Sunday, March 22, 2009

Addendum to post on Grow a garden, go to jail

In the last post "Concerned in Tahoe" asked that someone comment on the exclusion of farms and gardens, etc. from the bill. They asked that someone who read the entire bill write a post about it.

Well, I've read the whole bull bill and will comment. I have added colored lettering to provide emphasis.

Concerned in Tahoe talks about Section 3. Section three is in the introduction of the bill as the Definitions. This section spells out the language and referential meanings pertaining to this bill.


(a) In General- Any food establishment or foreign food establishment engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding food for consumption in the United States shall register annually with the Administrator.

(b) Registration Requirements

(1) IN GENERAL- To be registered under subsection (a), a food establishment shall submit a registration or reregistration to the Administrator.

(2) REGISTRATION- Registration under this section shall begin within 90 days of the enactment of this Act. Each such registration shall be submitted to the Secretary through an electronic portal and shall contain such information as the Secretary, by guidance, determines to be appropriate. Such registration shall contain the following information:

(A) The name, address, and emergency contact information of each domestic food establishment or foreign food establishment that the registrant owns or operates under this Act and all trade names under which the registrant conducts business in the United States relating to food."

In the Definitions section (section 3 of the introduction) it defines those entities that must register and participate in this agency:

(5) CATEGORY 1 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 1 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a seafood processing establishment) that slaughters, for the purpose of producing food, animals that are not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or poultry that are not subject to inspection under the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

(6) CATEGORY 2 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 2 food establishment’ means a seafood processing establishment or other food establishment (other than a category 1 establishment) not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or the Egg Products Inspection Act, that processes raw seafood or other raw animal products, whether fresh or frozen, or other products that the Administrator determines by regulation to pose a significant risk of hazardous contamination.

(7) CATEGORY 3 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 3 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a category 1 or category 2 establishment) that processes cooked, pasteurized, or otherwise ready-to-eat seafood or other animal products, fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form, or other products that pose a risk of hazardous contamination.

(8) CATEGORY 4 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term ‘category 4 food establishment’ means a food establishment that processes all other categories of food products not described in paragraphs (5) through (7).

(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."

Definitions continue regarding what is a food establishment:

(12) FOOD- The term ‘food’ means a product intended to be used for food or drink for a human or an animal and components thereof.


(A) IN GENERAL- The term ‘food establishment’ means a slaughterhouse (except those regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act), factory, warehouse, or facility owned or operated by a person located in any State that processes food or a facility that holds, stores, or transports food or food ingredients.

(B) EXCLUSIONS- For the purposes of registration, the term ‘food establishment’ does not include a food production facility as defined in paragraph (14), restaurant, other retail food establishment, nonprofit food establishment in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer, or fishing vessel (other than a fishing vessel engaged in processing, as that term is defined in section 123.3 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations).

(14) FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY- The term ‘food production facility’ means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation."

As you can simply see there is not an exclusion for family farms, neighborhood gardens etc. Yes, you should be alarmed. A lot of the regulations regarding food establishments are already in place. They were set in place under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. That act did not cover meat processing plants and seafood, however it could easily be expanded. We do not need this law at all.