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Food Safety Modernization Act Passes

Will it help us?

December 20, 2010 by Dr. Dennis Paul Knicely, Editor-in-Chief HealingNews.com

(HealingNews) People pick their battles. I just do news with a little commentary right now, not enough time to do articles every day.

I'll let others fight the Food Safety Bill. Other than "GMO" food safety is not all that bad..., except...

The Food Safety Modernization Act was written to update laws and mandates from decades previous, so I will reflect back. It was bound to pass. There were questionable aspects of bill, yet compromises addressed challenges with small farms meeting new standards for large factory farm operations.

Some in the holistic community are misinformed, thinking Monsanto are/were behind this bill. Sure, their lobbying efforts affected it, allowing their GMO operations to continue. Yet that will most likely continue being a long, drawn out challenge to counter.

When I see a recent salmonella outbreak caused by sprouts, with 45 people diagnosed cases from one restaurant alone, I see a big challenge: Who is responsible?

If an alfalfa sprout goes just 1 DAY too long and still used, you can get food poisoning. If almonds are soaked just a few hours too long [what they call sprouted], resulting cramps and illness can be deadly. Many question "restrictions", yet in most cases people are simply attempting to "cover their behind". Nobody wants to get sued, the FDA or USDA included, "for not doing their jobs".

I've met with FDA agent[s] at the Natural Products Expo. They are not all bad guys, and was explained their concentration was "misleading supplements" or others not in compliance – making claims without mandated verification. There is/was acknowledgement of challenges regarding "where do we draw the line"...???

Food Safety Act does have good aspects, yet IT WAS A COMPROMISE. ...not all bad, yet questionable at times. The battle is not over, but there was updating to a decades long mandate. It needed upgrading, and I say "Wait and see" before introducing next amendment...

A year ago, while working with one of LA’s BIGGEST food & beverage operations, I ordered a salad [mixed leafy greens], and noticed some of the leaves were rotten / wilted [sorted most out], didn't taste right, and it came out from "both ends" within 24 hours - REALLY intense. Owner of same food location got sick too, as well as others. I was later informed "old chef" [one being replaced] just had a few more days, before being replaced [possible 'chip on shoulder']...

Excrement happens. It gets mixed in with food sometimes, leading to E Coli. If the general public ever smelled a Smithfield Farms VA/NC, or drove by Farmer Johns in Vernon near downtown Los Angeles, CA, they would understand good aspects of a Food Safety Bill. After working as FDA inspectors of factory farms, many turn vegetarian.

I was born around farms, one hand with a pitch fork while the other pulled a golf cart [caddy]. Barns with animals are vermin infested disease spreaders, especially when you get back to the "chicken coop" [speaking of flu], then the "pig sty" [where they roll in mud puddles to stay cool], you know, the ones that "eat anything" including their own children when they’re hungry... good garbage disposals...

I'm speaking of the traditional "PA Dutch" inspired days, with women sewing up patch quilts while the men were out mending fence, building barn[s], shoveling poop, bailing hay, plowing, pulling weeds, hauling oats, wheat, barley, rye, etc... tending gardens, chickens, milking cows, sheep, ...they were all there... Even freaked first time I saw a chicken body running around, after the head was chopped off, with the beak going up and down... All I could do was laugh with dismay... ...and the Pig sty,... uggh!!! ...running the sheep through formaldehyde, after they were sheared, to get rid of mites [Fall, Winter, Spring accumulation]... Seeing "Betsy" shot up with a hypodermic syringe [hormones], so she will keep delivering milk...

My earliest memories on Farm were with my Grandmother, giving us "raw milk" - the "traditional" kind, going "way back" [early 1950s] before everyone [animals included] started getting all those horrendous shots... Oh, the "thick cream" on top of the white milk, being churned into butter, other buckets making cheese [rotten rich milk], fresh eggs from the barn,...

That's where I first heard about serious illness from eating bad eggs. I once found some eggs sitting in one of the old abandoned [antique] trucks out on the farm. Excited, I brought them to the house and got scolded, told to NEVER do that... but they didn't even smell bad...???

My Grandmother died when I was young - worn out after 10 children and countless grandchildren... She was from an "Ancient American Clan" that was muted with the PA Dutch [allied with Swiss in early days], yet "refugees" from WV looking for a better life in Ohio...

Grandmother's death was also from all the "rich" foods, laden with thick, raw milk products, raw fatty meats being prepared on same chopping boards as everything else, etc. etc. etc... ...Rich foods, ya know, cookies from all the refined sugar, Morton's salt, raw milk, raw eggs, and refined flour with Crisco or bacon grease... to make cookies / cakes,... and everybody liked the bought white flour BETTER than the wheat we grew, that was sold as "animal feed", so more Beef could be fattened up for slaughter. Then everybody lived challenging lives until the ambulance hauled them off to the hospital or morgue.

Our milk cows used to graze in fields full of grass and weeds. Yet we still had to be careful, when sometimes they ate poison plants. It would make us humans sick, and it tasted different when contaminated. Even the store bought varieties had this taste and smell at times.

I always had a "runny nose" while I was a child... They thought it was tuberculosis, until "shot" took care of that one, then it was called asthma,... Mucous kept coming out. Yet I never understood the relationship between "raw and/or cooked milk products" associated with stuffy, runny nose, until quitting in my late teens. After a week without milk and cheese, I could clearly breathe through my nose for one of the first times in ages!

We ALWAYS had huge gardens, all canned before later storing things in freezers, when budget permitted buying those cold metal boxes.

Jars NEVER got thrown out, especially when mason lids would fit. Canning started going out of style in the late 1950s.., but Mother always made jams and jellies [with sugar, of course] that were stored down there... I was warned about that, too... told NOT TO EVER use food in jars that popped when lid comes off instead of sucking air in. It could be deadly. Botulism, salmonella, etc...

I saw similar "risks" of "cross contamination" at "Rawsome", a small raw foods coop in Santa Monica, CA where I refused to shop after seeing them using same "gloves" handling raw carcass as was handling raw produce... That was close to 10 years ago. Finally the FDA with the FBI raided their operations, after marketing illegal raw animal products. I know Mike Adams at Natural News was complaining about it, but I saw the problem years before. Raw meat eaters liked the place, yet we have genuine concerns of parasitic conditions from consuming raw animal products of any kind.

They started restricting the sale of raw milk WAY BACK, after serious illnesses were a common problem. Although never handling milk well ever, the pasteurized, homogenized milks were "less severe" with my allergies than were the raw varieties...

We have to choose our battles. Sorry, I'm not a big fan of "Animal Husbandry". There is simply too much chance for cross contamination. Operations like these need to be inspected for our safety, including run- offs and ground water contamination.

Go vegan! It’s safer, with much less chance of contamination, if you avoid junk foods. Raw Vegan is even better, especially when using high grade organically grown foods that are not imported from 3rd World countries where irrigation with raw sewage is common place.

Clean your veggies! There are better sources of B complex vitamins than filthy produce from questionable soil.

Dr. Dennis Dennis Knicely

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