I know basically nothing about the HR 875 and am learning here at the last moments... I do know if legal language is "broad" it generally serves those with the most power.  

In the past 5 years we've had similar broad language written and that was just the case.  When we voted against gay marriage, our attorney general said the law also applied to civil unions, which we did not vote on.  Broad laws favor those who stand to profit from control.

Ben Brown

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 19:50:40 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: More information sites - HR 875
To: [log in to unmask]

RE: More information sites - HR 875

Well said and thank you, John. I agree about the direct sales exemption. We have a history of small business exemptions and I hope it holds true here

Let's stay on top of this, keep sharing info, because the worst case scenarios are truly frightening

Take care


-----Original Message-----

From: Michigan organic growers seeking and offering information and ideas on behalf of Dutcher Farms

Sent: Wed 3/25/2009 7:27 PM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: More information sites - HR 875

Hello All,

    First off I want to say that I have grave reservations over HR875, and I also disagree with some of the things Vicki said in regards to the bill, especially after having read some of it, the language is very broad,general and interpretation could be taken from different angles in regards to who is doing the interpretation. There seems to be many more regulations and bookeeping involved( seems the onus always falls on the small producers!),and is very invasive. The penalties are also quite extreme( possible jail time and one million dollar fine for each offense and according to interpretation, a million dollars a day for each day of non compliance), in the case of the peanut debacle, if the federal and state regulators had been doing their jobs, people would not have died or fallen ill. Paying off inspectors seems to be the norm in much of the food industry these days( I have seen it myself over the last thirty years), then you also now have,in many large plants, the "inspector" being an actual employee of the company, this has been going on now for a few years, HAACP trained employees doing the actual inspection, no conflict of interest,of course. There is a lot going on "out there" and has become very hard to even keep up with the overload of information and fear mongering over food safety, many folks seem to forget that "life" itself is not "safe"! I have requested from my house rep.( Bart Stupak) a copy of the bill(HR875) as introduced to committee,as I have not been able to find the "whole" bill, no answer yet. The bill may not be as bad as we think,as long as there are some clear exemptions for direct farm to consumer sales.

    Secondly, there seems to be some communication going on between inividuals, instead of sending to the complete list-serve, please folks send to "reply all", it makes it very difficult to know everything said when you do not receive ALL the e-mails, if you only hit the reply button,your reply will only be sent to the individual that originally sent the message. Receiving bits and pieces is very confusing!!

     I see there was a request to have someone removed from the list serve for not following the 'rules", from what I see, both individuals were rude to each other. Personal attacks and profanity really have no place here, this only causes a communication break down and does not resolve anything, PLEASE folks, just agree to disagree. Freedom of speech and expression is fundamental, but should remain "civil". This type of behavior is one of the main reasons the organic movement in this state has remained fragmented for so many years, I believe we all have some level of interest in moving forward and not to remain stagnated as has been. Michigan has been trying to play catch up now for some time, especially in regards to the progressive movements in the northeast and northwest portions of this country, I do not believe any of us want to remain in the "dark ages". I really enjoy receiving the information forwarded on this list-serve and would hope to continue to do so, now more than ever, we need a united front.

                                                  Thank You All in Advance,

                                                         John Dutcher

                                                        Dutcher Farm

  ----- Original Message -----


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