Call me and I’ll give you the number in the Rehab Center.

I am heading to DC early next week to attend with clients the House Energy and Commerce hearing on the latest in food safety theatre – the Egg Hearings (my bet is DeCoster “takes the 5th”). I also hope to be able to move forward the non-O157:H7 ball a bit more. However, I am still stunned that S. 510 will not move this session, and, given the likely results of the upcoming mid-term elections, will never see the light of day in my, or Linda’s lifetime.

As you might well recall, Linda Rivera is a Nevada woman who contracted E. coli from cookie dough and has been battling for her life for the past sixteen months, had been promised the Senate will move on the pending food safety bill, S. 510–the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. A constituent of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Rivera and her family had also become key advocates for the bill that has languished in the Senate for months.


I guess the t-shirts I gave to each US Senator did not work:

Put me out of business big box Web.jpg

  • Richard Rivera

    Unbelievable!!! After being promised not once,not twice but 3 times by Senator Reid and or his office that they would get this bill pushed through and for it not to get pushed is a crying shame . I /Linda are very disappointed,I guess it is going to have to take one of our Senators,(wives,mothers,daughters or some family member) to get E-Coli or some type of food borne illness for them to understand the devastion this causes not only to the patient,but to the entire family and extended family.I am not saying the bill was perfect or that i understand it 100% but some action is better than no action plus we can always amend the bill at a later date can’t we ?Like I have said before that if this bill saves just 1 life and 1 family from going through what Linda,myself and our 6kids( along with the countless others before and after us) have gone through for the past 16.5 months than it is worth it.Just imagine if it saved hundreds of people each year the pain and agony that thousands go through each year, would that be such a bad outcome? I feel like we should now be able to hold you the Senate accountable for these illnesses as well as the manufacturer because of your inability to take a stand for us the consumers when you knew/know what the outcome could be. If any of you Senators would like to talk with Linda and myself about this please call our Attorney Mr. Bill Marler and he will set up a teleconference with us,but be ready to spend an hour or two with us not 5 minutes we want you to get a full impact of what Linda has gone through let alone our family.

  • Thank you Bill for all that you have done to support food safety in America. It is a sad day when a bi-partisan bill, with many Senators supporting it, slips away because a few oppose it. I will continue to work for passage of food safety legislation — as I have for the past nine years — but the hope for passage of S. 510 is bleak. I trust all victims of serious foodborne illness will speak out against what has happened during this past year to stall the passage of this thoughtful and well-developed piece of food safety legislation.
    Pat Buck
    Co-founder and Executive Director
    Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention
    Kevin Kowalcyk’s (1998-2001) grandmother

  • Roy Costa

    This is appalling, Bill. What is it going to take, an outbreak at the capital? The insular nature of the legislative process was never so evident, and I am sure we will learn who put the pressure on who and what groups did and did not support public health protection. But as they say “you can pay me now or pay me later”! This tells you something about where the power is in politics. We paid how many billions to bail out the banking industry? Weird and sick, eh?
    I bet Mr DeCoster is laughing in his filthy boots, and Parnell in his creepy wingtips, so gross. And the Riveras? They are owed a monumental apology from Nestle’s, I hope they got that.
    What can you say to the Riveras besides “your government stinks”? Please tell this family that there are still a lot of devoted, dedicated food safety people around. We still intend to do ALL we can to prevent such tragedies, expose who and what is behind it, and seek justice. Please tell the Rivera family that our prayers are with them.
    This latest failure of our government really makes our private sector work that more urgent, those of us who are truly concerned must now redouble our efforts.
    Hang in there Bill, we need ya now. But what a sad day for public health! Right now, I am so ashamed!
    If I were the head of FDA, I would quit in protest, but we don’t do that anymore? Do we?
    Thank you for this forum Bill, its a great place to blow off steam. Think any senatos have the courage right now to talk to the Riveras? I guess we will see.

