Somebody with really poor reading comprehension has declared that HR 875, aka The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, is gonna make your personal garden illegal, drive your local farmers' market out of business, and kill organic farming.
And then it got picked up as a meme across the internet on both the wingnut right and that paranoid left.
Now it's hitting the mainstream.
Excuse me. I'll be heading over to the closest wall to wham my head against it. Repeatedly.
How is it possible that so many people lack the commonsense that God gave an earthworm? In a world with Google, and with internet access to THOMAS, you would think that maybe, just maybe, somebody would've, I dunno, actually checked the text of the bill to see if it actually says what everyone is saying it says.
I mean, THINK ABOUT THIS! Congress, the U.S. Congress, is gonna shut down farmers' markets? They're gonna make you now get permission to grow tomato plants in your own yards?
You believe this? Seriously?
One question genius: How the hell are the Federales supposed to patrol your yard to make sure you're not growing yummy cherry tomatoes near the back fence, hunh? They can't even catch Whitey Bulger after a 14-year chase. What makes you think they give a shit about raiding farmers' markets and your personal garden?
Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. This blatant heard-like behavior over stupid shit that's easily checked just gets me all...all...GRRRRR! AGGGGGH!
Do you know what this bill does? It establishes a Food Safety Administration to be created under the Department of Health and Human Services because, clearly, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, aka the "Food" part of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), can't keep the hell up on a food safety front.
And considering the past few years has been nothing but one food recall and one food warning after another, yeah, I really, really think it's high time we had governmental oversight of the actual food distribution chain in the U.S., complete with a full-time focus on food safety issues.
What the bill does not do:
First off, the word "garden" does not appear once in the entire bill. Not. Once. No one gives a damn about your personal garden where you grow your own personal food. You want to plant it in the soil, raise it, and then eat it? Go to town. No one cares. Congress sure as hell doesn't, the FDA begs you to do them another favor, and this new Food Safety Administration is worried far more about imported food and food distribution than what you plant your own yard.
Regarding the farmer's markets: No one cares, either. Really, they don't. In fact, this bill is gonna help your local farmer with his or her locally grown produce more than you can imagine. This bill is like Christmas for them. Why?
Because the bill, and the proposed Food Safety Administration, is only concerned about one thing: foreign-grown food and the food supply chain in the U.S.
The regs governing local farms, growing local food, sold to local people is not going to change one whit. In fact, the bill will make it harder for foreign-grown food to compete with local farmers because foreign-grown food is about to get whammed a shitload of regulations, all under the hairy eyeball of the new Food Safety Administration.
Farmers' market fans, rejoice! This bill basically all but guarantees that your local farm ain't going anywhere — and if it does, it's not at the sword point of federal regulations.
And finally, the bill does not even mention organic farming. It doesn't care about organic farming. It doesn't involve itself with organic. Organic farming is already regulated, and that's not going to change one whit either.
So, will everyone just chill already about this and stop claiming that your garden, your farmers' market, and organic produce are going the way of the dodo, because that's false, wrong, and stupid.
If you thought more than 10 seconds about it, you'd know it was stupid.
But, hey. What the hell do I know, right? You want proof? Read the bill your own damn self.
Whenever crap like this happens, I have the overwhelming urge to re-enact this scene from The Muppet Show. I would be cosplaying Kermit, of course.