Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fertilizing the Wal Mart Garden

The Empress and I shop Wal Mart & Sam's Club occasionally. I have no compunctions about doing so, in fact, The Empress purchases a number of her prescriptions from Sam's Club and she purchase the Sam's Club generic of an over the counter medication. All are a great savings.

Still, Wal Mart & Sam's Club typically are not close to the top of our list for a shopping stop. They are often times convenience plays. We prefer to grocery shop at Woodman's and Festival, we prefer to do our other shopping at specialist outlets looking for deals.

That said. I have long known the Left demonizes Wal Mart and quite frankly I am not extremely hostile to some of the arguments they put forward. However, I find it highly ironic the left really works hard to cultivate, fertilize, and water the Wal Mart garden. That is, many of the policy goals the left pursues actively and fruitfully encourage the growth of Wal Mart and similar establishments.

The latest thing making the blog-around is a couple of new food safety proposals in the House of Representatives World Net Daily reports on H.R. 875 the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (Introduced in House).

In short, my review of the actual legislation appears to federalize all food safety regulation. I am somewhat hazy on the exact regimen of food regulation but a lot of it is state controlled. A state sets its minimum standards and health departments down the line can create their own codes to strengthen the state code. One restaurant manager told me the chain he was a part of just goes ahead and forces all of its restaurants to abide by the strictest standards of all the states the chain operates in, which makes sense.

So reading various reports on this bill I thought people were getting overheated in their reactions. Most of those reactions are that HR 875 would require me (for instance) to register my little garden on my lot. It thought the reaction overheated. So I went to Thomas to read the bill for myself.

The proposal does appear to call for the registration of ALL food production and processing facilities (the term used is food establishment) commercial, for profit, non-profit, or otherwise. Food production is defined as growing fruits, vegetables or other such for food as well as the raising of livestock (land or water based).

Now, making law into a machine is a tricky process. There is still time for amendments to correct what may be an oversight, and I give the author(s) the benefit of the doubt they are not intending to federally regulate private gardens. Still, what our economy and people do not need is more regulation. It has been well pointed out that agri-giants such as Monsanto, ADM, etc have no problem with operations like this. They have big fat wallets to pay for the needed attorneys, accountants, food specialists, regulatory specialists, investing in the extra hardware & facilities to comply. Sure they will grumble about having to pay for that, but the small gardener supplying your Farmer's Market with fresh, juicy, and tasty produce will not be able to comply or will spend more time complying and less time producing. That is, the giant, whom the left profess to detest will win and the small guy whom the left professes to support will lose.

In any event, the corrupt or lazy will not abide by the increased regulations any more than they do now. I would argue for increased enforcement of current regulations rather than expanding the regulations.