2007 Farm Bill befo...
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2007 Farm Bill before Congress

Posts: 713
Honorable Member
Topic starter

This doesn't just affect the mainland, but also the VI - with the shipping that goes into getting food products to the islands, the local merchants need to retain control of their products. Please read up on this - with the recent pet food scares, there needs to be a measure of accountability somewhere between the consumer and the federal government. I received this from an animal defense league, but there are some interesting points made if you do the research on it.

If certain members of Congress have their way, Virgin Islanders could lose the ability to adequately ensure the safety of your food and protect animal welfare.

Any day now, the House Agriculture Committee could vote on an amendment to the 2007 Farm Bill that could directly impact Virgin Islands's food safety and animal welfare laws.

This new amendment, called Section 123, was quietly added to the Farm Bill a few weeks ago, and it is a huge step backwards on food safety. If passed, it would hamstring state and local food safety efforts by wiping out critical authority on meat, poultry and biotechnology.

Please urge Congress to remove Section 123 from the Farm Bill.

The sweeping language of Section 123 could:
prevent local health inspectors at a supermarket from condemning contaminated meat or spoiled poultry;
prohibit states from passing laws that protect animal welfare, such as laws banning horse slaughter and sale of horsemeat; and
prohibit states and cities from passing laws regulating biotechnology and genetically engineered food.
Since 90% of food inspections are done at the state and local level, the impact of Section 123 could be severe.

Please send a message to your representative to support your local laws today!

P.S. Forty consumer, environmental, farmer, and animal welfare groups, including Consumers Union, sent a letter last week to the House Agriculture Committee opposing Section 123. Read the letter here, and then please sign the petition» http://go.care2.com/e/sAn3/kO.P/sWqC

Posted : June 29, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

BeckyR It was kind of sneaky to slip this bill in at the end without proper debate. I did read that the bill might not survive in its original form. But I think it could have horrible effects on animal welfare and organic farmers. I'm not too into this sort of thing but it appears that you are.....good for you, more people need to be involved.

Posted : June 29, 2007 5:11 pm
Posts: 83
Trusted Member

Becky R and lisailortoo, yes you are right we as citizens should get involved. However, our delegate to Congress, Donna Christensen, has NO VOTE on the House floor- only in comittee. We as US Virgin Islanders have no say in the national affairs of our country... so it'll be up to those of you who still maintain voting registration on the mainland to speak for us. This is what it means to be dis-enfrachised.

Posted : June 29, 2007 6:34 pm
Posts: 713
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Congresswoman Christensen may not have a vote, nor do the people of the VI - but all have a voice and can use it. There are a LOT of people on the mainland fighting this - and many fighting for it. It's scary - we're being regulated half to death. Strangely enough, this may be the one benefit from the recent dog food fiasco - the Chinese government fell down on the job (and look what happened to that government official - YIKES!), and continentals don't want to lose any more authority to the feds. But this also affects Guam, American Samoa, and all the territories and provinces.

Although we on the mainland can vote, you in the islands deserve to be heard as loudly, if not more loudly, than others. This removes ANY control at the local level for unhealthy or diseased foods to get into the consumer's cart. With shipping and down time in port, etc. - well, you have more of a chance of being affected than the mainland, where the is an extensive transportation system in place to move items quickly. By the letter of the law with this bill, if it passed USDA inspection, it's good and the local level cannot bar it. Eek!

I would have sworn I put this on the community forum.....I think I'm hallucinating, or Islander moved it.....

Posted : June 29, 2007 7:13 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

Iguana, Its unfortunate but important news is no longer given to us. You will hear one hour of celebrity bull and 3 minutes of something that might be important. You had to dig deep to even find info on the farm bill. I think the feeling in the US is that " I can't do anything " so they just accept it as it is. I think we need to be loud no matter what our opinion is. There are a lot more of us......

Posted : June 29, 2007 7:23 pm
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