  • John Munsell

    In recent years I’ve considered myself to not only be a food safety advocate, but also an outspoken opponent of USDA’s deregulated system of meat non-inspection called HACCP. FDA is even worse. Consider the fact that the agency publicly admitted that they had never inspected the two egg farms in Iowa, and their policies call for only inspecting food facilities AFTER problems arise. Hmmmm…….think this attitude would work for meat?
    Why my advocacy? Because USDA/FSIS essentially ruined my reputation, alienated my customers, and removed my business livelihood by agency actions taken against my plant in 2002. The agency tested ConAgra meat at my plant, and discovered 3 consecutive days of E.coli positives from agency labs. How did FSIS respond? They shuttered my grinder for four months, while insulating ConAgra from any liability via taking no enforcement actions at the SOURCE of contamination. Why did the agency suddently have a change of heart after four months, allowing me to grind again? Because ConAgra announced a 19.1 million lb recall. FSIS could no longer hide its head in the sand, or elsewhere.
    Why are these details important? Maybe I’m just a poor loser. Because agency behavior at my plant is indicative of government behavior across the food industry: torment and harass small, powerless plants out of existence, while adroitly avoiding any uncomfortable enforcement actions against the multinational behemoths who possess political clout and deep pockets. The food industry has become more concentrated, vertical integration continues, and our imports continue to escalate………while small food manufacturers and processors are dopping like flies. A review of our outbreaks and illnesses almost always expose large plants, not small plants. Large plants must run at the fastest speed possible in order to compete with imports, as well as stay competitive with other industry mega players.
    My concern is that S. 510 will exacerbate the scenario described above. If our desire is to eviscerate rural America of small, local producers, S. 510 is the ticket.
    Please know that folks like me who oppose S. 510 are not monsters, allegedly focused strictly on profit. Quite to the contrary, while we promote food safety, we also advocate focusing on the SOURCE of problems, while S. 510 uses a broad brush to the economic disadvantage of the smallest producers who pay much closer attention to food safety. Senator Tester’s ammendment for small producer exclusions would have ameliorated this problem, but his ammendment was widely criticized by many.
    HACCP has resulted in the departure of over 25% of small meat plants, and the departures increase annually……..while imports trend exactly the opposite. S. 510 would have had the same impact on FDA-regulated items.
    John W. Munsell, Manager
    Foundation for Accountability in Regulatory Enforcement (FARE)
    212 S. Jordan
    Miles City, MT 59301
    406-853-1878 Cell

  • Michael Bulger

    Mr. Munsell,
    By shuttering your plant and stopping your grinder, how many lives do you believe were saved?
    You seem to blame USDA/FSIS for stopping E. Coli from reaching your customers. Would that not be something for which you might thank them?
    I agree that it is unfortunate that your plant’s meat was contaminated. Your choice of sourcing should have provided you with pathogen-free ground beef. However, I am struggling to see the logic behind your opposition to more inspections and direct intervention into the problem of contamination wherever it may be found.
    I will contact your office, so that you might have the opportunity to explain your experience and position.
    Michael Bulger

  • Mr. Bulger, although I agree with you that John’s arguments against S. 510 are misplaced, I absolutely respect his opinion and the way he conducted his business. His facility did not sicken anyone. However, if the USDA had paid attention to John in 2002, the sickening of some 40 people (one died) and the recall of 19,000,000 pounds of meat would never have happened.

  • Michael Bulger

    I appreciate the insight.

  • Ann Quinn, consumer

    Long road to reform seemingly struck down again by the wealthy and powerful food lobby. I wonder where the statistics are on the medical costs of foodborne illness treatment and the lost productivity that result from contaminated food, Mr. Marler.
    Senator Reid, come November 2010 and after the election, remember some of your constituents actually counted on you to effect real reform on behalf of those who voted
    for you and consider their health and welfare as your first priority. Surely some ended
    wars might have funded food safety reform.

  • Richard…. Are you out of your mind? Do you know what that bill will do? I think not… So before you help PUSH this agenda through… go to my site and watch the videos… If after seeing and LISTENING to what was said and if you still feel like you want S510 PUSHED through… I would suggest you consider a 100% organic food menu and quit trying to help this planet become a one world government!
    PS… It’s called CODEX

  • freedom

    Thank you Jesus for not passing this bill…. I am all for food safety but this bill is a trick to get us into the WTO and its a terrible idea. When will we learn that the FDA is not looking in our best interest. I agree with Alan fully considering the organic diet. If S. 510 would pass organic farming would be in terrible trouble. They are looking to taking court into the farm land and prosecuting farmers for reusing their seeds. This is a shame. Please please reread your information on S. 510 I am humbly asking you to. I am 100% for our health ( I eat rather healthy myself no meat all organic) I understand food safety is a must but they are trying to take away our vitamins. The bill seems pleasing but if you read it you see that they are using it as a way to implement things that would not pass otherwise. It is a mask and they are trying to take away our freedom. Check out this article or just actually really read the bill.

  • Wake Up Dumbies

    S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
    “If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
    It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.
    Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create — without judicial review — if it passes. S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.
    In the 1990s, Bill Clinton introduced HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) purportedly to deal with contamination in the meat industry. Clinton’s HACCP delighted the offending corporate (World Trade Organization “WTO”) meat packers since it allowed them to inspect themselves, eliminated thousands of local food processors (with no history of contamination), and centralized meat into their control. Monsanto promoted HACCP.
    In 2008, Hillary Clinton, urged a powerful centralized food safety agency as part of her campaign for president. Her advisor was Mark Penn, CEO of Burson Marsteller*, a giant PR firm representing Monsanto. Clinton lost, but Clinton friends such as Rosa DeLauro, whose husband’s firm lists Monsanto as a progressive client and globalization as an area of expertise, introduced early versions of S 510.
    S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.
    1. It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency. It resembles the Kissinger Plan.
    2. It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security. It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection. Instead, S 510 says:
    Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.
    3. It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into “the United States.” Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, “entry of food into the US” covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and “entering into” it by virtue of being produced.
    A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    4. It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements. Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.
    5. It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. See Seeds – How to criminalize them, for more details.
    6. It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease. Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents. Animal diseases can be falsely declared. S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.
    Fresh food that lasts from eFoods Direct (Ad)
    7. It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production – put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.
    8. It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer. The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.
    9. It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe. The five items listed — the Five Pillars of Food Safety — are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.
    10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied. It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review. It is (similar to C-6 in Canada) the end of Rule of Law in the US.
    For further information, watch these videos:
    Food Laws – Forcing people to globalize
    State Imposed Violence … to snatch resources of ordinary people
    Corporate Rule
    Reclaiming Economies
    Oak snake image at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Florida
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  • “the most dangerous bill in the history of the US?” I see black helicopters filled with people from the UN coming to take our guns and make us all homosexual and taking away our seeds and tomatoes. Give me a break. What about laws interning our citizens during WWII or determining that blacks were property?

