConAgra?
    Apparently not being able to afford to make sure your food is clean will put small farms out of business.

    It would depend on how it was enforced. And who is enforcing it? Tom Vilsack. Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa. Bought and paid for by the corn industry. Again, when was the last time a food-borne illness outbreak was attributed to food sold at a farmer's market? This is a solution in search of a problem.

    Yep, classic solution in search of problem. Which is idiotic when we have an actual problem the solution to which is relatively clear...fix the damn FDA.

    If, after dealing with all the industries currently being poorly regulated by the FDA, we still have people getting sick from farmer's market tomatoes (I highly doubt this) then by all means let's draft something up.

    Personally I don't give a crap if a few independent farmers don't want to deal with that thar gubbamint...but I care because this is an unnecessary move that distracts from finding a solution to the real problem.

    mcdermott on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Saammiel wrote: »
    So the status quo is already working fine? Why fix something that isn't broken then?
    The status quo of farmers markets and CSAs? It seems to be working fine—I haven't gotten sick yet from food I got from farmer's markets—but then I don't think regulation should only be supported after something bad happens.
    I might have more sympathy if there were A) Any outbreaks even associated with Farmer's Markets in the first place and B) if these same people were busy reforming the FDA and removing hugely distortionary ag subsidies. But I am not seeing that.
    The fact that Monsanto seems to be connected to this is sketchy. But I'm just judging this based on the bill's own merits, not who proposed it.

    Edit: to be clear, though, I definitely think "fixing the FDA" is a much higher priority than "regulating farmer's markets" right now.

    Qingu on
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    TheDinosaurManTheDinosaurMan __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2009
    While I'm not american, canadian actually, I support this. Who know what is grown and how it is grown. Do you actually see the soil and manure they put on? How can you tell me for a 100% assurity that the soil doesn't contain any human waste? What sort of Cows are they getting their manure from? Are those cows free from disease or mad cow or hoof and mouth? What sort of farm land do they have?

    I'm all for regulating where it is protecting us. Those not in favour, who in my opinion, couldn't give a damn about what they sold.

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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    While I'm not american, canadian actually, I support this. Who know what is grown and how it is grown. Do you actually see the soil and manure they put on? How can you tell me for a 100% assurity that the soil doesn't contain any human waste? What sort of Cows are they getting their manure from? Are those cows free from disease or mad cow or hoof and mouth? What sort of farm land do they have?

    I'm all for regulating where it is protecting us. Those not in favour, who in my opinion, couldn't give a damn about what they sold.
    Again, we're not getting anything close to this sort of surety when dealing with large-scale industrial agribusiness, for which there is already a regulatory agency; why don't we focus on that instead of inventing a new regulatory agency to put onerous restrictions on people who don't cause the sorts of problems we get from the aforementioned large-scale agribusiness?

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