Thursday, November 18, 2010

More nutrient regulation coming on

I've been seeing stuff about S.510, a food safety "modernization" act that of course increases federal FDA regulation over all kinds of things it hasn't had jurisdiction over before -- supplements, seeds, organics, what you can plant in your own garden or on your own little organic farm, etc. The motion to invoke cloture passed 74-25. That doesn't necessarily mean it will pass during the lame duck session, though it seems likely to pass the Senate. The House might resist, but only if there's a hue and cry from the grassy grass rots. The National Health Federation and others are trying to get phone calls, e-mails, signed petitions and letters to congresscritters going, but I don't know how successful the campaigns have been.

It seems to me this is not so much a power grab but a case of the bureaucratic imperative for an established agency to keep growing and expanding its authority. When it comes time to move toward expansion there will be no shortage of ambitious regulators convinced that the poor benighted public needs far more "guidance" (and coercion) than it has been getting with agendas and proposals. Thus we get a S.510. And passing it in the lame-duck session, before opposition has coalesced, is plenty shrewd. There will have to be substantial mobilization if the House is to decide not to pass this turkey.

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