  • Please read the Bill, Inform Yourself before write
    “I am not saying the bill was perfect or that I understand it 100%”
    Your Job is to fight for your client.
    The bill will take away the right to grow our own food.
    In this case your client won’t be able to have a choice
    if she later think that growing her own food would be safer, then won’t be options.
    America can’t give up their right to plant fruit or veggies in their gardens or take vitamins
    or choose an alternative medicine.
    About the Eggs, that was an excuse to pass this bill otherwise all American people would be sick
    from eating Eggs.

  • Doc

    For those people blaming the government for this problem, you need to own your problems and accept some responsibility for your own lives. The role of the Federal branch of government is NOT to protect you from life. It rains on the just and the unjust.
    This bill will take away my right to practice heirloom gardening and save my seeds for the next years crops. It’s one thing to legislate dealings within the FDA, who doesn’t do it’s job anyway. But it’s entirely another story when a bill takes away a person’s inalienable rights to grow and eat their own food. Just because 90% of pathetic Americans are reliant on buying over priced genetically modified chemically infested foods at Wal-mart doesn’t mean those who grow REAL food should be put out of business or prevented from harvesting seeds. In fact, if people ate raw foods that were unprocessed, insecticide free, and came from non-hormone treated animals the problems would go away. But instead, progressively ignorant liberals only argue one side of the debate in hopes the government will continue picking up the tab and saving them. I will fight for my rights to grow and eat my own food even while the people who have NOT read this bill continue to support it thinking they will get protection or security. Time for grown ups to start acting like grown ups and accept responsibility for their own actions in life!

  • I thought I just heard the helicopters…shhh. Has anyone thought of a simple solution like focusing on the companies that have had recalls so far, learn from the experiences and put together a comprehensive plan that is implemented by a voted group of officials from small companies, large multinationals, accredited associations and legislation. Why empower an already disorganized and monetarily persuaded group who is headed by a former Monsanto employee. How can people not see that we are selling our fredoms. YES we need to make sure companies abide by food safety regulations to prevent horrible occurences from happening. They could start with the companies that have the farthest reach and impact …oh, but they don’t because those companies have the biggest pocket books.
    Just curious, but can someone tell me where the cookie dough came from? I can’t imagine what Ms. Rivera went threw, and I feel horrible for her and her family. But, I don’t want loose my freedoms either. This is why empowering and supporting organic and free range meat producers is important. They care about your health. They take a hit against their margins to provide consumers with the healthiest and cleanest meats.
    Our choices are to allow bill with subjectivity that takes away more of our freedoms or vote no and take the time to think this through and protect everyone that is effected. You choose.

  • Ken

    Do people some how really believe that if this passed that there would be no more deaths, no more sickness from bad food producing practices. People will still make mistakes deliberately or not, whether it be the factory,factory worker,middle men or end user( how you cook things, leave them out before being eaten etc.. makes a difference to). This will not stop people from being human and should be dealt with on a per case basis. To make everyone do push ups is stupid and naive. Truth is there will be more sickness and death as a result of this bill if it passes because it takes away your constitutional right to choose what goes into your body good food or bad, They will just call it heart disease, cancer, lupus,some new virus strain, etc..etc..etc.. This is a smoke screen, a Trojan horse if you will for the purpose of keeping you dependent on the major producers. If you take away the smaller producers then what is left ? You think the big boys don’t see a shift in people wanting better food, better health, whether that be growing it themselves or finding a grower or producer. All you have to do is look at the organic health food isles in the grocery stores to see they have grown a bunch in the last few years. I have for several years now been changing my diet to cage free eggs, grass fed beef, organic veggies and other natural things ( most if not all from small producers). As a result I no longer have heart burn, bladder infections, strep throat(every year), bronchitis(every year) and other problems. I want to pick and choose who I buy food from and/or to grow my own food. I will never change this view. It is my God given right.

  • Blind Sheep

    follow the leader you blind sheep, especially you Bill.

  • bowlan

    you are all brain dead morons.
    that bill has nothing to do with helping protect food.
    it is designed as another controle tool.
    controle the food supply you controle the people.
    all of you retard demecrate morons should pay attention to whats going on instead of shoving your head into the sand pile.