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Anyone know about HR 875 and its affect on farming/gardening?

Posted Friday, March 13, 2009, at 6:10 PM

John Carney recently asked me about a bill working its' way through Congress, since I have more than a passing interest in agriculture. The person who contacted him was concerned that this could affect organic farming, small farmers and even backyard gardeners.

I think I have read most of this bill as posted on the internet and have some opinions, but I was wondering if anyone else was aware of it. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext...

If anyone knows exactly where to find the dangerous parts for the backyard gardener, please speak out here. If it is indeed dangerous to our small farmers, etc., I REALLY want to fight it.

From what I could see, the danger is in its' confusing, vague, all encompassing wording. It is not very clear and it gives wide power to a new "food zar". The goals can be accomplished by just enforcing the laws already out there.

It expands government, and seems extremely expensive to execute. Nothing new with government, but I do not see an immediate threat to backyard gardens.

Showing comments in chronological order
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So are they (gov) saying that Joe Blo Average cannot have his own garden in his yard? Huh...

not good...

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Fri, Mar 13, 2009, at 10:09 PM


Glad you caught this. I think this all started with the recent peanut debacle. Where was the FDA, Inspectors for 2 years? This is a dangerous bill. Monsanto is a huge corporation. A short version is here;


The main point of the article is quote:

HR 875, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.

Upon reading more, it refers to Individuals, also.

In the article, in the upper left is a link to answer this bill by private citizens.

And BTW, I wouldn't have any reservations of eating anything from a garden in Shelbyville.


-- Posted by framestraight on Sat, Mar 14, 2009, at 12:32 AM

This does have to do with your back yard garden, if you plan on sharing your produce with friends or neighbors. It is another example of unnecessary legislation, designed to expand government control. The peanut debacle was the lack of procedure by government agents. We don't need these laws that are geared to agribusiness. Our food is bad enough as it is. We have genetically altered produce in the supermarkets and they don't even have to tell you it is there. It is time for our lawmakers to be more concerned about the citizens rather than big business.

-- Posted by dmcg on Sat, Mar 14, 2009, at 7:35 AM

I somehow missed that they don't have to identify GM food. IS that just not being enforced or was it actually changed?

I agree that it does not identify backyard gardens, but what the opponents seem to be concerned about is the "smoke and mirrors", so very little is clear. This vagueness can often lead to abuse.

I don't like it because it does not appear to be necessary if our current laws were followed and enforced. It creates ANOTHER government agency in a government that is already top heavy and I see a big budget going to be assigned to it.

I also see it becoming a big issue for small farmers and market garden growers who do not have a budget to retain lawyers and people to fill out forms.

I am also a bit ticked that OUR money probably went to pay for the darn thing to be written. If not, then someone has a BIG stake in its' approval and I would be concerned about that.

The term "follow the money" always seems to be sage advice.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 14, 2009, at 8:39 AM

This does not appear to be a "hot topic" and I have to admit, it is not on the radar of the watchdog groups that I keep in touch with.

From a garden aspect, I don't expect any issues, but from a budget waste right from the word go,......

Because of the vagueness, I see it also threatening many of the controls we already have in place, which will also result in spending waste, so I HOPE it will never get serious consideration.

I have to wonder about the co-sponsors of this bill. I would NOT want my name on it,if by some wonder I was in ever a position to have it added.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 16, 2009, at 9:45 AM


here's an interesting link about this topic:


-- Posted by dmcg on Tue, Mar 17, 2009, at 5:49 AM

It is a good article. I agree that the bill could put undue burden on our small farmers, market gardeners and even our farmer's markets.

I also do not like the idea that everyone but the FARMER is going to be on the deciding panel, and that THEY might have the deciding vote on fertilizers, insect control, etc. It could quickly kill the Organic Certification Program (not that it is the best that it could be).

I don't see how it will affect backyard gardeners, UNLESS they take it to market or sell the excess. BUT this legislation could be taken to the extreme, but what legislation could not?

I still think the bill is unnecessary in general and would vote against just based on that alone. Just enforce what we have.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 17, 2009, at 8:25 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.